How to Require an Email Address to Download a File in WordPress

How to Require an Email Address to Download a File in WordPress

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Wouldn’t it be great to require users to submit their email addresses before downloading a file from your WordPress site?

Encouraging users to share their email addresses in exchange for downloading a file from your WordPress site is a great way to expand your email list and establish valuable connections with your audience.

While the popular Email Before Download plugin is widely used for collecting emails before a download, it’s not the most intuitive solution. My goal in this guide is to walk you through an easier alternative.

Use the Content Download Form Template! 🙂

Why Require Email Addresses for File Downloads?

By requiring email addresses for file downloads, you can unlock a multitude of benefits that can help you grow and connect with your audience, such as:

  • Growing Your Email List:  By requiring email addresses for file downloads, you can grow your email list with people who have shown a genuine interest in your content.
  • Tracking User Interactions: By tracking user engagement, you can better understand what your audience is interested in and adjust your content strategy accordingly.
  • Enhancing Your Marketing Efforts: With email addresses in hand, you can create targeted email marketing campaigns based on users’ downloaded files, providing them with even more value.
  • Nurturing Relationships with Subscribers: By emailing subscribers, you can provide personalized content, exclusive deals, and timely updates that keep them engaged with your brand.

To require email before downloads, you can easily set up a form using WPForms and the Content Download Form Template.

Collect Emails for File Downloads Now

How to Require Email Addresses for File Downloads

Follow the steps below to set up a file download form with a required email address field using the WPForms plugin.

Step 1: Installing and Activating WPForms

WPForms is a user-friendly form builder plugin for WordPress that allows you to create any type of form. This includes file download forms that require users to provide their email addresses before downloading.

The plugin comes with a wide range of pre-built templates, as well as a variety of addons to enhance your signup forms. It also offers excellent customer support and documentation to ensure you have a smooth form-building experience.

The WPForms homepage

Ready to get started with WPForms? Great! Refer to this guide on how to install a plugin on WordPress.

Then, follow these simple steps to require email addresses for file downloads using the Content Download Form template.

Step 2: Using the Content Download Form Template

Let’s get started on creating your form! From your dashboard, go to WPForms and click on the Add New button to begin creating your form.

Add new form wpforms

Choose a name for your form that reflects its purpose, then select the Content Download Form template from the array of options to help make the process easier.

Use the content download form template

After selecting the template, WPForms will work its magic and open the form builder interface, where you can preview your form on the right side.

Preview Content Download Form Template

Here, you can add, edit, delete, or reposition any field by simply clicking it. By default, the Content Download Form template will make the email field required.

Email set as required in template

In case you’re creating a new contact form, you can enable this option manually by clicking on Email and then going to Field Options and marking it as Required.

Make email required manually

Furthermore, you can also click on Submit and replace the button text to read Download or any other text to attract business and reach new clientele.

Change submit button text to download

💡 Pro tip: People are much more likely to convert if you make your submit button text more descriptive. You can try using variations like “Unlock Your Download” or “Download [File Name]”. There’s a higher risk of abandonment if you simply use the word “Submit”.

Step 3: Configuring Email Notifications for Form Entries

Now that your form is edited to perfection, it’s time to move on to the next step. Head over to the Settings tab to tweak the email notification settings.

Form notification setting

Now, you have 2 options here. The first is to receive an email notification directly in your inbox whenever someone fills out the form.

The default notification for a file download form

The second is to create a custom message that will be sent to users upon completing your download form. To do this, click on the Add New Notification button.

Adding a new notification

Next, give the notification a name like User Confirmation and fill out all the required fields, including a personalized Email Subject Line and Message.

A user confirmation notification for a file download form

Since WordPress notification emails are set to use PHP, your notifications may be flagged as spam by many inboxes. To avoid this, consider configuring your SMTP settings for improved email delivery.

Don’t forget to save your settings before moving on, as you’ll be navigating away from the form builder in the next step! Simply hit the Save button at the top of the screen to ensure your progress is not lost.

Saving the form

Step 4: Adding the Download Link on Your WordPress Page

Ready to add a download link to your WordPress page or post? The good news is that it’s super easy with the block editor.

This is the page where users will be sent to download your file after they provide their email addresses in your form.

First, open up the page or post where you want to add the download link. Then, click the plus (+) button to access the block options and search for the File block.

Choosing the file block

To add a file, you can click on the Upload button and select a file from your device, or choose one from your Media Library that you’ve uploaded before.

Upload the downloadable file

Voila! The download link for your pdf file is automatically created. When a user clicks on this link, the file will begin downloading.

Edit download link text

If you want to change the name of the download link to something snazzier, simply click on the text and edit it.

To give your download link a little extra pizazz, you can also customize the way it’s displayed through the block settings in the right-hand panel.

You can show a Download button, embed the file, or make the file open in a new tab by clicking on the toggles adjacent to them.

Change download link display settings

Step 5: Editing Confirmation Message After Download

Great job! Time to set up what your users see after filling out the form. Navigate back to the form builder, open the Settings tab again, and click on the Confirmations option.

Next, click on the Confirmation Type dropdown menu and select the Show Page option. Now, all you have to do is choose the page that you added the file download link to.

Show page confirmation type

You can give users the option to download a file by displaying a message with a link or redirecting them to the file download URL using the Message or Go to URL confirmation types.

Once you’ve set up your confirmation, make sure to save your form again.

Step 6: Displaying the Form on Your WordPress Site

Get ready to embed your form on a new post or page in WordPress! First, create a new page or open an existing one in the block editor. Then, simply click the Add Block button and find the WPForms block to get started.

Add the wpforms widget

Next, select your form from the dropdown menu in the WPForms block. Then Publish or update your page or post, and your form will now be live on your site.

Require email address form preview

Collect Emails for File Downloads Now

FAQs about Requiring Email for File Downloads

Do you have more questions about capturing emails with a content download form? Here are a few commonly asked questions that might offer additional context:

Can I customize the email capture form for downloading files in WordPress?

Absolutely. With WPForms, customizing your form is easy. You can use the drag-and-drop editor to change add or remove any fields, change the layout of your fields, and add conditional logic. You’re also free to edit the appearance of your form from the WordPress block editor.

How do I manage or export the email addresses collected from the download form?

If you’re on a paid version of WPForms, all the email addresses you collect with your form will be stored in your WordPress database. You can view the collected email address from the WPForms Entries screen, which also allows you to export a single email address or bulk export the collected email addresses in a CSV in just a few clicks.

Is it possible to integrate the email collection with my email marketing service in WordPress?

Yes, you can integrate your WordPress forms with email marketing services like Drip, Constact Contact, Brevo, Mailchimp, and more very easily. WPForms includes native integrates for popular email marketing services. You can set these up without any code and then automatically send emails that you collect via your form to your email marketing tool.

Can users bypass the email requirement to download files in WordPress?

No, if you’ve set the email field as a required field in your form, users won’t be able to bypass this requirement to download files. You’ll need to mark this field as optional if you want people to be able to bypass the email field in WordPress, though I don’t recommend doing this.

Can I limit the number of downloads per email submitted in WordPress?

You can require the Email field value to be unique for every submission if you have the WForms Form Locker addon enabled. However, you can’t specify the number of downloads per email in WPForms.

Can I set up automatic email responses after a user submits their email for a download in WordPress?

Yes, you can set up automated email responses that trigger after form submission. By default, WPForms sends you an email with the entry submitted by a visitor. But you can also create a separate email notification for the visitor only.

You have full freedom to use this email in any way you see fit. For instance, you can use it to send the download link to the visitor directly through the email or custom thank you message, along with any other details you want to add.

Next, Track the Performance of Your File Downloads

Are you curious about how your users interact with your downloadable files? You may learn a lot about your audience’s preferences and how to better serve them by monitoring digital downloads using Google Analytics.

Looking for a more clean and organized way to present complex data on your WordPress forms? It may also be a good idea for you to explore our guide on how to create accordion form designs to boost your website’s functionality and user experience.

Create Your WordPress Form Now

Ready to build your form? Get started today with the easiest WordPress form builder plugin. WPForms Pro includes lots of free templates and offers a 14-day money-back guarantee.

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