Hot Types of Opt-in Bribes Non-Fiction Authors Can Offer To Build Their List

by CJ McDaniel // May 27  

Bright Opt-In Bribe Ideas for Book Marketing

When creating your opt-in form to begin email marketing, you should always ask yourself a simple question: why would anyone be willing to give you their email address? What are you going to offer them in return? And how is your list going to give them value in exchange for that personal information?

Often the best answer to these questions is: with an incentive (or ‘bribe’ as it’s often referred to). Here we will look at some options for things you can give away for free that will make your mailing list into a great opportunity for your readers.

Free Reports

Free reports are usually short reads that are about 5-20 pages long and that will share a specific tip, expose or insight. These should offer clear value to your readership whether that means saving them money or helping them to get into better shape.

What’s more, you should emphasize that the report is ‘exclusive’ to your readers as this will increase excitement.

1. eBook

For non-fiction authors, ebooks tend to be introductory guides to a subject and provide great value as a freebie. Often they will be around 20-100 pages long and include graphics and formatting that would normally cost money. They’re great incentives but do take a little more time on your behalf.

2. Video Series

Host some videos on a server somewhere and provide access to that server in exchange for your readers’ e-mails. Videos offer a fantastic way to really engage with your audience and make your business seem very professional and capable.

3. eCourse

An eCourse is a series of e-mails providing instruction and training on a certain subject. These are very effective because it means the e-mails become the incentive in themselves – and that way you know that your readers will have their eyes perpetually trained on their inboxes.

4. Software

You can offer a free app or another ‘tool’ to your members, or even give them access to a web-app that runs in the browser in exchange for their e-mails.

5. A Resource List

A comprehensive list of resources offers great value and it’s very easy, cheap and quick for you to create.

These are just some options for incentives and freebies to offer readers in exchange for their email address. There are many more but always ask yourself when choosing whether the incentive is a) inviting enough and b) going to help you sell books in the long run.

Watch for more Opt-In Bribe Ideas for Authors

Watch this video by  Derek Murphy where he explains how Fiction writers are having a hard time thinking of what to offer, other than “subscribe to my list for updates” which you totally shouldn’t use. Think of something better.


About the Author

CJ grew up admiring books. His family owned a small bookstore throughout his early childhood, and he would spend weekends flipping through book after book, always sure to read the ones that looked the most interesting. Not much has changed since then, except now some of those interesting books he picks off the shelf were designed by his company!