How to Set Up Subscribe Before Download in WordPress

The truth is it is super-simple to create a subscribe before download setup on your WordPress website.

I want us to talk about how to make your website visitors subscribe before downloading any type of file in WordPress.

Hear my story first.

There was a time when I didn’t know how to force visitors to my blogs to subscribe before they downloaded my FREE PDF files.

Like many freshman bloggers, I wanted to build my email list faster by linking my free PDF download files to an email subscription setup.

After all, this is what the email marketing gurus keep telling all of us blogging dummies. You cannot seriously monetize your blog and make money blogging if you don’t have your email list running.

You cannot seriously monetize your blog and make money blogging if you don’t have your email list running. Click To Tweet

I got Mailchimp and an email plugin

I therefore quickly jumped on a couple of email marketing service providers. I mean the FREE ones. No, actually it was only one for me. Mailchimp.

Then since I had been reading a lot about the magical effects plugins can have on my site, I went for some too. FREE. Yes, who doesn’t like free things? Especially when they are cool?

I was still trying out the viability of this whole blogging thing. For that matter, I was not prepared to unnecessarily commit myself financially.

I installed and activated a FREE plugin for building and managing email subscription signup forms.

Clumsily, I managed to build my first subscription form and started asking visitors to subscribe.

Two months on, I could boast of only two subscribers! Don’t laugh. This is not a laughing matter. Ah! What is happening? I was completely at sea. Why is no one subscribing?

Well, I had also heard a lot of noise about the need to offer free stuff (so called freebies) to attract more email subscriptions.

I went back to Google

So I went to learn about how to create PDF documents and eBooks. I will tell you this special story another day.

The PDFs were now here. And my visitors were gleefully downloading. Some of the download plugins are simply competent at recording and displaying all the download stats.

But still! Nothing was happening to my email list. It remained glued to two. Why, oh why?

How on earth would I be able to create a subscribe before download system? I had been giving my own email address to dozens of WordPress blogs before I had access to their free stuff. So it means there should be a way to do this.

The love of learning saved me again.

Then I made an interesting discovery

I went to learn again. What has kept on saving me from entering the dreaded “quitland” is that I love learning new things. And I love a challenge to a fault! So when I face a challenge, I go to learn in different ways.

I look for information and then I get back to give that stubborn challenge the whipping of its life.

After some searches, therefore, I realized I had been behaving like an idiot. I had totally missed the point. Oh, ignorance!

There is a way of making the downloading of a freebie conditional on the visitor’s readiness to submit their email address. Simple.

You give me your email address so I can spam your inbox (no, I’ve stopped doing that since long) with my newsletters. In return, you get instant access to my FREE super-useful PDF files.

I discovered how to set up a subscribe before download system

I went back to Mailchimp. It kept coming up during my research into the matter.

Mailchimp has loads of cool features in its FREE version. And one of these is that you can force your fans and visitors to subscribe first before they are able to download a file of your choice.

Now, I had to learn how to send download files in return for email addresses on Mailchimp. The guys out there have a comprehensive list of helpful tutorials on this and many other related topics.

After I practiced what I learnt for some time, I was good to go.

Amazing results

Here was I; fully ready to implement my own subscribe before download system. And I did it easily.

Instantly, my email list started growing rapidly.

And I was like, truly, there is no problem under the sun without a solution.

And I was like, truly, there is no problem under the sun without a solution. Click To Tweet

Well, at first I didn’t know but now I know and I do it with cheeky ease.

So let me now take you through the steps to set up your own subscribe before download system. I am going to teach you how to grow your email list fast by giving free files to your visitors.

And, in this case, that should happen only after they had subscribed to your blog.

Steps to making subscribe before download possible

Please, I want you to know that there are many ways to send download files for this purpose. But mostly, these are done through premium plugins and other email marketing service providers.

On this blog, I only demonstrate what I have learnt and implemented successfully. So I’m keeping to FREE Mailchimp.

Here are the steps to send download files with FREE Mailchimp after you have collected those email addresses.

Things you need first

Here are the very basic tools you need to be ready to send downloadable files to your fans as soon as they subscribe.

  • A Mailchimp account. You can create one for free in a few minutes here.
  • A mailing list or AUDIENCE under your Mailchimp account. One subscriber is enough. It can even be yourself.
  • A signup form. You are free to create this with a free standalone plugin. Make sure to integrate or connect it to your Mailchimp account. Otherwise, you can build and use a free Mailchimp signup form.  
  • A well-prepared, ready-to-use download file. It could be a text document (like PDF), an audio or video file.

Let’s go!

Set up your subscribe before download system now.

Simply follow the prompts at each one of the following stages.

Honestly, it is of no use bothering you with too much detail. Take action, click, edit, as and when required.

So, here we go.

  • Go to your Mailchimp account.
  • Go to Audience
  • Manage Audience
  • Signup Forms
  • Form Builder
  • Forms and Response Email
  • Final Welcome Email
  • Build It
  • Edit/Type. I love writing “DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE PDF” here. It is near to “Your subscription has been confirmed” in the form.
  • Text Editor Bar/Menu – Look up to the top. You’re still with Mailchimp, please.
  • Insert/Edit Link Icon
  • File
  • Upload File. You will briefly take a trip to your files on your computer. This will allow you to choose the file you wish to offer for free.
  • Insert
  • Save and Close

You have just created your subscribe before download system.

That’s it! I mean over and done with. At this stage you will be excited if you’re like me. You would definitely want to test your result.

How to conduct your test? Super simple!

You can log out of your site and then go through the signup process. I mean fill in your designated subscription form on your website. Make sure to provide a working email address and hit the Subscribe/Submit button.

You can wait for about 10 to 60 minutes before opening your email inbox. You surely don’t want to be disappointed when nothing shows up after just a couple of minutes.

From personal experience, I can tell you it is better to exercise a little bit of patience here. You will surely see your confirmation email and the download link.

Click on the download link and see the magic you have just performed. Your download will be yours for the taking. This means you have done it.

Ayekoo (In Ghana, it means “Well Done”)

Happy subscribers, fast-growing email list

Your subscribers are going to be happy. And you too will now see your email list grow much faster than before.

I help beginner bloggers and small businesses build their hobby or professional blogs from scratch. My services include Blog Article Writing, SEO Content Creation, Social Media Marketing, Proofreading, WordPress Site Customization, Blog Reviews and a lot more. These are skills I have gained from a long period of practice. Please, contact me if you need the tried and tested skills of a former blogging newbie to assist you move your internet business to the next level.

Thank you.

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