How to Use Mailchimp to Deliver Freebies

We're really excited to have Jean, of Sweet Blue Bird Design Co., here today sharing a really important how-to with you! Jean is a talented graphic designer with helpful courses for entreprenuers + is also a Bloom Workshop alum, which we adore! We always want to add value to our clients, followers and hook in our potential clients, so one way to do that is by creating a newsletter where you give followers an incentive to sign up, by giving them something for free in return. GASP! That sounds tricky to you? Don't worry, Jean has you covered below:

mailchimp opt-in freebies

Growth Hack: How to Use Mailchimp to Easily Deliver Opt-In Freebies

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
Benjamin Franklin

You offer amazing creative services, using genius skills that are delivered in a way that is unique to you and only you! But, just like a simple math problem (really, the only kind I can handle!) a creative business is only successful with the following formula: Services/Products + Online Business Savvy = Profit

Do you want to build trust, attract the right-for-you audience, and nurture relationships with past, present and future clients? Of course you do! In this post, you will learn exactly how to send out a free download using MailChimp.

This for That, AKA, The Opt-In Freebie:

An Opt-In Freebie is a free digital offering such as a checklist, cheat sheet, workbook, swipe files, (content that is in a doc format to be used as a template) or any other free download that offers a tangible solution to a common problem.

In exchange for your free, digital download, you are happily given your target audience’s email.

Creating an Opt-In builds trust, but how do you get it to the right people?

What two things you need to know first:
1. Who is your target audience? In other words, what types of people LOVE what you have to offer.
2. Brainstorm what free download(s) will make you a go-to resource.

Not sure the answers to those questions? Download my Opt-In Freebie Worksheet so that you can get started on creating your very own or read my blog post here. 

*BONUS: You will also get to see a freebie in action!


Once that Opt-In Freebie is ready to go out the virtual door, delivering it is the next step. There are many email service providers, but when I started offering Opt-Ins, I was impressed with the fact that Mailchimp was free for up to 2,000 subscribers. It is really easy to set this up! I will show you how in this post.

Set up: 

  1. Login to Mailchimp

  2. Click on “Content Manager” to left of the bar that says “Create Template”

  3. Find the UPLOAD button in the top right corner

  4. Choose the PDF that you want as your Opt-In

  5. Upload file

  6. The upload will appear in the bottom right corner.

  7. Click on COPY URL to the right of the file

  8. Paste this into Evernote, or a text file, until you need it.

Linking Your Freebie To The Thank You Page:

  1. Click on LISTS in the top left corner

  2. Choose your entire list, from the existing list, if you have several

  3. To create a new list, click CREATE LIST in top left corner

  4. Click on the down arrow to the right of STATS

  5. Scroll down one to SIGNUP FORMS


  7. Click SIGN UP FORMS


  9. Click the body copy section of your THANK YOU PAGE and customize it.

  10. Type in text: ex. Click here to access your free download. Make it your own!

  11. In the edit box at the top, click the LINK icon that looks like a chain link

  12. Paste in the link to your Opt-In Freebie that is in your text program, to words like “here” or “free download”, or the entire sentence.

  13. Click DESIGN IT to the right of BUILD IT and design it to match your brand by plugging in your colors and adding any header designs like the one below.

I made my header in Photoshop, incorporated my brand’s pattern and used the style header that is used on my website. As a side note, I used Mailchimp for 8 years and recently switched to ConvertKit. My emails in ConvertKit don’t have a header, because of the trend to create emails that look more like a letter. I personally like headers, so I am getting ready to pop one back in there! That being said, you don’t HAVE TO HAVE a header. It is personal preference.

14. Finally, copy the SIGN UP FORM URL

15. Go to the box that says CREATE BITLINK in upper right corner

16. Paste the mailchimp URL into PASTE LONG URL

17. Customize the link after the with wording that describes what they will be getting       when they click the link, such as something like: Digital-Library-Unlimited-Access or Wedding-Planning-Worksheet.

18. Put this on your social media accounts with a call to action and watch your list grow so that you can let your loyal fans know of sales, workshops and other important goings on in your biz!

If you want a more step-by-step visual of how to do this, watch Jean's video below!

You can grab a free worksheet below to help you think through your freebie!

sweet blue bird design co

Jean Coelho has had a love for drawing and creative problem solving, as far back as she can remember. It came so naturally to her that she thought everyone could draw! After being told that she wouldn't be able to make money with her art, she turned to designing for corporate marketing departments in the L.A. and San Francisco areas. After the birth of her daughter, Julia, she started her 15 year long freelance graphic design career. Jean knows the challenges and frustrations of running an creative business online and wants to empower other creatives to succeed with grace and gratitude.