Last Update July 6th, 2016

As you might have noticed by now, one of the absolute best ways to get email subscribers is to give them a free eBook in exchange for their email address.

I do it here on Blog Tyrant and it is done by almost all of the big name bloggers and internet marketers.

But not everyone knows how to set it up so that the eBook gets sent to new subscribers automatically. In fact, I get an email asking how to do it at least four or five times a week and so I decided to do a short video to show you how its done using my email marketing software provider.

NOTE: This post contains and affiliate link to AWeber. If you sign up through my link I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!

What’s in this video?

Its so important to have the process set up so that everything runs smoothly and cleanly. Someone puts their email address in your web form and expects to be sent the eBook straight away. In this video I go through:

  • Signing up to Aweber
    My favorite way to do this and the way used by names like John Chow and Darren Rowse is to use an Aweber automatic Follow Up message to send out the eBook. You can see more about why I use Aweber here.
  • Creating a web form
    The first step is to create a web form so that people can enter their name and email address.
  • Adding it to your blog
    I very quickly go through how to add it to your blog’s code.
  • Uploading the eBook to a download page
    I then talk about how and, more importantly, why you should create a download page on your blog to deliver your eBook automatically. I also show you a very useful way to keep selected WordPress Pages hidden from the Pages menu.
  • Creating the automatic Follow Up email
    The final step is to create an automatic Follow Up email that gets sent as soon as someone subscribes to your blog.

The internet is an extremely impulsive place and as such it is vital that you be able to deliver your free eBook instantly. If people have to wait you will find that you have a lot lower conversion rates. If anyone has any questions about the process or ideas to improve on it I would love to hear your comments.


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  1. Jen Whitten @ The Positive Piper on February 18, 2011

    Excellent. THIS is the post I’ve been waiting for. Can’t wait until I’m at a stopping place with work and can watching tonight. πŸ™‚

    1. the Blog Tyrant on February 18, 2011

      You’re up late Jen… working hard?

      1. Jen Whitten @ The Positive Piper on February 18, 2011

        I’m in Texas, so it was only like 4 or 5 in the afternoon when I wrote that. πŸ™‚

        But yeah, I’m always working hard. The simultaneous blessing and curse of being so in demand by clients that I’m constantly overbooked with projects.

  2. Great video. I already love Aweber before even trying it lol

    1. the Blog Tyrant on February 18, 2011

      Thanks Cristina!

  3. Dodiggything? πŸ™‚

    I’ve been debating if I should start with Aweber but seems like everybody is raving about it.

    For another project I would need a mailinglist so I guess Aweber is the winner.

    1. the Blog Tyrant on February 18, 2011

      Yeah, you know a dohicky? Also referred to as a dowhacky.


      1. Funny enough, I have been wondering how you would create a page for info without showing it (seems like a “duh” moment now). Glad you mentioned it in the video.

        Can I ask what theme you are using??

    2. MailChimp.
      2000 subscribers, 12k emails a month, free.
      It is a very, very worthy alternative.

  4. Jen Whitten @ The Positive Piper on February 18, 2011

    Okay, finally got to watch the video and it was EXACTLY the information I needed. I’ve been thinking I had to mess with uploading the ebook via FTP – which I only use when I have to aka I crash my site and have to delete something manually – so I’ve been dragging my feet a bit.

    Now…if I could only get the broadcast function to work I’d be fully up and running. (Tested it on my YDP site and never got the test broadcast.) :s

    Thank you, thank you for putting this video up. (Of course, my cats don’t echo the sentiment. I might’ve had the volume up a bit too loud when the video started. My bad.)

    1. the Blog Tyrant on February 18, 2011

      Are you using Blog Broadcast? B and BB are different.

      1. Jen Whitten @ The Positive Piper on February 18, 2011

        BB. I set up how I wanted it to look, saved it, clicked test and it never sent me the test email. Since I couldn’t get it to work right, I figured it wasn’t ready to get rolled out to readers. No sense in offering email updates if I can’t make email updates happen outside of feedburner. :/

        Probably earmark some time over the weekend to devote to aweber debugging while I’m uploading the ebook and writing a block of content for PP. Now that I have the cartoon version of me as a pied piper, I’m re-motivated.

  5. Great video, only wish it had been live a couple of weeks back, when I spent days figuring all this out! It all sounds easy, but as with most of these supposedly straightforward processes it can be complex first time through … so if anyone is watching this video before setting up their ebook download you can be grateful for the hours you’ve saved.

    Great tip about sending subscribers back to a blog page for the download, I was doing this by chance, but hadn’t considered the benefit.

    A few additional points that might help.

    I uploaded my 3.2MB eBook to WordPress without any problems and it says you can upload a max of 65MB, so could even offer a short video I guess.

    For my sign-up box I dragged a ‘text’ box to the top of sidebar in the Appearance/Widgets area and pasted the AWeber code in there, easy for me as I’ve not yet tackled doing any Editor inserts, is the edit method better for keeping the site clean and fast, or are widgets fine?

    We also need to hide the download page from the search engines (or actually just asking them not to index), as otherwise it can be found quite easily with a search – removing from the navigation bar still leaves it open to Google etc . I’m in process of writing a short article about this, so still not sure of the best way to do this, but so far have found a few ways – use a plugin like Robots Meta or WP Hide Post (which also does the pages), or insert some robots.txt code.

    1. I was also curious about the Editor vs. Widgets part. Much easier to add the script code to a Text Widget. Are there any benefits to adding it via the Editor?

      Great post, BTW!

    2. the Blog Tyrant on February 19, 2011

      Great comment Pat.

      As for the hiding of the DL page, I’ve never been too worried about that because I guess it counts as more exposure. But I can absolutely see why someone would do it.

      Thanks again.

  6. Thanks Blog Tyrant!

    This weeek I switched out my eBook image from flat to 3-D, and was having problems with the HTML. Problem-solved, no thanks to my Luddite skills;).

    While viewing your vid, I was living vicariously in the effortless grace you navigated your WP dashboard and Aweber.

    Someday, I’ll have the guts to tackle my WP innards:)

    1. the Blog Tyrant on February 19, 2011

      WP innards. I like that!

  7. Justin Germino on February 18, 2011

    MailChimp lets you do the same thing to include a download link for email subscribers so you can offer a free eBook or incentive for them to sign up.

    1. the Blog Tyrant on February 19, 2011

      I knew you Mail Chimpers would come and post here! Ha ha.

  8. Thanks a lot. But you wrote instead of under the video…

    1. the Blog Tyrant on February 19, 2011

      Yeah I know. I couldn’t be bothered changing it. Takes ages to upload those things!

  9. Peter Davies on February 19, 2011

    Good overview – theres also the customary offer/upsell/downsell/sidesell that everyone uses.

    Ive had an ebook on this for months that needs finishing to go on my blog, you never know I might get it done this year LOL

    1. the Blog Tyrant on February 19, 2011

      Ha ha. I know the feeling.

  10. Craig Pearce on February 20, 2011

    Thanks Tyrant. Changed to Aweber on your advice and support of your clan a couple of weeks ago. Sorting out clunky bits but Aweber have been very good. I am in process of putting out an e-report myself so all good timing.

    One question: how do you get the image of your report embedded into the forms? Cheers

    1. the Blog Tyrant on February 20, 2011

      Hi Craig.

      You can add the images to some forms in the Aweber generator. On mine though I just used a plain code form and added the image above it in a stylized box with WP because I had already done the coding with Feedburner.

      If you need more help let me know.

  11. Great, really great.

    I must ask though, when’s the best time to unleash an e-book onto youe e-mail list? Would it be best to do it as soon as possible, or to hold back until you have x amount of subscribers? Your thoughts BT?

    1. Hi Stuart,

      I think Tyrant encourages dialogue in the comments, so don’t think I’m out of order replying with my thoughts on your comment and hope you don’t mind πŸ™‚

      My feeling is that once you have an eBook ready, then if you’re going to try and promote it to your list you have a couple of main options.

      In AWeber you can ‘broadcast’ it, so that it goes out to everyone on your list at the same time, or you can set it as a ‘follow up’ email which goes out a certain number of days after someone signs up to your list.

      I don’t think there is any good reason to hold back until you have a certain number of subscribers, unless you are choosing to have a kind of launch and want your subscribers to interact regarding your eBook and create a buzz on your blog.

      Otherwise, do as most people seem to do and offer free content emails, along with occasional promotion of your eBook. If you have a small number of subscribers now and the eBook is ready, then why not do a broadcast to them all and also add it into your scheduled ‘follow up’ emails to make sure new subscribers catch it as well.

      1. the Blog Tyrant on February 20, 2011

        Good thoughts.

        Stuart, are you talking about a free give away eBook or something that you want to sell?

        1. BT, I would want to sell an e-book, but feel that a give-away one would be better to start with, to generate interest and consumer trust. So to answer your question, I’m talking about a free give-away book πŸ™‚

      2. No worries man, that was a good reply πŸ™‚

  12. Craig Pearce on February 20, 2011

    On a related topic, Tyrant, what WordPress plugin(s) do you advise are best to use to ensure the entire content of a post is sent through the Aweber subscriber emails, including text, images, embeds and Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn share buttons? Thanks in advance.

    1. the Blog Tyrant on February 20, 2011

      I don’t use any plugin. I just use the code from Feedburner because that way it has the same look and feel as when it was over there.

  13. Thanks for this article. From where can I get the book image like the one you are using for subscription?

    1. the Blog Tyrant on February 21, 2011

      Hi mate.

      Google “ebook cover designers” and you can hire someone to do it.

  14. It seems like every time I have something I would love to do but haven’t gotten around to doing it there you are with a video walking me through it. Scary, isn’t it? But you motivated me to finish my free ebook and set it up for all new email subscribers to receive. Thanks for that push I needed and another great tutorial.

    Kim @ Work At Home Mafia

    1. the Blog Tyrant on February 28, 2011

      No worries Kim!

  15. Something for the Weekend – 25th Feb 2011 | Secret Women's Business Network on February 25, 2011

    […] How to Automatically Send an eBook to Your Email Subscribers: The logistics of sending out an ebook to subscribers to your list is often the thing that will prevent you from everΒ doing it. This video from Blog Tyrant will show you how simple it can be. This isn’t the only way to do it, but if the technicalities have been holding you back then you no longer have an excuse (video is 10 mins). […]

  16. John Garghan on February 26, 2011

    I find your blogs and videos really good, enjoyable and very informative, thank you

    1. the Blog Tyrant on February 28, 2011

      Thanks John.

  17. Martyn Chamberlin on February 28, 2011

    Hey Tyrant,

    Feedburner isn’t working for some reason. I’ve got 60 something email addresses but they’re not showing up in my feed…which means it might be time for me to switch to Aweber.

    Watched your video here and have a couple of questions.

    First, could you paste that subscribe form code into an arbitrary text widget, instead of just in the sidebar.php file? I’m using a the Freelance Child Theme from Studiopress, and it doesn’t have a sidebar.php file. Of course, the parent theme Genesis has one, but you’re not supposed to edit parent themes.

    Second, where did you get the graphic for the cover of your eBook? Did that come with Aweber or did you have to make it?

    $20 a month. That’s a lot. I’ll have to think about this.

    Oh, and quit using that Windows computer. Get a MacBook Air like I plan to in a few weeks. πŸ™‚

    See ya over at Words With Friends. Thanks for the video.

    1. the Blog Tyrant on February 28, 2011

      I’m sure the guys who made that theme thought about Aweber as they all use it. Reckon you’ll be right.

      The graphic is something I had made for $10.

      Macs are for suckers.

  18. Yaron Mayer on March 1, 2011

    Blog Tyrant,
    Excellent and clear instruction. Will be putting them to use today.
    Thanks a lot.

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