How to Create a Simple Lead Magnet Optin Form in WordPress

Do you want to grow your email list with a lead magnet? Offering a lead magnet like a free ebook in exchange for your visitors’ email addresses is a great strategy to grow your email list. In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know to set up a lead magnet newsletter campaign in WordPress.

What are Lead Magnets?

Lead magnets or optin bribes are incentives you offer to your newsletter subscriber in exchange for their email addresses to grow your email list.

You can offer a downloadable resource as a lead magnet to your subscribers such as PDF ebook, report, whitepaper, etc.

Offering a lead magnet for email subscription encourages your visitors to submit their email addresses. Undoubtedly, it is one the best ways to tremendously grow your email list.

Create and Upload Your Lead Magnet

Before we get started, you’ll have to decide on what lead magnet you’re going to offer to your subscribers. It could be a PDF ebook or any other digital resource.

For more lead magnet ideas, you can read 69 irresistible lead magnet ideas.

WPForms is the best WordPress Form Builder plugin. Get it for free!

Once you decided on the lead magnet, you can create it and upload it to your WordPress website. You can upload your lead magnet just like you upload an image through the Media library by visiting Media » Add New.

media upload

Alternatively, you can upload it to a cloud storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox. You might want to block search engines, so it isn’t indexed.

Hide Your Lead Magnet From Google

You can use the robots.txt file of your site to not index your lead magnet.

For example, let’s assume that you want to hide a PDF ebook from search engines with a URL like this:

To hide it from search engines, here is how you will add this URL to your robots.txt file.

User-agent: *
Disallow: /2016/12/my-ebook.pdf

For more details, you can read how to hide a page from Google.

Create a Lead Magnet Signup Form

Next, you’ll need to set up your lead magnet signup form. To do this, install and activate the WPForms plugin. You can learn how to install a plugin here.

WPForms comes with tons of different addons that let you connect your forms with several email newsletter tools like AWeber, Mailchimp, etc.

Below are a few tutorials that explain how to create a newsletter signup form with your preferred email service provider.

lead magnet signup form

In the signup form, make sure to explain about the lead magnet you’re offering. This can encourage your visitors to subscribe to your list.

Set Up a Subscription Confirmation Page

Once your visitors subscribe to your list, you can direct them to a page that confirms that they’ve been successfully added to the list. This is where your visitors can download the lead magnet.

By default, your email service provider hosts both these pages on their website. It is always recommended to create a custom confirmation page and host it on your own website, so you can use your website’s branding on that page, in turn increasing engagement.

To create a confirmation page, go to Pages » Add New.

lead magnet form confirmation page


Here, you can thank your subscribers for signing up, and provide a link to your lead magnet so they can access it.

Redirect Subscribers to Confirmation Page

If you’re using Mailchimp, you can redirect your subscribers to the confirmation page by logging into your Mailchimp account. Navigate to your Lists page and click the drop-down menu next to the list you want to work with.

create mailchimp form

Now choose Signup forms.

lists dropdown signupforms

Select General Forms.

general forms

Click the forms and response emails drop-down menu and choose Confirmation thank you page.

confirmation thank you page

In the Instead of showing this thank you page, send subscribers to another URL field, input the URL where you host your custom page. Then click Save.

configure confirmation page

If you’re not using MaiChimp, you can follow the below guides from your email service provider to create and configure custom URL for your confirmation page.

Deliver the Lead Magnet through a Welcome Email

Again, if you’re using Mailchimp, you can go to the General Forms page just like the above step.

Select the Final welcome email from the forms and response emails drop-down menu near the top of the page.

final welcome email

In the Build it tab, click inside the red dashed lines to open the editor.

edit welcome email

Customize the welcome email and provide a link to the lead magnet.

If you’re using other email service providers, you can refer to these guides:

Final Thoughts

That’s it!We hope this guide helped you to create a simple lead magnet campaign in WordPress.

If you like this article, you might also want to read our guide to get more thank you page ideas.

Plus. you might also like some other Mailchimp related posts:

What are you waiting for? Get started with the most powerful WordPress forms plugin today.

If you like this article, then please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more free WordPress tutorials.

Using WordPress and want to get WPForms for free?

Enter the URL to your WordPress website to install.


  1. If I want to use mailchimp’s welcome email to deliver the lead magnet, I will need one list for each lead magnet, correct?
    So if one user wants to download several lead magnets, he/she would have to subscribe to several lists and I will have them duplicated…. right?

    1. Hi Claudia,

      This depends a bit on what you have in mind. A lead magnet is generally intended to ‘tempt’ users to sign up for your mailing list — so most often sites will just use this approach once (even if the user gets signed up for more than one mailing list).

      If you wanted to try this approach, MailChimp has something called ‘groups’ that can help you to reduce the number of mailing lists you have. So in a single mailing list you can have as many groups as you like and even send targeted campaigns to specific groups (here’s more detail from MailChimp’s site). From there, you could send additional download links, etc to your subscribers if you’d like.

      In case it helps, here’s a screenshot of MailChimp integration on my test site. This shows MailChimp groups being used, as well as conditional logic (so I’m signing users up to different groups based on their selections in the form).

      I hope this helps! If you’d like any help getting integration set up how you’d like, please let us know and we’d be happy to help 🙂

      1. Hi Jess, thanks for your response to Claudia, as that is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I just wanted to ask, to have different downloads for different groups I’d need to have the paid version of wpforms?

      2. Hey Tansy – Yes, you will need our Mailchimp addon for this, which is available with Plus license level or higher. Here is our pricing page for more details on each license.

        Have a good one 🙂

  2. When you create the confirmation page on WordPress, won’t others just visiting your website then have access to that page with the download info without having to subscribe? Also, if I have a bunch of different free content I’d like to share (ex. Free game printables in a post I wrote about baby shower games … or a free sign printable they can download to place on a gift basket post I made) in exchange for their email – would I use “groups” in mailchimp to automatically send them the specific material they are wanting? And then would they be automatically in the main list – receiving my “main welcome letter” too after receiving their specified free content they signed up for? I’m so confused.

    1. Hi Kayla,

      Great questions. If you’re planning on using MailChimp, then adding your download links right into your MailChimp emails is the way to go. What you’re describing would go into 2 different types of emails:

      1) MailChimp Welcome Email: This is the first email your subscribers get, right after subscribing. So this is where you’d add your lead magnet download link — whatever you used to ‘tempt’ the user to sign up 🙂 Here’s MailChimp’s tutorial on this, which they call a ‘Final Welcome Email’.

      2) Regular MailChimp Campaign Emails: These are all of the other emails you send out to your subscribers. What you include is totally up to you (you can send links to free downloads, newsletter content, etc). Here’s MailChimps’s tutorial on starting a campaign.

      All MailChimp emails, though, are set up 100% through the MailChimp site and not managed through WPForms. Our forms will just get this process started by building up your subscriber list. And in case it helps, here’s our tutorial on connecting to MailChimp Groups.

      I realize this may feel like a lot of information, and we’re happy to help! If you get started and have any questions, please let us know 🙂

  3. Hey there,

    Is there a way that I can have the lead magnet form pop up on my website (wordpress) when someone first clicks on my site?

    Thank you!!

    1. Hi Chelsea,

      Yes you can definitely do this — however, the approach will depend on which popup plugin you use.

      In case it helps, here’s our tutorial on using OptinMonster (our sister company) for a form popup. In OptinMonster, you can set display rules (more on that here) to decide when a popup displays (such as ‘after X seconds’ or only on certain pages).

      If you’d prefer to use a different popup option, I’d recommend checking out their docs or getting in touch with their support team to find out if these kinds of settings are available/how to set that up.

      I hope that helps! 🙂

  4. Hi, With mail chimp, does it work with yahoo within ? Also, how many subscribers does mail chimp work with, I’m just starting out, so I only have a few at present..will I lose my present subscribers if I change to mail chimp? Final, third question, will my subscribers get a notification that I have published a new blog post, and do I need to do some settings or something to connect/make mail chimp and yahoo talk to each other?

    1. Hi Laura,

      In order to get the most expert answers to your questions, I’d recommend reaching out to MailChimp’s team. While we can assist with integrating WPForms with a MailChimp account, the questions shared here are fully about setup within MailChimp and so their team will be able to assist you best.


  5. Hi. This really doesn’t explain well what I am looking for. I want just a simple contact form that allows the user to download a PDF file immediately after they enter their name and email address. I don’t want to have to send them the download link in an email and I want the form to send me an email with their information after they download the form. It’s really that simple. But how?

    1. Hi Mark,

      What you can do is include a link to the PDF in the confirmation message that appears on screen after a user has submitted the form. However, you’ll receive an email notification after the user has submitted the form, NOT after they’ve downloaded the file from the confirmation page.

      I hope this helps!

      1. Hi Daisy,

        I want to do the same as Mark – but I want to know what PDF they download, so that I can follow up with them. So basically I want to receive their email address and the PDF link / name. How would I do that?


      2. Hey Bridget – Thanks for reaching out! What Daisy suggested will include your specific PDF link in the confirmation message so you already know which PDF are you allowing them to download. I assume you have some different use cases here. We might need some more details on this to provide the best possible solution.

        Would you mind creating a support ticket for this? If you have a WPForms license, you have access to our email support, so please submit a support ticket. Otherwise, we provide limited complimentary support in the WPForms Lite support forum.

        Thanks 🙂

  6. Hi, great article that helped me a lot, I have created a new Opt-in and as I have used MailChimp before I’m sure I’ll work out how to upload it to MailChimp and have any new subscribers benefit from it. My main question is I see some blogs have a static image of their Opt-in be it an E-book or PDF type file. It just makes the blog look prettier as well as giving new readers an instant in your face Click Here type feel. I hope that makes sense. Any ideas on how I go about this?

    1. Hi Lee,

      We don’t have a built-in way to do this but I would recommend checking out WPBeginner, where they have a ton of different articles and guides that might help point you in the right direction.

      I hope this helps!

  7. How would this work if you want to have a resource library with several different PDFs? I would like to have it set up where each time someone subscribes they have access to my resource library. How could I set this up?

    1. Hi Katie, thanks for the question!
      The easiest way is to create a password protected page with the library, and then send the password to it within the Notification email once a user subscribes through a form on your site.
      Here is a good tutorial on how to set up Notifications in WPForms.
      In case you will have more questions regarding this, if you have a WPForms license, you have access to our email support, so please submit a support ticket.
      Otherwise, we provide limited complimentary support in the WPForms Lite support forum.

Add a Comment

We're glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our privacy policy, and all links are nofollow. Do NOT use keywords in the name field. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.

This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.