Email List - 10 Giveaway Freebies to Get Readers to Opt-in

As an author and/or freelance writer, you probably already know that one of the most important tools you can have for selling your books or building your writing business is a list of the email addresses of current and prospective readers and clients. This is your mailing list.

Your mailing list gives you a way to keep in regular contact with your readers and clients to let them know of your latest books, products, or services. The emails and regular newsletters you send to those on your mailing list will help these people get to know, like, and trust you a little more, and when they do that they will be more likely to buy from you on a regular basis. Everyone receives so much email these days, though, that many people are hesitant to join one more mailing list. That means you need to offer them a nice incentive just for joining (called "opting in" to) your list.

Here are some suggested give-away freebies that can help you grow your list and, in turn, sell more books or build your freelance writing business:

A Free Report or Guide
Put together a short report or guide to something that appeals to your target market, and then turn this report into a PDF file people can easily and quickly download.

A Coupon or Discount Code
People will love this if they intend to purchase from you, and it will actually give them an extra incentive for doing so right away.

A Checklist
People love checklists and it should be fairly easy to create a quick checklist that your readers will value.

 A Free Course
If you write mysteries, for example, offer your readers a free course teaching how to write a mystery. Deliver the course via a series of emails delivered once a week for several weeks. Not only will a free course help build your mailing list, it will also help build your credibility as an expert in your field or genre.

A Recorded Interview
Interview someone in your industry and record it (get their permission, of course). If you choose someone who is widely known, this freebie should get you many, many opt-ins.

A Free Consultation
This is perfect if you also coach or teach. It will give people a taste of what it's like to work with or learn from you.

A Free Video
If you're an author, you might create a video showing where and how you work, with tips for other writers.

A Free Audio
A short (15 minutes or less) audio that offers tips or advice on a topic that appeals to your target market can be a great incentive for them to opt-in to your list.

A Tips Sheet
People love tips sheets as much as they do checklists. "Ten Tips for Reading to Your Child" would make the perfect tips sheet to
offer your readers if you write children's books.

A Free E-Book
You don't have to write the e-book either. Simply find one that is in the public domain. Just make sure it is on a topic or genre that will appeal to your target market.

There are dozens of other types of freebies you can offer people in return for joining your list. Just remember, though, that once you get people toopt-in, you need to continue sending them something – a newsletter or short email of some sort – on a regular basis.

Suzanne Lieurance is an author, freelance writer, writing coach, speaker and workshop presenter. She is a former classroom teacher and was an instructor for the Institute of Children's Literature for over 8 years.

Lieurance has written over two dozen published books and her articles and stories have appeared in various magazines, newsletters, and newspapers, such as Family Fun, Instructor, New Moon for Girls, KC Weddings, The Journal of Reading, and Children's Writer to name a few. She offers a variety of coaching programs via private phone calls, teleclasses, listserv, and private email for writers who want to turn their love of writing (for children and/or adults) into a part-time or full-time career.

To learn more about Lieurance, visit her website at ( or The Working Writer’s Club (


Margaret Fieland said...

Suzanne, thanks for the great list. I'm saving it.

Suzanne Lieurance said...

Hi, Margaret,
Thanks for stopping by. I hope this list is helpful to you.

All the best,


Heidiwriter said...

Very helpful! I'm going to save it too! Thank you.

T. Forehand said...

Great list and sparks some good ideas for all of us.

Karen Cioffi said...

Suzanne, I agree. This such a useful post. Often we just think of the standard ebook as an ethical bribe.

Magdalena Ball said...

What a useful list of suggestions, Suzanne. I've done some of these things (ebook of course, e-course, report) but not all of them and it's probably good to mix up the media. I might try audio next. Thanks!

Anne Duguid Knol said...

Shared this. So useful, thanks Suzanne. Definitely three things here I need to try to remotivate my blog.

Shirley Corder said...

Thanks for the useful suggestions, Suzanne. You have some good ideas.

Considering Both the Downsides and Upsides of Writing Reviews

Dear Writers on the Move Readers,   I am busily rewriting my  How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically  for a second edition fro...