Pretty much everyone I work with offers a downloadable gift to their readers to entice them to sign up to their email list. Me, Website Superhero? I have a Superhero WordPress Plugins Guide you can get for free at the top of the page (don’t have it yet? Scroll up!). Other gals and dudes have email marketing e-books, guided meditations, green smoothie recipes — you name it. And it’s a great idea if you want to grow your mailing list and give some love back to the peeps in your online business world.
So wait, wait, Nat, this sounds epic. But how do you DO this?
I’m going to show you how to provide PDF downloads from Dropbox as one of the best ways to deliver digital gifts. It is very simple and takes just a couple of steps and you should celebrate afterward (I suggest wine and/or cookies). You’ll also hear about my childhood trauma in this video. Super fun!
Like I mentioned in this blog post covering how to set up a downloadable file for your readers, a fantastic place to host your PDF or other downloadable file if you are a WordPress user is WordPress itself. If not, other optimal places are Dropbox and Amazon S3, especially if the file in question is enormous, whether it’s a PDF or audio or video or .zip file, as distributing large files on your domain can slow your whole site down, and further your email management system provider (MailChimp, Aweber, etc.) doesn’t allow you to host files larger than around 10MB on their site. Note for people developing e-courses: don’t host your large files on your site!
Keep in mind that you’ll set up everything else the same way: you’ll still have a Thank You page on your site or a Thank You email in MailChimp/etc. We’re only changing where the file you want people to download is hosted. Then, you’ll just paste in the link to your shared file on Dropbox instead of the link to your file on WordPress.
By the way, depending on how big your file is (up to 2GB), you can get away with using the free plan of Dropbox. Woo!
So now let’s see how to provide PDF downloads from Dropbox!