6 Content Giveaway Ideas to Get Email Leads

Free content giveaway ideas

Your website content attracts visitors, but how do you get them to subscribe to your email list? Content giveaways are the answer for many online marketers and businesses. Offering readers free content when someone signs up for your mailing list is cost effective for you and provides something of value for your readers. But what makes a good giveaway?  Let’s look at six of the best items you can offer for free to get more email sign-ups. 

Ebooks and Whitepapers

Ebooks and white papers are the most popular types of free content companies and websites give away to help build an email list. They can offer know-how, study results, practical tips, or other information your audience would find valuable. You can produce them in-house by creating a totally new document or you can repurpose existing content.

An ebook is a longer, more formal version of a blog post. It often provides a comprehensive guide to solving a specific problem your customers have, such as “How to Increase Your Email Open Rates.”

A white paper is typically much longer than an ebook–usually between 8 and 20 pages long–and uses research and data to tackle a specific issue for your audience. For example, you might write about how your industry has changed over the past year, or what trends you can expect to see soon.

If either of these formats sounds like it might be right for you, here are some tips on how to get started:

Choose a topic

Pick something relevant to your audience but isn’t already covered extensively in your blog posts or on other websites.

Determine the format

Consider whether an ebook or white paper makes more sense for your topic. Then outline it so you know what information you’ll cover before writing begins.

Create a Lead-Capture Signup Form

Once you have the giveaway content ready, create an email signup form that asks people to subscribe to your mailing list to download the free content. If you have more than one giveaway, create a separate form for each giveaway.

Webinars and Online Course Giveaways

Webinars and online courses are ways to educate a group of people through video and audio. To get attendees and email list signups, they have to offer valuable content. They can provide specialized knowledge, training, or insights on a specific topic.


A webinar is similar to a seminar, but it’s held online. People can ask questions, learn from each other, and interact during the webinar. This is a great way to build authority in your industry. Offer a free webinar in exchange for an email sign-up. 

An alternative to constantly running live webinars is to record a webinar and offer the replay to people who sign up for your list. You should also make the replay available to no-shows for the live webinar.

Online Courses

Online courses are another effective way to provide more in-depth information about an industry topic. These can be interactive, with quizzes, assignments, videos, and audio recordings that you can create for free, and don’t have to require a lot of money to make. Online courses can cover your company’s expertise, which makes them valuable to the people who take them. By offering these free courses, you’re giving away something that gains the trust of the people who receive it.

Online courses are also good for your SEO (search engine optimization). Each lesson post is another page on your site that can show up in search results, which increases your chances of finding new potential customers. If you ensure each lesson post contains relevant keywords and phrases, the odds go up even more. 

Related Reading: Newsletter Content Ideas to Engage Your Audience


Templates make great giveaways and are much more versatile than you think. A template is simply a model that someone can copy or fill in on their own. It can be something like a spreadsheet set up so people can add their own numbers, or the format for a brochure or letterhead someone could copy and add their own content. While you don’t want to give away a finished product, there’s no reason you can’t offer a template that someone could finish themselves. Templates can be used for any situation where one person needs to use the same framework as another. This opens up a world of possibilities and makes templates one of the most effective types of content that people will sign up for using their emails.

Cheat Sheets, Checklists, and Resource Lists

Cheat sheets, checklists, and resource lists are guides that provide a quick overview of how to use a product or service and/or find other resources. They’re usually one-page summaries containing all the key points your readers need to know to get started with something new. A company that does kitchen remodeling might give away a kitchen remodeling checklist, for instance.

To get double benefit from a checklist, you can set it up as a list on your website to attract SEO traffic as well as using it as a giveaway.  To get signups from SEO traffic, add a prominent button or box to the webpage urging people to download a printable version of the checklist.

Require them to sign up for your emails to download the printable checklist. When they do signup for your list, use an autoresponder to deliver the content to them.

 Resource lists contain links to relevant content you’ve found online, such as blog articles, podcasts, and videos, which can help your audience get started with something new. These types of content usually take the form of PDF files or webpages and can be used as lead magnets for various types of products and services.

Coupons and Discounts

By offering your customers incentives–like discounts, coupons, or loyalty programs–you’ll make them feel special. But, to attract new customers, don’t use your offer as a carrot for spending more money. Avoid offers where they have to buy more than one item to get the discount or spend more than a certain amount to get the savings. (Save the BOGO and similar offers for existing customers.) Remember, your goal in this case is to get new names on your mailing list, and to build trust and loyalty.

Consultations or Coaching Calls

A free consultation or coaching call is a quick way to get an email lead. This works especially well for real estate agents, financial advisors, consultants, and coaches.

The call doesn’t have to be long. In fact, you should set and stick to a time limit for the free consultation. But it can be a great way to provide value and demonstrate your expertise. You can use this time to give advice and share tips, or you can use it to collect feedback from your audience. (Don’t forget to ask for business during the call.) You could also ask for referrals during this time if you’re looking for more leads or simply want people in your network to make connections with other professionals they know.

You can choose to make the call on the phone or make it a video call on Zoom, over Skype, Google Meetings, Microsoft Teams, or whatever video conferencing service you use. Or you could do it in person, if warranted.

Offering a free call or consultation is simple: just create a web page with an opt-in form and offer your visitors a free call or consultation in exchange for their email address. If you do a lot of in-person networking, create and hand out a small flier that points people to your webpage.

You can customize your lead magnet by including extra information like your title, the name of your company, and the industry you serve, as well as any other relevant information to convince people of the quality of your offer.

Free Content Giveaways Will Help You Get Leads

One of the most important things to do to get email leads is to offer something of value to your audience. The best way to ensure that you’re offering relevant content is by creating a buyer persona (or multiple personas) so that you know what types of content your audience wants. These are fictional representations of your ideal customers, providing a detailed look at who they are, what problems they face, and what goals drive them. For maximum impact, ensure your final product reflects their interests, values, and concerns. Your customers will love you for it and you’ll gain more email addresses. 

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