Why Every Course Creator Needs A Freebie | Rebecca Thatcher

Online Launches

July 25, 2020

Why Every Course Creator Needs A Freebie

Are you planning to sell, or already selling an online course or program?

If ‘yes!’, the number one tool you absolutely need in your back pocket is a freebie – also known as a lead magnet or opt-in.

If you haven’t heard of a freebie before, it’s something of value that you offer for free, in exchange for your audience’s name and email address. By signing up to your freebie, they become subscribed to your email list, helping you grow the number of people you can send marketing emails to.

Having an audience on social media is of course highly valuable, but having an ever-growing email list is every online entrepreneur’s dream! Why? Because it’s YOURS! Facebook doesn’t own it. Instagram doesn’t it. Pinterest doesn’t own it. Your subscribers are YOURS!

If your chosen social media channels were to disappear tomorrow, your fans/followers would go with it. Whereas your precious email list is pretty indestructible – and yours to connect with whenever you please.

Having a high-quality list full of your dream customers that you email regularly and have a great relationship with, makes your life so much easier (and your business more profitable!) when it comes to selling that fab course of yours!  

I’m sure you would have signed up to some freebies yourself, and if not, have a look at mine as an example.

They come in many shapes and forms, for example:

  • A PDF guide
  • A checklist
  • A quiz
  • A workbook
  • A template
  • A webinar or masterclass
  • A toolkit
  • Or a video series

Is this something you have set up in your business already?

If you do, AMAZING! It’s such a great tool to grow your audience – and if you want to successfully sell a course or product online, you absolutely need an audience!

If you don’t, this article is perfect for you! I’ll walk you through 5 essentials every freebie needs so you can create one that attracts your perfect people!

1. It needs to be VALUABLE

Everyone has a freebie. Especially in the online course creator space. So, what makes your freebie more attractive than theirs? Why should they sign up for yours?

The key components of an irresistible freebie are:

  • It solves a problem – what are you helping your audience to learn/do/have?
  • It’s valuable to your audience – how does it make things easier for them, or help them towards their goals?
  • It tackles one specific topic – it’s focused. Don’t try to cover EVERYTHING that you know or teach. Be specific.
  • Provide instant gratification – deliver on your promise and ensure that it’s something your audience can read/learn/action straight away.
  • Quick to read/digest – everyone is time-poor, so even though you may want to cram every golden nugget in there, be conscious of how much time you are asking of your audience.
  • It should be strategic and create an entry-point into your world – a freebie is an introduction to your, your expertise, your values, and your teaching. What’s the first thing you want your audience to know? Or what do they need to know before they buy your entry-point product (lowest-cost offer)? Focus on this.

And remember, just because it’s FREE, doesn’t mean it’s not valuable. Make this the best freebie you can so that it’s an absolute no-brainer that your ideal customer wants to sign up for it.

As mentioned above, EVERYONE has freebies these days which makes our dream customers a little more hesitant to give out their email address. Make it worth their while and you will have subscribers flocking in no time.

2. It needs its own landing page

Once your freebie is created, you’ll promote it on all your social media channels so you can grow that list! Therefore, you need to be able to easily link directly to the freebie.

For example, if you promote the freebie on Instagram stories, you’ll either use a swipe up link, or direct people to your bio link so they can download it. Both methods require you to link to the freebie, and housing it on a landing page with its own URL makes this SO much easier!

I’ve had clients that house their freebie on their homepage. By all means promote your freebie on the homepage of your website, but make sure you can send a link directly to said freebie. If you have to send someone to your homepage to download it, there are lots of other distractions that could steal focus, reducing the chance of them signing up.

Your freebie deserves its own space – and your marketing depends on it. So build that page!

I’ll cover exactly what your landing page requires in another post but it can be as simple as a catchy headline, a sentence describing exactly what the freebie is and why the audience needs it, and of course, a sign-up form for them to subscribe.

It can of course be more elaborate than this but if web design and tech is not your strong point, don’t let this deter you.

Here are some more examples of great freebies (AKA, lead magnets or opt-ins) from my fave entrepreneurs – and you’ll notice a real mix of how they present their offer:

3. Don’t forget a thank you page!

Once you’ve built your landing page, you are almost ready to go!

But whilst you’re in the backend of your website, don’t forget to also build a thank you page.

A thank you page is a separate webpage to your landing page. Your audience are redirected to the thank you page once they have successfully signed up for your freebie.

Good news – this page is even more simple! It includes a message acknowledging their action, for example:

‘Thank you for signing up to [insert name of freebie]! It’s on its way to you now – please be sure to check your inbox and junk folder just in case it’s snuck its way into spam.’

If you have a low-cost offer (something under $50), AND it enhances the audiences’ experience ie, it leads naturally on from the freebie they’ve just signed up for, you could promote this on your thank you page. This is called a tripwire – more on this is another blog post too, but if you have questions, be sure to send me a DM.

Think of your thank you page as an opportunity to build further trust and rapport with your new subscriber. Do you have a free Facebook group you could promote? Are you hosting an upcoming free webinar that you could advertise? Are you selling tickets to an event that you think they may be interested in?

So long as the offer continues to add value and links beautifully on from the freebie that they’ve already said ‘Yes please!’ to, then you could choose to promote it on your thank you page.

7 Ways To Grow Your Audience Before Your Next Launch

4. And then add the Facebook pixel!

Ah the pixel! Have you heard of the Facebook pixel?

It’s a piece of code, generated by your Facebook ad account that enables you to track the behavior of EVERY visit to your website. In turn, you can use this information to help you to create highly targeted audiences to serve Facebook and Instagram ads to.

Now you may be thinking, ‘I’m not ready to run ads just yet’. That’s fine, no problem. But the sooner you install the pixel onto your website, the better!

Why? Because it can only start collecting data once it’s installed, and cannot do so retrospectively. If you choose to run ads to support the launch of your next course in a few months’ time, you’ve already got lots of lovely insights on who is visiting your website and what actions they are taking.

Every online course creator will want to run Facebook or Instagram ads at some point to help increase their impact and scale their business – you included. So trust me. If the pixel isn’t on your site already PLEEEASE install it today!

Once you do, you can then set up an event code to add to your thank you page. When you do start running ads to promote your freebie and grow your list at a much faster rate (and I recommend that you do), this will allow you to track the exact number of people that have signed up – plus how much each subscriber has cost you.

I run ads to my freebie all year round and gain new subscribers every day for less than $0.65 (50p), just to give you an idea of the power of ads!    

5. Craft a ‘get to know me’ email sequence

Remember, the purpose of your freebie is to grow your email list. And the purpose of your email list is to build an audience of dream prospects that you can market and sell to.

Do people buy from those they don’t know? Rarely.

So your freebie not only acts as a tool to grow your list. It presents an opportunity for you to introduce yourself to your new subscribers, build a relationship with them and help them to KNOW, LIKE and TRUST you.

People buy from those they trust, so it’s important you make a good first impression.

So what should your email sequence include?

First up – deliver on your promise. Send them the freebie!

Next – build a connection! Introduce yourself, share who you are and what you do. Add snippets of your story and what led you here. Perhaps your story is relatable for them and they are currently stuck in the same place you were a few years prior.

Then – create possibility! Begin to share your expertise and help your audience to see that you understand how they feel/where they are, but that there is SO much more waiting for them. This is an opportunity to subtly prime them for your course or program, which just so happens to tackle the exact area of their life they are stuck with!

And finally – share your results! Pull out a customer’s transformation story – someone who will mirror where your new subscribers are now, and where they want to be. Showcase how you helped them and if possible, include a testimonial too! End with any additional value you feel is relevant (eg, a blog post, video or another freebie), and then you may wish to include what your subscribers can expect from you moving forward. How often will you email them? Is there somewhere they can get in touch with you directly if they wish to? Wrap up the series with helpful next steps.

So, to summarise:

  • First email – thank them for signing up to the freebie and send them a link to download said freebie
  • Second email – introduce yourself and your story
  • Third email – help your audience to see that they don’t have to be where they are now, forever, and that there’s so much possibility waiting for them!
  • Fourth email – showcase your results through customer stories, social proof and testimonials. Plus, wrap up your series with clear next steps

Your freebie welcome sequence can be longer than this if you wish, but usually spans 3-5 emails. Remember, the key here is to get your subscribers to OPEN and READ your emails!

You could have 1000’s of people on your list but if they aren’t engaging with your emails, you may as well have zero people on your list.

And there you have it – 5 essentials to building an irresistible freebie that helps you to grow your list, which in turn, helps you to successfully (and consistently!) sell your online course because you have hot leads ready and waiting to buy!

What freebie will you add to your offering?  

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I help digital coaches & entrepreneurs to grow their audience and make more sales online, through the magic of funnels and ads!



I'm Rebecca

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