June 17, 2021
6 Ideas for Dog Trainer Download Incentives (and One For You!)
This is the trick to growing your email newsletter list.

dog jumping for a treat; article on download incentives for dog trainers

Stop me if you’ve heard this one:

Knock, knock!
Who’s there?

Our new e-book.
Our new e-book who?

We only ask that you fill out the following 14 fields for a free copy of this punchline.

… If you’re not rolling around laughing, it might be because that dad joke is intended for marketers.

But regardless of your personal experience with marketing, you’re probably familiar with marketing freebies, also known as download incentives.

What are Download Incentives?

Download incentives are a great email opt-in strategy. Basically, they’re a free piece of (useful) content you offer on your website. In exchange, people sign up for your email newsletter. Not a bad deal, huh? (Especially considering how valuable newsletters are for small businesses!)

Download incentives shouldn’t add a bunch of stress to your already-busy schedule. They should take content you already have — blog posts, social media graphics, handouts — and repurpose the information into something that’s just useful enough for someone who wants to learn more about you to leave them wanting more.

In order to do that, you’ll want to make sure you know who your clients are. What does the journey look like for them to make a purchase from you? From there, it should be easy to think of some handy freebies for them.

Want to kick-start your brainstorming? Here are a couple of ideas for you!

Cheat Sheets

Everyone loves a shortcut! What’s something you can offer a quick guide to? Maybe it’s some steps to remember in training a new skill, or a one-pager with a flow-chart on what it might mean when your dog exhibits certain behaviors. Management techniques make for GREAT cheat sheets — they give quick solutions, that are easy to implement!

A cheat sheet should have quick, easy, accessible information. It’s helpful if it’s printer-friendly; encourage folks to hang it up on their fridge or above their desks!

Training Videos or Handouts

These download incentives should give potential clients a taste of what it’s like to work with you — or serve as an added bonus for your previous and repeat clients. What’s a quick, easy skill (or training tip!) you can teach in a video that’s a couple minutes long, or on a one- or two-page step-by-step handout?


Similar to the previous idea, mini-courses tackle a specific, digestible skill. What’s something you can break down into multiple parts and turn into a “course”?

Don’t worry too much about the logistics of this — It can be as easy as posting unlisted videos to YouTube and sharing them on your email newsletter. (You could post them publicly to YouTube as well. Just note that anyone will be able to find these, which may take away some of the exclusivity of signing up for your newsletter!)


You know what’s a really tempting freebie? Something that makes peoples’ lives a little easier. Checklists are a great way to do that!

Think about what’s useful to your potential clients, depending on what kind of services you offer. If you train sports dogs for competition, maybe it’s a checklist of what they need to do leading up to that first competition. If you’re mostly offering obedience or puppy classes, clients might love a checklist of what to pack when they take a pup on vacation.

Exclusive Access to You

Exclusivity is a key component of marketing that works. Whether it’s through a series of Q&A’s, early access to your workshops (or free/discounted registration), or an in-depth interview, you want to create the sense that people who sign up for your newsletter are getting access to something no one else is.


Here’s an easy one — Got several pieces of content around one particular topic? Maybe a bunch of blog posts, videos, checklists, workshops, etc., on a certain skill? Create a toolkit that gives a brief intro and links to all of that content. If you can put them all in one document, even better!

A Download Incentive Just for You

Want to get started right now? I’ve created an easy Canva template for you — You can use it to make a branded guide to your favorite local dog-friendly businesses! Just swap your logo in and change the colors to match your business’ palette. Then you can add in all the businesses you recommend along with some information about your biz at the end.

Not familiar with Canva? Don’t worry — we’ve got a post showing you how to make graphics in Canva!

It’s a quick, easy, and SUPER handy freebie you can offer your clients! If you’re already signed up for my newsletter, you’ll be receiving a link to it this week. If you’re not signed up, just fill out the form below to get instant access.


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