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5 Cs of a Great Free Opt-In Offer

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In order to build your list, and entice people to give you their contact information, you must have a truly compelling free offer. What are you giving people in exchange for their information?

People will no longer sign up for a list without getting something in return. They are really signing up to get something that they will benefit from. This item – your Free Opt-in Offer – has to have certain characteristics to effectively draw people in and then turn them into loyal followers.

A free offer can take many forms: a video series, an audio training, and a downloadable document are common ones. What must your Free Opt-in Offer have? I call them the 5 Cs: Catchy Title, Cover, Content, Creativity, and Connection.

Cover and Catchy Title

The only parts of your free offer that prospects will see before they sign up are the title and the cover. You can also provide a description. But the title is key in your prospects’ decision to sign up.

It is important to have a title that describes what they are getting, but that also draws them in and creates curiosity. One technique is to quantify the information in the report (5 Steps…, 10 Tips for…., 3 things to avoid…).

But, the most important thing the title must do is address the primary struggle your clients have. What do they come to you for? What problem do you solve? Your title will be most effective if it highlights a solution your prospects are looking for.

In addition to an effective title, you need to have a “Cover” or a visual representation of your free offer. Even if it is a digital item, like an e-book or video, you can design an image to represent it. People are visual, and having an image increases your conversion rate significantly. It helps people to understand what they are receiving in a tangible way.


The next component is content. The content of your piece has to deliver on the promise made in your title. Once they have signed up, you have achieved the goal of capturing their information. So the goal of the piece itself is to begin building trust and a relationship with those who read, watch, or listen to it.

Provide them with information they can use, showcase your solution and your expertise. Many people get concerned that they are giving too much away. But the more you are able to give away, the more trust you will build. If you deliver too little, your prospects will be disappointed and are likely to walk away.


Of course, you can’t give away everything you know. So, to add to the content that you are providing, use creativity to further engage people.

Don’t be boring! Creative comparisons or metaphors, imagery, and humor can draw people into the piece as much as the content itself. Creativity allows you to show more of your personality in addition to just your expertise. And that leads to the last “C”….


To build a connection to your prospects, you have to include information about yourself. Many people are hesitant to talk about themselves in their marketing, but it is a critical part of the process. I’m not necessarily talking about a whole page about you, or “your story.” But finding ways to talk about yourself or your experiences in the content of the piece, including a picture of you, will really help people to build trust. They feel like they are “getting to know you.”

That connection is what will keep an individual on your list and bring them closer to becoming a loyal paying client.

Creating a good Free Opt-in Offer is worth taking some time to get it right and is something I love doing with my clients. What will you create to offer to your prospects?

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