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Exactly how I gained 646 new subscribers in 1 month (for free)

This week I was diving into my reports and *holy cow!* I gained 646 new subscribers in July 🤯

This was definitely NOT a fluke. I’ve been tweaking and testing over the last couple of months and the results have been real.

July’s subscriber growth

So today I want to share this exact strategy with you, so let’s dive into how this happened (without spending a cent on ads).

Step 1: I focussed on promoting just 1 opt-in freebie

At the start of 2019, I realized that I had far too many opt-ins on offer.

I had a resource library, Instagram templates, checklists, gratitude journals….. the list went on.

The only problem was, most of these didn’t align with what I am an expert in, what products I sell, or what services I offer.

The solution? Focus on promoting just 1 freebie that spoke to my dream customer, and how I wanted to help them.

Step 2: I promoted it *everywhere*

Now that I knew exactly what I wanted to share with the world, it was time to promote my Pinterest Makeover Guide everywhere I could think of.

Here’s where:

  • I created 4 x more Pinterest graphics that linked directly to my opt-in page
  • I linked to my freebie in my website’s navigation menu
  • I added an opt-in form directly to my website’s homepage
  • I added links to my Pinterest and Instagram bios
  • I added a pop-up to my website (that appeared when a user was about to exit my site)
  • I promoted it within all relevant blog posts
  • I added a link to my email signature

Basically, if you were on my website or social media pages, it was pretty hard to miss ☺️

Step 3: I re-wrote the copy on my opt-in page

The last piece of the puzzle was to improve conversions.

I wanted to ensure that I was turning as many of my website visitors into subscribers. And this all boiled down to having the right copy on my opt-in page.

And in hindsight, the switch was so damn simple.

Instead of introducing the freebie by name, I introduced the incredible value it offered.

Here’s the switch:

Old title:

“Download Your Free Pinterest Makeover Guide”

(snore, right?)

New title:

“Ready for a simple and free system for growing your business month after month?”

And just like magic, my conversion rate spiked by almost 20%! 💃

Let’s wrap this baby up

You all know how important I think a mailing list is for a business owner, and one of the easiest ways to grow a list is with an irresistible opt-in that your website visitors can’t refuse.

But I realize that we don’t all have the time or money to hire a graphic designer.

Which is why I just launched my Lead Magnet Bundle for Entrepreneurs & Coaches:

So tell me – was this helpful? Do you have an opt-in for your business?

Drop your comments below! I’d LOVE to hear from you!

15 opt-in ideas to grow your list (and where to promote them)

As a business owner, a mailing list is one of the most valuable tools that you have. Building your mailing list is crucial for building a relationship with potential customers. You’re not just a swipe-able post on Instagram, you’re right there in there inbox, their hub for all important work and personal contact.

Building a mailing list is also a valuable form of protection for you. Google, Facebook and Instagram are constantly changing their algorithms, often leaving you penalised with the changes. You own your mailing list, no one can take your contacts away from you, nor can they change what content of yours is seen.

The purpose an opt-in is to create an irresistible offer that new visitors to your website just can’t refuse.

| Tip: Not sure what an opt-in is? Read this first.

Here are 15 opt-in ideas for your business

  1. Roadmap
  2. Checklist
  3. Audio file (like a meditation)
  4. Video training
  5. Free online workshop (this is a great intro to a paid program you offer)
  6. Resource library
  7. Design templates (Canva templates, Instagram highlight covers)
  8. eBook (recipes, or a how-to guide)
  9. Access to your private Facebook Group
  10. Email challenge (“5 days to do XYZ”)
  11. Swipe files (such as email scripts or blog writing prompts)
  12. An interactive quiz (this is a great way of serving your audience content relevant to their results. Use
  13. A discount code for your store
  14. Access to a VIP offer (like early access to a sale, bonus training modules or a free trial period)
  15. Digital resource (such as stock photos or Lightroom presets)


My most popular opt-ins of all time:

Where to promote your freebies:

1. Your Pinterest bio

Space in your Pinterest bio is very limited (read: you’ve got 60 characters to tell your story and promote your freebie).

My tips:

  • Keep your ‘about’ blurb to one sentence (with as many relevant keywords as possible)
  • Use a link shortener like to create a custom link to your freebie opt-in page that’ll save on character space
  • Add an emoji or 2 to make your freebie link stand out (personal faves are ⇢ ♥︎  👉 ✨)

How to Promote Your Freebie on Pinterest


2. Add a link to your Instagram bio

Handy tip: You can add custom fonts to your Instagram bio (like bold or italic) by using a free tool like this or this.

This is a super simple but effective way of making your freebie stand out to new visitors to your profile.

How to Promote Your Freebie on Instagram


3. Add a website pop-up

Word of warning: Pop-ups can be super annoying for new visitors arriving on your website for the first time (especially those on mobile). Furthermore, the chances of them handing over their email address to you before they’ve had a chance to see if they like your content is very small.

Instead, I like to use an “exit intent” pop-up. This means that the pop-up only appears when the user’s cursor moves outside of the top of the webpage, indicating that they’re likely about to leave my site.

The idea is simple – capture visitors who are about to abandon my website with a free bonus (my Pinterest Makeover Guide).

I set up mine using Leadpages as it was super simple and didn’t require any coding. (full transparency: I am a proud affiliate for Leadpages and may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you if you decide to purchase).

How to Promote Your Freebie Using Pop-Ups

4. Your Facebook page cover image

Promoting your freebie on Facebook doesn’t have to be limited to posts in your feed.

For a strategy that will stay front-and-centre on your Facebook page, edit the description of your cover image and link to your opt-in page. #mindblown

How to Promote Your Freebie Using Your Facebook Cover Photo

5. Within your blog post

Make your blog posts really work for you by adding a freebie “button” that promotes your freebie.

This technique works best for content upgrades – a freebie that ties in directly with the subject of the blog post, adding additional value for the reader.

How to Promote Your Freebie Within Your Blog Post

6. Your website navigation

Want to know what small tweak made the biggest change to my conversion rate? Linking to my freebie in my website’s navigation menu. Simple, right?

Keep the title short, sweet and punchy. In my main menu, I called mine “Pinterest Freebie”.

How to Promote Your Freebie On Your Website


7. Website homepage

When creating a new website (or refreshing your current design) I highly recommend adding an opt-in form. Depending on what email software you use, the process of doing this does vary.

For mine, I used ConvertKit’s free WordPress app.

How to Promote Your Freebie On Your Website's Homepage


8. Your email signature

Below your contact details in your email signature be sure to link to your freebie opt-in page.

Need help designing your next freebie?

I’ve created a Lead Magnet Template Bundle that I know you’re going to LOVE! (it’s going to save you so. much. time). 👇👇👇

Got questions or suggestions? Drop them into the comments below!

Lead Magnet vs. Content Upgrade (and how to create yours)

Opt-ins, lead magnets, content upgrades, freebies…

You may be asking yourself “what are these terms and how can they help me grow my business?”

Opt-ins, lead magnets, content upgrades, and freebies are all an incentive for people to exchange their email address for bonus material. Growing your email list is important – you own these subscribers and can develop an intimate relationship with them, positioning yourself as an expert.

Still confused about how these terms can help your business grow?

Let’s break it down

Content Upgrades

When it comes to growing your mailing list, content upgrades are a great incentive for audiences to sign up!

Content upgrades provide your audience with a free bonus download that is directly related to the blog post they are reading. It’s an “upgrade” because it is adding value to the content they have just read.

Content upgrades can be simple and could look like:

  • Roadmaps
  • Checklists
  • Printables
  • Cheatsheets

Lead Magnets

A lead magnet, whilst similar to a content upgrade, is not directly related with a blog post. It can be a resource with its own separate landing page.

Generally speaking, a lead magnet is usually a freebie or offer that appeals to just about any visitor that visits your website.

Lead magnets are usually bigger value items offered as a free piece of digital, downloadable content, such that few would want to decline. In a nutshell, they are a powerful tool for hooking first-time visitors to your site and turning into a subscriber or lead.

Examples of lead magnets include:

  • Webinars
  • Checklists
  • Resource library
  • Templates
  • e-Books
  • or even access to the first module of your online course

A lead magnet encourages your audience to take that next step in forming a relationship with your business.

How to create yours

To allow your business to grow, you want to create opt-ins that are valuable to your dream customers AND your business.

The content should help your target audience achieve a goal or solve a problem within their business or life. It should also value your business; directly tie the content into a paid offer that you are offering (or planning to offer in the future) such as a paid course or membership. Providing your audience with a freebie “warms up” your target audience and helps position you as the expert.


Note: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase after clicking on my link I may make a small commission at absolutely no cost to you. These are tools that I use and LOVE.


Tools I use to create opt-ins that convert

Leadpages for landing pages

Leadpages is an online program that helps you to create beautiful landing pages in minutes. They provide a TON of templates that you can use for creating your pages, pop-ups and banners that promote your freebie and capture subscribers.

Bonus: it also has templates for webinars and sales pages! Leadpages is not the same thing as Mailchimp or Convertkit. It does not allow you to send regular emails to your list. I use LeadPages to grow my email list, and Convertkit to communicate with them.

Convertkit for email marketing

Convertkit the email marketing program I use, and one I recommend for all business owners and creative entrepreneurs looking to increase conversions and optimise their sales funnel.

Convertkit has tons of handy features to help you market to your list, and it allows you to effectively and professionally communicate with the audience (plus it connects seamlessly with LeadPages).


Creative Market for templates

If you’re a busy a.f. business owner or entrepreneur who doesn’t have the time to design your own opt-ins (or can justify the expense of hiring a designer) I highly recommend heading over to Creative Market and purchasing an inexpensive, easy-to-customize template for your next opt-in.

Here are 3 of my absolute favourites:


Canva for design

Canva is an excellent (and free!) online design tool, with thousands of customizable templates to help you design content for your brand. I love using this tool for designing opt-ins such as templates, checklists and roadmaps that my subscribers love.

Let me know: what is something that you can offer your audience as a lead magnet?

Psssssst! Need help designing your next freebie?

I’ve created a Lead Magnet Template Bundle that I know you’re going to LOVE! (it’s going to save you so. much. time). 👇👇👇