How to Get Email Subscribers with Viral Reports

Make money on the webThere’s been a flurry of listbuilding courses released recently but I don’t think I have seen any mention of using viral reports as a way to get new email subscribers.

In my last post I wrote about some strategies for content marketing and creating a free report from your content was one of them but you can take it one step further and make it go viral and get more email subscribers.

What is a viral report?

A viral report is  a free report that spreads across your niche like a virus because it contains such good information that your readers want to share it with others.

Have you ever downloaded a free report that doesn’t  have a website link inside? I have and I can’t imagine why any marketer would want to miss a trick like this.

Even if the report does not go viral he’s missed a vital oportunity to entice the reader to his or her website or affiliate site.

What makes a report go viral?


#1 Unique Content

  • Unusual or even controversial ideas. Try to find something that no one else is talking about and it will get shared.
  • Entertaining and engaging content. Even if your content is unusual it won’t get shared if it’s boring to read. Get a ghost writer to write it for you if your writing style sucks.
  • Exceptionally useful content. Give away what others are charging big money for. Check out the latest high selling products on Clickbank or JVZoo for ideas.

Some marketers make the mistake of thinking that, just because they are not directly making money from these reports, it is okay to be cheap with the value.

This is not the way to get email subscribers with viral reports! The report you use for list building has to be so good that people would otherwise pay a good amount of money for it. Only when it is at this level of quality does it have the potential of truly becoming viral and building the number of your subscribers.

#2 Attention Grabbing

No matter how great the content might be if your report is not presented right, it is not going to do your campaign any good. This is one area where those trying to use viral reports to get email subscribers make the majority of their mistakes. The presentation has to be right on target.

This means having a curiosity generating title for the report and an attractive cover.

#3 Incentive to share it

A report that contains the above characteristics will get shared round your niche but you can give readers and incentive to share it by allowing them to change links in the report to their affiliate links before sharing it.

You can do this with Easy Viral Pdf Brander.

Or, if you want some ready made reports to rebrand with your affiliate links take a look here.

# 4. Give rights to share it ( Call to Action)

How many times have you recommended a book to your friends as soon as you finished reading it? You’ve probably added a few personal comments about why you are sharing the book with them, what impacted you most and why you think they will benefit from it, etc. This is a call to action.

Do the same inside your report report. Give your reader the right to give away your report. Ask him to share it with his friends.

# 5. Make Use of Social Media

Even if you are getting great traffic volume to your website or blog, using social media to promote your viral report is essential. After all, the power of social media is the source of truly viral traffic.

Create a YouTube Video about it or get someone on Fiverr to create on for you.  The more people who see your report initially the more likely your report will go viral.

How to get email subcribers from your viral report

Okay, I know what you are thinking now. That’s all very well but if your report gets shared around how do you get people on to your email  list?

Simple! You include a link to an optin page (also known as a landing page or squeeze page)  for another free, related report or offer. If the content of your viral report is good enough your reader is bound to want another report from you.

Have you ever created a report that went viral?  Let me and my readers know in the comment box.

And don’t forget to share this post if you like it and think others will benefit from it. Thanks. 🙂



21 thoughts on “How to Get Email Subscribers with Viral Reports”

  1. Hi Sandy,

    Thanks for sharing this article. You are so right about the value. There are so many poorly written, empty reports on line. The audience is pretty sophisticated these days and when they go into the trouble of giving their email address in return for a report they expect quality. If the quality is lacking they will unsubscribe and will never trust the marketer again.

    I have a problem with the section # 3, “Incentive To Share It”. This is all good when the you sell your report. I have no problem having it re-branded. But when you give out a free report, re-branding is not a good option. You get nothing out of your hard work. I would not offer a rebrandable incentive to a free report



    1. Hi Dita,

      Perhaps I didn’t do a good enough job in explaining the rebranding issue. When you give rights to rebrand you still retain a link to your website or optin page in the report and any other links you choose. You only allow certain links to be rebranded. If you have a product with an affiliate program the person sharing the report simply changes the links inside the report to their affiliate link for your product. You get your report shared and get more sales if your report is enticing enough and affiliate gets his commission. Everyone is happy.

      Have a good week ahead.


  2. Hey Sandy,

    An awesome post, as usual! 🙂

    This is exactly what I’m in the middle of working on right now. I’m hoping to have it ready very soon and then we’ll see how it does 😉

    I think that it’s a good idea to approach an e-book or report in much the similar way to a blog post, ensuring that you take advantage of any opportunities to include relevant links and also a CTA, just as you mentioned.

    I like the idea of linking to an optin page to get subscribers. Really, this is such an obvious thing to do, yet it’s an approach that I possibly wouldn’t have considered if I hadn’t read your post. As you say, it’s simple but I think that it’s such a good idea, one that I’ll definitely be implementing myself when I get my e-book out there. Thanks, Sandy 🙂


    1. Hi Glenn,

      Thanks for your kind words. I will be looking forward to hearing more about your latest project.

      Good luck with it.


  3. Hi Sandy,

    Great post, I really like the idea of creating a viral report to get more email subscribers. I think you can also re-purpose some of your content to create great reports if you don’t want to write it all from scratch. But as you mentioned, the quality needs to be great and the report has to stand out so people are willing to share it as well.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Have a great day,


    1. Hi Navid,

      There is so much we can repurpose when you stop to think about it. When we first start out blogs a lot of the first content we post never gets to see the light of day so it’s a good way to resurrect it.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.


  4. Incredible post, I truly like the thought of making a viral appear for get more virtual mail subscribers. I suppose you can likewise re-reason some of your substance to make extraordinary reports assuming that you would prefer not to send word to everything starting with no outside help. Yet as you said, the quality ought to be extraordinary and the report needs to emerge so individuals are ready to impart it besides.

  5. Hello Sandy,

    Great post! I couldn’t agree with you more. “Curiosity generating titles” works for not just building your list, but also for increasing your open rate. I have over a period of time studied the open rate of my broadcast and auto responder and have concluded that attention grabbing titles usually helps the open rate.

    However, one needs to learn how to strike the balance as it relates to titles or those on our list would come to view us as sensationalists.

    1. Hi Francis,

      Yes, you’re right. There is attention grabbing and attention grabbing. You certainly have to be careful not to go over the top. I tend to ignore the hyped up ones that land in my email box.

      Thanks for your comment.


  6. Hi Sandy,

    Yes, I’ve downloaded free reports that didn’t have a link inside it and felt terrible for the author. There’s such a missed opportunity there. I think it just goes to show that it’s easy to miss things. We can get so involved in getting a certain task done that we forget why we’re doing the task in the first place.

    I think the real trick with free reports is making them useful but also being real and genuine. I also like to encourage readers to ask questions. Reports can be really helpful but questions always come up for readers so I like to be available to get a little more detailed if they need it.


  7. Sandy, I believe that if it gets good results it’s worth giving it a shot. We all at some point and time have given free reports, but they may not have had the quality substance or content that inspired others to share. As Dita says, the aptitude of the readers/marketers are a whole lot more sophisticated in this day and age and IF you put something out, it better be good. Thanks so much for sharing.

  8. Hi Sandy, Great post! I a viral rapport is a great way to spread the word about you and your product. I was just thinking, what do you think about making reports as free amazon books also just to spread the message even futher?ThanksVictor Björklund

    1. Hey Victor, That sounds like a great idea. I hadn’t thought of that. You could not use PLR material for that. Your report would have to be original. Kindle got wise to people submitting PLR books a while back.

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it.


  9. Hi there!
    I’m interested in your idea of how to get email subscribers with viral reports. I can’t agree more with you especially make use of Social Media. Today Social media is the most effective tool to promote or communicate with audiences or customers. Your post give me a lot of interesting points. I really like it. Keep sharing.

  10. Amazed by your first paragraph because i know very less about it and Honestly speaking i haven’t downloaded any ebook doesn’t having any link inside.I don’t think anyone would do that..

    1. Hi Gautam, Well it is kind of unbelievable but it happens. They get a PLR pdf report to give away and there is no source doc with it to add an author bio and website links so they just give it away as it is. You can of course convert it to a word doc yourself and back to a pdf once you have edited it.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.


  11. I have just bought Aweber and am starting email list building and will Surely Use your trick there. 🙂

  12. Hi Sandy,

    I also found that it helps to make clear the benefits of your report. For that reason a squeeze page is also a good idea, in other words don’t just have an opt-in box, also have one page dedicated to just your report. That way you can use that page to link to in any articles or guest post you use.

    Just another idea 🙂


  13. I absolutely love your third suggestion, Sandy – why haven’t I thought about it before?

    Sometimes we “scrooge” over our aff links when we can get so much more in return if we let others have a piece of it.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Ana,

      Good to see you here & glad to have given you an idea for a change! You are quite right about affiliate links. It pays to be generous with affiliates. I tried to get affilates to promote some CD’s I was selling once and was offering 50% commission on the sales. An internet marketing coach I know said I would have to offer more than that to get affiliates interested.


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