MailChimp Tutorial: Sending Out Reward for Sign Up

MailChimp is the service I use to maintain my mailing list and I chose it instead of aWeber primarily because you can have up to 1,000 subscribers and send out 6,000 emails per month for free without having a monthly subscription fee.  In addition the templates and social options like showing logo’s/pictures for all your subscribers and the mail editors appeared to be more to what I was looking for at the time.

One reader asked me how they can send out free eBooks automatically with MailChimp and I wanted to share this with others who may have a similar question.

MailChimp can send out a “Final Welcome” letter which will be a final email delivered to your subscribers after they confirm their email subscription.  It is this final email letter where you will want to include your free eBook or download for them to pick up.

MailChimp does not allow you to include “attachments” in the final welcome emails so you will always be having a “link” where the subscriber can download their freebie by clicking on the link.

When making a “download” link you can either host the file on your own website or blog, or you can upload a file to MailChimp and have them retrieve it from MailChimp directly which is a better option if you don’t want that file to be publicly found on your own blog.

For this purpose let’s say you want MailChimp to host the file so that you don’t have to upload it to your own blog.

To update your Final Welcome Email click on your “Lists” and then the “Forms” sub menu.  From there you select “Final Welcome Email” from the forms & response emails drop down list.


Inside your Final Welcome Email, you would just make sure you click on the “Design It” button and edit the body of the email, here you would type whatever text you want and select the text you want to link to your uploaded eBook, in the example image I am linking “FREE eBook” to the PDF file I want to upload to MailChimp.

Click on “Insert Link” and then click on “Upload”.  Select the file (PDF, ZIP, DOC…etc) that you want to upload and click “Send to the server”.  Then MailChimp will present you with a  URL that you can use to retrieve your uploaded file, something that looks like this:



Now, you are finished once you save the configuration and any new users who sign up for your mailing list will get a link to the file so they can download it in their final welcome email.

Note, MailChimp is extremely flexible and you can create conditional tags and customize your Final Welcome Email based on those Conditional tags.  Let’s say if someone signed up and chose “technology” as what they were interested in, you can send them a PDF related to that category instead of “blogging” if somebody chose blogging.

To read how to use conditional tags for Final Welcome Email, I recommend you look at this article on MailChimp’s blog:

Any questions or comments, let me know I am always wanting to know and hear from my readers.

PS. You can also use the same “download” logic to add free downloads to auto responders which are sent out X # of days after someone signs up, or even include them in newsletters.

-Dragon Blogger

Justin Germino
Working in the IT Industry for over 13 years and specializing in web based technologies. Dragon Blogger has unique insights and opinions to how the internet and web technology works. An Avid movie fan, video game fan and fan of trying anything and everything new.
Justin Germino


Technology, Gaming and Wordpress blogger who runs gadget giveaways, helps others with blogging tips, monetization, earning and more!
The latest Dragon Blogger News Roundup! Thanks to @ibucketbot @rileyonfilm #wordpress #blogengage - 43 mins ago
Justin Germino
By | 2013-10-19T13:22:43+00:00 January 26th, 2011|blogging|37 Comments

About the Author:

Working in the IT Industry for over 13 years and specializing in web based technologies. Dragon Blogger has unique insights and opinions to how the internet and web technology works. An Avid movie fan, video game fan and fan of trying anything and everything new.


  1. TrafficColeman January 26, 2011 at 7:14 am - Reply

    I suggest mailchimp to anyone who is not ready to pay a monthly subscription for a auto responder…i have only heard good things about this software..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  2. DiTesco January 26, 2011 at 7:49 am - Reply

    Excellent tutorial Justin. I use MailChimp myself but really have not the time to get to learn all the “sweet” stuff that one can do. This one will be a project I will be looking at as currently, all I have is a “Thank You”. Not very appealing I must admit. Thanks!

  3. tonyknuckles @113Tidbits January 26, 2011 at 8:54 am - Reply

    Thanks for the great walk-thru on the use of the MailChimp service.

    Definitely looking into this after I get my accounts and lists back in order.

  4. Brankica January 26, 2011 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    Justin, thanks so much. Being completely new to MailChimp I need any tutorial I can get, and covering the delivery of incentive is probably the most useful info at this moment.
    Hope to see more of these MailChimp tutorials 🙂

    • Justin Germino January 26, 2011 at 12:24 pm - Reply

      I will be and creating MailChimp Tutorials and adding them to my YouTube/DragonBlogger channel soon as well.

  5. Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing January 28, 2011 at 8:36 am - Reply

    Do they allow attachments on any mails?

    • Justin Germino January 28, 2011 at 8:49 am - Reply

      No, MailChimp does not allow you to actually include attachments in the email itself, it must be linked to a file download location. Really, imagine if someone had a mailing distribution list of 100k users and sent a 5mb attachment to all of them, the amount of data would potentially cripple mail servers.

  6. Sire January 29, 2011 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    I’ve been using MailChimp for awhile now and I absolutely love it. It’s got everything I need and all for free. I didn’t know about this feature so I must thank you for presenting this tutorial. I haven’t anything to offer as a gift at the moment but when I do this will come in handy.

  7. [email protected] core January 29, 2011 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    Great tip! Its really a good thing Mail Chimp has this added features. This will definitely come in handy.

  8. Glynis Jolly January 30, 2011 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much! I tried to do a page that is password protected but the protection doesn’t work. This is great!

  9. jenn @ t1 service February 2, 2011 at 11:26 am - Reply

    Does anyone know how this service compares to Constant Contact? We are test-driving that now, but not certain whether we want to use it forever.

    • Justin Germino February 2, 2011 at 12:20 pm - Reply

      I had never heard of or used Constant Contact before so I can’t give reference.

      • jenn @ t1 service February 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm - Reply

        Okay, no problem. Thanks for the reply!

  10. [email protected] Web Media April 5, 2011 at 10:21 am - Reply

    Good post.

    I like MailChimp and how powerful it is, but realistically their interface is not very organized and it is harder than expected to figure you way around it.

    Wish they had more of an organized tutorials than a blog.

    In my future articles I might also post a good in-depth tutorial about their various features.

  11. Cornelius Henry April 26, 2011 at 11:40 am - Reply

    I was asked to do a gig at and I was having some problem setting up the mailchimp account….indeed mailchimp is a good autoresponder, for newbie but it needs some step by step tutorial.

  12. Lindsay May 26, 2011 at 9:43 pm - Reply

    Great post! Thanks for this helpful tutorial.

  13. navyatha July 20, 2011 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    Hey great information!I am new to setting up emailing and marketing..I found this information very helpful! very easy follow!

    • Justin Germino July 20, 2011 at 10:22 pm - Reply

      Glad you found the info helpful, let me know if you have any MailChimp questions. I have been using them for over a year.

      • Ilya August 4, 2011 at 8:01 pm - Reply


        Thanks for the information. I saw the final url. People receive this as a link in their final confirmation email, which is great of course. But is that link unique to their email? I would like to make sure that the link can only be used once and that it cannot be used over and over again as it would ruin the whole point of offering a valuable ebook after subscribing.

        Do you know if uploads via Mailchimp also protect the actual file? Or perhaps any other services where I know that the file is protected (like a session or something that expires after a few days?).



  14. Melanie Dilday August 21, 2011 at 6:53 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much for this tutorial. One problem for me tho…I can’t find the ‘insert link’ button…???????

  15. ilyahouben September 16, 2011 at 8:19 pm - Reply

    Nice article. Trying to imlpement it now. Already asked a question, but you might not have seen it.

    Do you perhaps know if the link to that file is ‘protected’ by MailChimp? When people see that link, can they send it to others so they too have easy access to the pdf? I am thinking of sending out a nice ebook, but wouldn’t want it to be either indexed or easily passed through to others.

    Any insights would be very welcome!



  16. Dragon Blogger September 18, 2011 at 8:24 pm - Reply

    @ilyahouben If someone knows the link, then I think anyone can download it. But the link would only really be able to be found if someone copied it from your site or email where you were showing the link.

    I don’t know if you could provide a login/password protection for any hosted files, I don’t think you could do this without hosting the file in your own site and password protecting that page and providing the link + password in your email to reader.

  17. Dragon Blogger September 18, 2011 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    It should look like a chain link

  18. sixfigureladies October 15, 2011 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    great post, thanks for sharing, exactly what I was looking for. the only remaining question for me then is where to get the “get free ebook” image for the side bar? i see on a lot of websites people have an image of the first page of their ebook and some text with it, there must be a template for this as well?

    • Dragon Blogger October 16, 2011 at 7:13 am - Reply

      @sixfigureladies There was some software I remember that you can buy that creates those instant “eBook” pictures with your book title and makes them appealing. The name of the software eludes me, but I think I remember seeing it mentioned on or at some point. Might search for “ebook cover creator” or something like that.

  19. Leslie Sansone Williams March 25, 2012 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the info, Justin. Worked like a charm for my free giveaway. Your blog as well as @KimGarst and @SandiKrakowski are terrific resources!

    • Dragon Blogger March 25, 2012 at 6:06 pm - Reply

      [email protected] Sansone [email protected]@SandiKrakowski Glad it helped, I haven’t done a MailChimp tutorial in a while been so busy with the giveaways I haven’t been running as many newsletters as of late.

  20. bmickey31 April 20, 2012 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    I just ran through your tutorial on how to add my ebook on mailchip but it seems that mailchimp has changed their website. Everything is not where it says it is. After i get to the final welcome email and build it in the body there is no place for me to add a link or write in my message. Any thoughts in what I am doing wrong?

    • Dragon Blogger April 23, 2012 at 6:53 am - Reply

      [email protected]’s still there, click on Final Welcome Email, click on “Design it” over near the your subscription to our list has been confirmed, there will be an edit show up if you hover, click on edit and here you have ability to click on the “link” button and upload a file to include in your welcome email.

    • Dragon Blogger April 23, 2012 at 6:55 am - Reply

      [email protected] is a screen print of it

  21. ThemeAwesome September 3, 2012 at 7:42 am - Reply

    Just wanted to say thanks for the info. It worked like a charm and even though MailChimp may have moved things around I was still able to add my file as per your instructions.

  22. ThemeAwesome September 3, 2012 at 7:43 am - Reply

    Just wanted to say your instructions worked like a charm. Even though MailChimp may have change their layout, I was able to find everything I needed. Again thank you.

  23. Demi Barbra Angeles May 17, 2013 at 2:28 am - Reply

    Hi Justin! Is it possible to link a Mailchimp sign up to a ‘download’ button instead of just putting a widget on the blog? Thanks!

    • Justin Germino May 17, 2013 at 6:43 am - Reply

      Are you referring to the place to download the gift after they sign up, or the sign up process itself? The sign up has to be a form that collects the email name…etc, so it doesn’t have to be a widget, but it has to be a form somewhere hosted, it can be a link button that redirects them to Mailchimps own sign up page instead of a widget on your blog. Once you get that part you control what you want the “auto reply gift” to be, it can be a link to somewhere, web page, form, a button that links to a download file in an email…etc.

  24. andreas October 2, 2013 at 5:44 am - Reply

    great article!!

  25. Ed Lewis April 5, 2014 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    Justin, how do you do this if you have a custom form that requires a form action code? I have be struggling with this.

    • Justin Germino April 5, 2014 at 2:55 pm - Reply

      Unfortunately this article is 3 years old and I haven’t used MailChimp in years, using SimplyCast and SendInBlue so I don’t know how much the system has changed or if there is something different that has to be done. This trigger email should be set as the welcome email that goes out after they fill out the sign up form, so it doesn’t matter what you have for your form or action code.

Leave A Comment