Substack has become a popular platform for writers and content creators to share their work with a wider audience. One of the benefits of Substack is the ability to offer paid subscriptions to readers who want to support the writer’s work. However, not everyone has the means to pay for a subscription, and some writers may want to offer their work for free to certain readers. This is where the option to give away Substack subscriptions for free comes in handy.
Giving away Substack subscriptions for free is a great way to share your work with a wider audience and build your readership. It allows you to reach readers who may not be able to afford a subscription, but who are still interested in your content. Additionally, offering free subscriptions can be a way to show your appreciation for your existing readers and build a stronger connection with them. In this article, we will explore how to give away Substack subscriptions for free, step by step.
Substack is a platform that allows writers to publish newsletters and build a following. It provides a simple and user-friendly interface that allows writers to focus on creating content without worrying about the technical aspects of publishing and distribution.
Substack offers a range of features that make it easy for writers to monetize their content, including the ability to offer paid subscriptions, sell merchandise, and receive donations. Writers can also offer free subscriptions to their readers, which can be a great way to build a following and increase engagement.
One of the key benefits of Substack is its flexibility. Writers can choose to offer both free and paid content, and they can customize the frequency and format of their newsletters to suit their needs. This makes it easy to experiment with different approaches and find the ones that work best for their audience.
Why Give Away Free Subscriptions
Offering free subscriptions can be a powerful tool for attracting new readers and building a loyal audience. Here are a few reasons why giving away free subscriptions can be a smart strategy:
- Attract new readers: By offering a free subscription, you can entice readers who may be on the fence about whether to subscribe to your publication. This can help you grow your audience and increase your reach.
- Build loyalty: Offering free subscriptions can help you build a loyal audience. Readers who receive a free subscription and enjoy your content are more likely to become paying subscribers in the future.
- Generate buzz: Giving away free subscriptions can help generate buzz about your publication. This can help you attract new readers and build your brand.
- Increase engagement: Offering free subscriptions can help increase engagement with your content. Readers who receive a free subscription are more likely to read your content and engage with your publication.
Setting Up Your Substack Account
To give away a Substack subscription for free, you first need to set up a Substack account. Here’s how you can do it:
- Go to the Substack website and click on the “Get started” button.
- Enter your email address and password, or sign up with your Google account.
- Create your publication by entering the name, tagline, and URL of your publication. You can also upload a logo and cover image.
- Customize your publication by choosing a theme, font, and color scheme. You can also add a header image and customize your newsletter’s footer.
- Set up your payment options by connecting your Stripe account. You can choose to offer paid subscriptions, free subscriptions, or both.
- Create your first newsletter by clicking on the “New post” button. You can write your post in the editor, add images and videos, and format your text using the toolbar.
Once you have set up your Substack account, you can start giving away free subscriptions to your readers. Keep in mind that you need to have a paid subscription plan to be able to offer free subscriptions. You can change your subscription plan by following the steps outlined in this Substack support article.
Creating Your Subscription Plan
When creating a subscription plan for your Substack publication, there are a few key factors to consider. Deciding on the subscription tiers and setting up a free tier are both important steps in creating a successful subscription plan.
Deciding on Subscription Tiers
Choosing the right subscription tiers for your Substack publication can be challenging. However, it’s important to offer a variety of options to your readers to ensure that they can choose a plan that best fits their needs.
Consider offering different tiers with varying prices and benefits. For example, you might offer a basic plan that includes access to your newsletter and a premium plan that includes access to exclusive content or personalized coaching sessions.
Setting up Free Tier
Offering a free tier can be a great way to attract new readers and grow your audience. To set up a free tier, navigate to your Substack account settings and click on “Payments” in the left navigation bar. Next, click on “Manage special offers” and select “New special offer”. Under “Terms”, choose “Free trial” and fill out the details, such as the special offer name and description.
By offering a free tier, you can give your readers a taste of your content and encourage them to upgrade to a paid subscription in the future. Just be sure to set clear boundaries and limitations for your free tier to avoid giving away too much content for free.
Promoting Your Free Subscriptions
Once you’ve set up your complimentary Substack subscription, you want to promote it as much as possible to attract new readers. Here are a couple of ways to get started:
Using Social Media
Social media platforms are excellent tools for promoting your free Substack subscription. You can use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other platforms to share a link to your subscription page, along with a brief description of what readers can expect from your content.
Consider creating eye-catching graphics or videos to promote your subscription. You can also use hashtags to help your posts get discovered by a wider audience.
Leveraging Email Marketing
Email marketing is another effective way to promote your free Substack subscription. If you have a list of email subscribers, you can send them a newsletter announcing your complimentary subscription offer.
In your email, make sure to highlight the benefits of your content and explain why readers should sign up for your subscription. You can also include a call-to-action button that links directly to your subscription page.
Remember, the key to successful promotion is to be consistent and persistent. Keep sharing your subscription offer on social media and in your newsletters, and you’re sure to attract new readers over time.
Managing Your Subscriptions
As a Substack publisher, managing your subscriptions is an important part of running your newsletter. Here are some tips for monitoring your subscription numbers and handling subscription renewals.
Monitoring Subscription Numbers
It’s important to keep track of how many subscribers you have, how many are paying, and how many are on a free trial. This information can help you make decisions about pricing, content, and marketing.
One way to monitor your subscription numbers is to use the Substack dashboard. This dashboard provides real-time data on your subscriber count, revenue, and engagement. You can also see how many subscribers are on a free trial and how many have paid for a subscription.
Another way to monitor your subscription numbers is to use analytics tools like Google Analytics. By tracking your website traffic, you can see how many people are visiting your site, how long they are staying, and where they are coming from. This information can help you make decisions about content and marketing.
Handling Subscription Renewals
When a subscriber’s subscription is about to expire, it’s important to handle the renewal process in a timely and professional manner. Here are some tips for handling subscription renewals:
- Send a reminder email a few days before the subscription expires.
- Include a link to the subscription renewal page in the reminder email.
- Make it easy for subscribers to renew their subscription by providing clear instructions and a simple checkout process.
- Offer incentives for subscribers who renew their subscription, such as a discount or exclusive content.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your subscribers have a positive experience with your newsletter and are more likely to renew their subscription in the future.
Evaluating the Impact of Free Subscriptions
Assessing Subscriber Engagement
One of the key metrics to evaluate the impact of free subscriptions is subscriber engagement. This can be measured by analyzing the open rates, click-through rates, and overall engagement of your subscribers. By comparing the engagement rates of your free subscribers to paid subscribers, you can get a sense of how invested your audience is in your content.
If your free subscribers are engaging with your content at a similar rate to your paid subscribers, this may indicate that your content is valuable enough to convert them to paid subscribers. However, if your free subscribers are not engaging with your content, it may be time to re-evaluate your content strategy or consider other tactics to increase engagement.
Measuring Conversion Rates
Another important metric to evaluate the impact of free subscriptions is conversion rates. This measures the percentage of free subscribers who convert to paid subscribers. By tracking conversion rates over time, you can get a sense of how effective your conversion strategy is and make adjustments as needed.
To measure conversion rates, you can use tools like Substack’s built-in analytics or Google Analytics. Look for trends in conversion rates over time and compare them to industry benchmarks to see how your conversion rates stack up.