In this post, I will show you exactly how to create a free email challenge (or course) in 7 simple steps.


How to create a free challenge to set yourself apart

How to create a free email challenge to set yourself apart in a crowded market #fitnessbusiness Click To Tweet


Free challenges are extremely effective in a crowded health and fitness industry.


You see others doing free challenges online and think they look cool, but you have no idea where you would even start to offer your own.


I am here to tell you that they do not have to be so daunting!


In fact, it can really be quite simple – and free – to offer a super valuable challenge to your potential clients.


A challenge will help you stand out. It provides more support, guidance, and personal touch than a free download can.


It gets your readers results. Taking them on a journey from point A to point B. And leaves them asking, “what’s next?”


Let’s dive into the 7 simple steps to creating your free email challenge!


Quick note: Don’t let the tech stuff hold you up. You can now do a free email challenge or course in MailChimp.

If you do not use MailChimp, read this post (How to Offer a Freebie on Your Blog + a MailChimp Tutorial for Beginners) and go sign up for a free account.


Step 1 – Come up with an outline

For example… Let’s say your ideal client is a busy mom and you are going to offer a free 7 day email challenge about taking simple steps to ditch the diet mentality. Type or write out each day’s theme.


Step 2 – Do some research + fill in the content

Now that you have your idea and outline, take some time to do a little more research on your topic.


Content is EVERYWHERE.


You want to make sure you are providing lots of VALUE. A freebie should be MORE than just a typical blog post.


Go back to your outline and start to fill in each key point with valuable content.


Keep it simple and to the point. You want to provide value but don’t want to overwhelm your reader.


Include an actionable step at the end of each day/outline point. You want to have the person take action and see a transformation at the end of your challenge or course.


Get them from point A to point B, and they will be asking how you can take them to point C (enter your paid product or service.)


Remember, the goal is to solve a problem for them (take them from point A to point B). This allows you to gain your readers trust and the logical next step is for them to want to know how to get to point C.


Step 3 – Bonuses

Adding extra value to your freebie will really set you apart. You want to really WOW your new email subscriber. Think of something a little extra you can add to your freebie.


Maybe with that 7 day challenge, you include 10 simple + healthy recipes with 5 ingredient or less (perfect for busy moms).


Amy Porterfield has a podcast episode about creating bonuses for your course that might help give you some ideas.


Step 4 – Final touches

Decide on a name for your freebie that clearly states what you are offering.


If you are stuck, post to your Facebook page or create a poll in your group and ask! This also a grat way to generate some buzz before actually launching the challenge!


Pay Fiver or create a cover for your freebie in Canva.


Go back and review your content. Edit it. Take out any fluff. Less is more.


If you expect to have a lot of people in the challenge, creating a private Facebook group is a fun way to generate some excitement and group support. It also adds extra value because you show up in the group every day to answer questions and support the challengers.


If you already have a FB group, invite the members to participate in the challenge and tell them you will be using the group to check in. Nicole Culver does this very well in her Blissful Bites group.


Step 5 – Set it up in MailChimp

If you don’t have a MailChimp account, you can sign up for one for free (accounts are free up to a certain number of subscribers).


This post explains exactly how to create an opt-in for your freebie on your blog using MailChimp.


Once you have a “landing page” set up (the page people sign up for the free challenge), you will want to send a “Final Welcome Email”


Use this email to thank your reader and get them excited for your challenge.


Here is an example:

Hey name,

The XXX Challenge OFFICIALLY kicks off in your inbox tomorrow!

I am super excited to help you problem you are solving so that you can solution they will get.

Here are a few things you can do in the meantime:

  • Come introduce yourself in the Facebook group!
  • Invite a friend to join you. Studies show that when we have accountability we’re more likely to achieve your goals! (Here’s a sign up link for quick reference –> XXX)
  • Make sure you mark this email on your “white list” so that all my emails end up in your inbox
  • GET EXCITED because big stuff is coming soon!

See ya soon!


P.S. Anything that I 100% MUST cover? Just hit reply and let me know!


Next, use MailChimp’s free automated service to set up your challenge.


Schedule emails to go out every day for the length of your challenge.


Be sure to include an action item for each challenge and encourage them to share in the Facebook group (if you have one)!


Step 6 – Blog posts and media

Blog posts related to your freebie are a great way to create some buzz and show your ideal client WHY your freebie will be so valuable to them.


For example… If you are offering an email course about ditching the diet mentality, you could write a blog post about why diets are not sustainable and how eating intuitively changed your life.


Write a blog post or two related to WHY your freebie is of value. Be sure to include a pinnable image and a link to the freebie sign up page.


This post is an example, I will direct you to a free offer at the end 😉


Next, think of some websites or podcasts that your ideal customers listen to or read. Use this free download that Lisa Simone Richards shared in her Fitpreneur Interview: 7 Pillars of the Perfect Pitch and go pitch to five websites/podcasts.


Step 7 – Promote, promote, promote!

Here are some tips of ways to promote your free offer:

  • Create social media promotional pieces in Canva. Some examples include IG posts, FB page and Twitter cover photos, Twitter post, Pinnable image, image to click within blog posts or blog side bar directing readers to your free offer.
  • Take a look at your Google Analytics and identify your most popular posts. Go back and add a link to the free challenge or course as an upgrade.
  • Share your blog posts and/or freebie offer on social media: update FB + Twitter covers, post to FB and IG, pin to personal and group Pinterest boards, share within FB groups that allow it.
  • Add a pop up on your blog with a link sign up for the challenge.
  • Include a link on blog side bar, the header menu, and your ABOUT page.


You have to offer something amazing for free in order to show you have something even more amazing for sale Click To Tweet



Still stuck? Don’t know what kind of challenge to offer?


Got ya covered.



Discover the 5 Simple Steps for Crafting the Perfect Freebie to Grow Your Email List and Attract Your Ideal Client.

Unsubscribe at any time. You are also agreeing to our privacy policy. Powered by ConvertKit



Don’t have the time and need a free challenge ASAP?


Got ya covered there too.


I have a done-for-you challenge opt-in that includes 5 days worth of emails and challenges, landing page and follow up email copy, and 10 promotional images. You could literally have this set up and ready to go by the end of the day.


done-for-you free opt-in challenge for health and fitness pros




Sarah Michelle


Hey, I’m Sarah

I help fitness and wellness entrepreneurs create simple and effective strategies to build an online business they truly enjoy!

As a full time fitness director at a private club, personal trainer, mom, and entrepreneur, I know how crazy your schedule gets and how there are just never enough hours in the day as a Solopreneur.

By providing resources, support, and encouragement, my goal is to empower you to keep showing up every day as you work to build your online business.


photo credit: IvoryMix