How to Craft the Most Incredible Opt-In Bribe

Have you heard the song “The Money is in the List”?

This is somewhat true if you have an amazing autoresponder series that persuades your list subscribers to perform some type of action.

The action could be making a sale, filling out a form, clicking on a link to go to a website, or something else. However, how do you actually get those subscribers onto your newsletter list in the first place?

Well, this is where an opt-in bribe comes into play. An opt-in bribe is what you use to get someone to opt in, or sign up for your newsletter.

The bribe can take many forms.

It could be an ebook, video, white paper, software download, or anything that’s of high value to get subscribers to sign up for your email list.

What Goes into an Opt-in Bribe?

The best and highest quality opt-in bribes are not something that is all encompassing.

What I mean is that if you go out and create a 400-page ebook to give to subscribers for free, it might have the opposite effect of getting you a good amount of sales down the road.


It’s because if someone downloads a 400-page ebook and they don’t finish the whole thing, they are going to be thinking: “If this free book is 400 pages long and I can’t get through it, how am I ever going to get through the paid product?”

It is great to have an opt-in bribe, but you need to make sure you’re not giving your list subscribers something that will overwhelm them.

The most effective opt-in bribes give just enough information.

It gets readers motivated and wanting more from you. If you have a landing page that says “get my free 900-page ebook on affiliate marketing,” it’s going to turn off people.

An effective one is (pardon the plug) an ebook I created called “Get my free 10k a Month Blueprint (eBook).” The title alone makes you want to know what’s inside! The good news about my ebook is that it’s short and to the point.

My ebook is not filled with fluff just to make the book longer. If it’s an ebook you want to create for your opt-in bribe, you shouldn’t try to fill it with useless information.

In my experience, a one-page report can work better than a full blown ebook that has 100 pages.

This is because most people don’t have the time to read an entire book and even if they did, why should they read yours when they are most likely getting bombarded with loads of other offers on the internet that they can download?

Furthermore, if they do download your 100-page ebook, it doesn’t mean they will be reading it anytime soon.

Your goal here, then, is to get your potential subscribers interested in what you have to offer, even if that something is just a one-page report.

You best bet is to try and create some smaller opt-in bribes to work with if you’re just starting out.

Something like a one-page document that gives them the top 10 tools you use, or the top ten resources they need to check out.

Don’t be fooled by thinking that a simple one-page document won’t get the job done because it can and it will. If you are more experienced with opt-in bribes, you can go the route of creating an opt-in course that you can give to your subscribers for free.

This course could be a few videos or more depending on how in-depth you want to go.

For example you might have seen I offer a free course to people who opt in to my newsletter. The course covers how you can get started with affiliate marketing and how to make a living online.

You can also check out John Lee Dumas’s free course on how to start podcasting as well as the opt-in bribes given by LeadPages.

Getting people to sign up for your mailing list by bribing them with a free course works. The only bad news about it is that you have to take a lot more time to create a course than you do with a one-page document.

Now I am not saying that you should go out and create an eight-hour long course to give away for free. Your free course can be as simple as ten minutes. You can even give away a free video that’s only a few minutes in length.

Everyone is different and some people like to watch videos, some like to read, while others like to listen.

This brings me to my next point in your opt-in bribe.

If you do create a free video or course, you can release it in several formats. Aside from the videos, have them transcribed as ebooks.

You can also create downloadable audio formats for people to download and listen to on the go.

By having several options to choose from, you’re able to appeal to a wider audience with different learning preferences.

Why not try and deliver to them what they want by creating your videos, downloadable ebooks of the videos, and also the audio versions of the videos.

Ideas for Opt-in Bribes

Cheat Sheet – If your goal is to share gems that you have learned from your business that can easily be overlooked or missed, create a cheat sheet to illustrate that information.

Think of it as treasure chest full of helpful tips that can make your reader be more productive or more skillful.

Toolkit – A toolkit is a great opt-in bribe if you already have some useful resources that you use in your content – videos, website, and business – and would like to package them all together into a single resource for people to check out.

Aside from all these resources, there’s another reason to use a toolkit as an opt-in bribe: you can include your affiliate links within your toolkit.

For example, I use BlueHost and I include my affiliate link to it in my resource toolkit.

When people click through the link, I earn a commission.

Remember, though, you must let your subscribers know it’s an affiliate link if you include them in your toolkit.

Template – This bribe is good for people to download and use because it’s really easy to use. The template can help the reader quickly solve a problem or achieve a goal in his or her business.

For example, if you run an affiliate marketing blog that encourages readers to create content to boost affiliate sales, you can offer a template that they can model around for their affiliate marketing business.

Blueprint – A blueprint is a step-by-step plan that breaks down a major process into small and digestible chunks that’s easier to understand.

My ebook “10k a Month Blueprint” shows you how to earn 10k a month online with affiliate marketing, giving you the exact step-by-step instructions on what to do.

There’s nothing complicated about the blueprint and if you go the blueprint way, you should make your instructions simple as well.

Case Study – Case studies are basically success stories about the people or brands in your market.

They are great opt-in bribes because a lot of people enjoy storytelling and like to engage through characters and narrative instead of facts and explanations.

The case study will deliver on getting people engaged.

Manifesto – This type of opt-in bribe is a written public declaration of your principles and beliefs. It’s inspirational in nature and a persuasive way to establish the tone and point-of-view of your blog from the beginning.

It also gives value to the people who download it.

Video Course – The video course is an amazing way to get people into your list.

It takes time to get everything together, but I think it’s more than worth it to sit down and produce it as an opt-in bribe.

Graphical Giveaway – If you have a graphics blog, you can give away a graphic toolbox that other people in your market can use for their own efforts.

Good quality graphics are hard to come by and if you create something good for others to download, they will be lining up to download the graphics (and subscribe to your list).

Software Trial Version – Giving away a trial version of your software is an amazing way to get people to opt in.

Depending on what type of software and the market you’re in, this could work better than any of the other opt-in bribes already mentioned. However, it can be a hit or miss with the software and the market you’re in.

Audio Presentation – This is very much like a podcast where you record something for your audience to opt in and download.

You can even take the audio from other videos you have that sounds good with just the audio. Offer it as something for new subscribers to download.

Interview with an Expert – Whenever you can get on a Skype call with someone who is well-known within your industry, you can turn that Skype call into an opt-in bribe.

Depending on who you’re interviewing, it can have a huge impact on the amount of opt-ins you receive.

Interviewing experts and people in general are great opt-in bribes to offer to prospectors.

The good, old fashioned ebook – I would have to say that ebooks are offered more than any other opt-in bribe I know today. However, the ebook has kind of lost its traction when compared to earlier years.

If you do go the ebook route, make yours have epic value and don’t make it hundreds of pages.

Checklist – A checklist is a short, one to two page PDF file that walks someone through a to-do checklist.

It’s basically a list of something you’re telling them to do so that it will make their life easier.

To create a checklist, simply outline the steps required to complete a particular task and insert a checkmark box in front of each one so that the user can print out the list and mark off the steps as they are completed.

Ecourse – An Ecourse is just a series of emails that your autoresponder will send out to the person who opts in.

These emails will be sent over a certain period of time, allowing you to not only build up trust with the subscriber, but will also give them useful information.

For example, I could take my ebook “10k a Month Blueprint” and turn it into an Ecourse that will be sent to them every day for the next ten days.

Combine Ideas – You can always combine ideas for your opt-in bribe and create multiple hybrid opt-ins for people to consume.

For example, I have a video course. Someone can opt in to that, which will be delivered over an eCourse, making it both a video course opt-in bribe and an Ecourse opt-in bribe.

Combining opt-ins and strategies allows you to see what’s working and what’s not working in your market.

Regardless of what you choose to do with your opt-in bribe, make it an amazing one so that when someone downloads it for the first time, they will feel that they have just received tremendous value from it.

If you have no idea how to put together an opt-in bribe, you can outsource it to someone who is qualified for the task.

When it comes to outsourcing, I recommend oDesk. If you don’t want to find someone to fill the task yourself you can head over to Virtual Staff Finder.

Virtual Staff Finder will go out and find your perfect freelancer for you; all you need to do is tell them what you need done.

Virtual Staff Finder is a way in which you can outsource the task of finding a virtual assistant. How cool is that?

There are a lot of opt-in bribes to choose from and depending on how much time and effort you put into it, some work better than others.

The best advice I can give you is to take some time and create an opt-in bribe that you yourself would want to download and use.

Another thing you can do after you finish creating your opt-in bribe is give it to friends and family to get some feedback before you launch it to the world.

Having beta testers among supportive people is great as they might be able to spot some things that could be improved upon.

Always make sure to have a professional copyeditor go through your content as well.

Here’s a list of what a copyeditor can do:

  • Correct errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, dropped words, incorrectly used words, etc.
  • Ensure consistent style for capitalization, hyphenation, number treatment, etc.
  • Rewrite/revise passages that come across as awkward or ambiguous, or that simply don’t sound good
  • Query regarding inconsistency, apparent errors in fact or logic, etc.
  • Check sequencing, such as alphabetical order or numbering in lists
  • Flag inappropriate language, continuity errors, and significant plot holes
  • Prune wordy or difficult passages
  • Identify and eliminate repetitive word choices (and “crutch” words)
  • Restructure sections to improve narrative flow
  • Ensure consistent style choices throughout the manuscript and copy

Making sure your words are as polished as possible is really important when it comes to establishing your authority in the field. A copyeditor can make your opt-in bribe shine.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this article. If you have found value from this, please share it and like it by using the social share buttons.

Also, what’s working for you in your business with your opt-in bribes? What didn’t work? Share your thoughts below and thanks again for reading.

Keep being awesome,