Stop People from Sharing Your Giveaway Downloads


Focusing on blog publication, applying SEO, and running social media are significant marketing channels to expose your products. Have you ever thought of giveaways as another powerful part of your marketing strategy?

Giveaway downloads including PDF ebooks, case studies, and how-to guide, etc. benefit your business in 3 main ways.

  • Build an email list: Giveaways work as a secret weapon to generate leads and grow your email list. Those who want to get the gift must subscribe to your email.
  • Save time and money: Digital giveaways save your money and time. Let’s imagine, an ebook costs only a small budget to make and can be reused over and over again.
  • Gain product exposure: Last but not least, giveaways gain your product exposure. The gift excites visitors in your product and makes them try it out right away. You can include your company name and logo in ebooks and case studies to remind users about your brand.

Running digital giveaways has become one of the most popular marketing campaigns due to the above reasons. However, business owners should notice the fact that not all gift receivers will keep it for their own. They might share with their relatives, friends, or even strangers in online communities.

Even worse, your files might get indexed and listed on Google as well as other search engine results. Users can search for close queries, access, and download the files. Some others can have direct URLs and download your files. This might raise a piracy issue that requires site owners to take an extra look.

How Users Get and Share Your Giveaway Downloads

After subscribing, visitors receive gift files through:

  • The thank-you page: Once entering emails, subscribers see a thank-you message and the downloadable link right on the website. They can click on this link to download the file.
  • An email with the file’s download link: When users subscribe, they will see a thank you message asking them to go to their mailbox to download the file. To get the giveaway, they can open the email and click on the link sent to their inbox.
  • An email with the link to the thank-you page: Similar to the method above, users also have to go to their email box. However, the link embedded there is not the file link but the thank-you page URL. They must click on the URL, then visit the thank-you page and download the gift.
  • Through Google search: Some people could guess your thank-you pages URL and file links. If these pages and files get indexed and followed by Google, users can search and download your giveaways with ease.

As your files are unprotected, gift receivers can share the download links with others in many ways:

  • Subscribers copy the downloadable link on the thank-you page and send it to others through direct messages or posts on social channels.
  • If they receive an email with the file link, they can forward the email to their relatives and friends easily.
  • Your thank-you page and downloadable files can get indexed by Google as well as other search engines. So people can access them directly once they have the file URLs.

Chances are people can download giveaways without subscribing or going to your site. Although these files are still free at the point of use, they shouldn’t be shared widely. Offering giveaways aims to attract leads and build your email list. If a subscriber shares the file to 10 other people, you completely lose 10 leads and maybe potential customers.


Proposed Solution: Stop Giveaway Sharings with Link Expiration

There should be a way to prevent your files from being accessible to everyone. How about creating different links for a giveaway and send to individual subscribers? Each link is downloadable for several times or in a few days only. After 2 clicks or 1 hour of freely downloading, for instance, the links become completely invalid.

The struggle of business owners combining with this amazing idea inspires us to develop the PDA Private Link extension. The extension allows you to protect your giveaway files from being widely shared.

Once users submit their emails, they won’t receive the original file link but a private download link. You can restrict access to your private links by clicks and days. For example, if you limit your private links to 3 downloads, the 4th click will be invalid. Similarly, you set your download links to expire after 1 hour. After this time, users have no way to download the giveaways.

You might wonder how the plugin helps if your files are listed in search results. Private download links generated by PDA Private Link extension won’t be indexed and followed by Google as well as other search engines. In other words, nobody can look for the file through search results pages.

Future Improvement

Running downloadable giveaways plays a key role in your marketing and product promotion. These files are often shared widely without your permission. As a result, you might lose a lot of leads as well as potential customers.

Creating expiring download links proves effective to prevent users from sharing your giveaways. You can set the password expiry and the usage limitation, so people aren’t able to download the files after a short period of time or several clicks. Your private download link won’t be indexed either.