WordPress Made Easy

How to Require an Email Address to Download a File in WordPress

Would you like visitors to your WordPress site to be required to enter their require an Email Address to download a file in WordPress?

Many businesses collect email addresses and potential leads by offering free file downloads such as eBooks and white papers. These lead magnets convert extremely well because they provide users with an incentive to sign up.

We’ll show you how to easily require an email address to download a file in WordPress in this article.

On your WordPress website, requiring an email address for file downloads

Why Does WordPress Require an Email Address to Download a File?

The best way to communicate with customers online is still via email. Many businesses gather email addresses as potential leads to follow up with in order to close a sale.

For example, an online store may collect email addresses from users based on their preferences. Those users may not buy right away, but you have the option of converting them later.

If you’re selling an online course, you could also give users a free lesson download in exchange for their email addresses. You can then send targeted emails to those users, persuading them to purchase your premium course.

It isn’t always necessary to download a file for free. E-books, music, software, and other digital downloads can all be sold.

What You’ll Need in Order to Gather Email Addresses

Using an email marketing service is the simplest way to collect and build email lists. Not only will you be able to collect email addresses, but you will also be able to send beautiful emails, create customer segments, track open rates, and much more.

Constant Contact is the best email marketing service for small businesses, according to us. It makes it simple to gather email addresses, send targeted emails, segment your audiences, and expand your business.

Above all, it integrates seamlessly with WordPress, WooCommerce, and all other essential WordPress plugins.

If you’re looking for alternatives, try Sendinblue or Drip.

Note that even if you don’t want to use an email marketing service right away, you can still collect email addresses. Manual outreach could use any of the methods described below.

So, let’s take a look at how to make a file download in WordPress require an email address. We’ll show you a few options and let you pick the one that works best for you.

  • Using OptinMonster, require an email address for file downloads.
  • WPForms can be used to collect email addresses for file downloads.
  • Using MemberPress, collect email addresses for file downloads.
  • WordPress allows you to keep track of your file downloads.

1. Use OptinMonster to collect email addresses for file downloads in WordPress.

This method is the most adaptable and powerful, and it is highly recommended for all users.

We’ll use OptinMonster for this method. It is the best lead generation software on the market, allowing you to collect email addresses quickly and easily using powerful popups, sign up forms, banners, and other tools.

You must first create an account with OptinMonster.


The OptinMonster plugin must then be installed and activated on your WordPress website. See our step-by-step guide to installing a WordPress plugin for more information.

This free plugin serves only as a link between your WordPress site and your OptinMonster account.

After you’ve activated your account, go to OptinMonster » Settings and click the ‘Connect existing account’ button.

Connect your OptinMonster account to your WordPress website.

This will prompt you to log in and connect your WordPress site to your OptinMonster account.

WordPress should be connected.

You’re ready to create your first campaign now that your WordPress site is connected. Click the ‘Add New’ or ‘Create Your First Campaign’ button on the OptinMonster » Campaigns page.

Make a campaign

You’ll then be asked to choose a campaign type. Lightbox popups, floating bars, inline options, fullscreen, slide-in, and gamified campaigns are all supported by OptinMonster.

We’ll make a lightbox popup campaign for the purposes of this tutorial. You can select a campaign template by clicking on it below.

Select a campaign type and design template.

After that, you’ll be asked to give your campaign a name. You can type in any name here to make it easier to identify it, then click the Start building button.

Pick a campaign name.

The campaign builder interface of OptinMonster will open, with a live preview of your campaign in the right panel. You can edit any item in your campaign by clicking on it.

Builder of campaigns

By clicking the Add Blocks button, you can also add new items to your campaign.

You can switch to the success view once you’re happy with the design. When your users submit their email addresses, this is the view they will see.

Edit the view of success

On the success view, there are several options for allowing users to download the file. You can change the text and add a link to the file for download.

You can also add a ‘Button’ block by clicking on the Add Blocks button. After that, switch to the ‘Action’ panel and click to select the button block.

Adding a download button for files

Under the ‘Button click action’ setting, select ‘Go to a URL’ and then enter the file download URL.

Don’t forget to click the Save button when you’re finished to save your campaign settings.

To connect your email service provider, go to the top of the page and click the Integrations tab.

Create a new integration.

Simply select your email provider from the drop-down menu after clicking the Add New Integration button. To set it up, follow the on-screen instructions.

Note: If you only want to capture email leads for your CRM software or manual outreach, OptinMonster’s MonsterLeads feature will store them for you automatically.

After you’ve finished setting up your campaign, go to the Publish tab to make it live. Simply click on the ‘Publish Status’ to change it from Draft to Publish.

Publicize the campaign

Remember to save your campaign settings by clicking the Save changes button, and then exit the builder by clicking the Close button.

After that, you’ll be taken back to your WordPress site, where you can choose where and when the campaign should appear.

You can use it to target WooCommerce customers, for example, or show it on specific pages or posts.

Settings for your campaign's output

We will demonstrate this tutorial to all visitors. To launch your campaign, simply change the status from pending to published and click the ‘Save Changes’ button.

You can now view your campaign in action by visiting your website in a new incognito tab.

A sneak peek at the campaign

Your users will be able to provide their email address before seeing the campaign’s success view, which includes a file download link.

After you've entered your email address, you'll be able to download the file.

2. Use WPForms to collect email addresses for file downloads in WordPress.

If you want to create custom lead generation forms and add them to your WordPress landing pages, this method is useful.

WPForms will be used for this method. It is the best WordPress form builder plugin for creating custom lead capture forms that can be placed anywhere on your website.

It also allows you to send users to a file download page after they submit a form.


The WPForms plugin must first be installed and activated. See our step-by-step guide to installing a WordPress plugin for more information.

After activation, go to WPForms » Settings and enter your license key there. This information can be found on the WPForms website under your account.

Putting your WPForms license key into action on your website

After that, you can create your email capture form by going to WPForms » Add New. First, give your form a name, and then choose a template.

Adding a new form to the system

WPForms comes with several commonly used templates that can be used as a starting point. You can select a newsletter sign-up form or a contact form template, for example.

WPForms will launch the form builder interface with a preview of your live form on the right after you select a template.

The WPForms builder is a user-friendly interface for creating forms.

From here, you can add any form field by clicking on it. It can be edited, moved up or down, or deleted. You can also change the text to ‘Download’ by clicking the ‘Submit’ button.

Change the text of the submit button

Switch to the marketing tab after you’ve finished editing your form to connect it to your email service provider. If you’re manually managing form leads, you can skip this step.

WPForms can be connected to your email marketing service.

WPForms is compatible with all of the most popular email marketing platforms. To connect your email service provider, simply click on it and follow the on-screen instructions.

After you’ve finished, go to the Settings tab and click Confirmation. You can configure what happens when a user submits the form from here.

confirmation of the form

You can choose to display a message with a download link for the file. You can also direct users to the file download URL or show them a page on your website where they can download the file.

When you’re finished, don’t forget to save your settings by clicking the Save button at the top.

Including the Form on Your Site

WPForms makes it simple to add forms to any page on your site.

Simply make a change to the post or page where you want the form to appear. Select WPForms block from the (+) adds new block button on the post edit screen.

WPForms is a WordPress form block.

This will add the WPForms block to the content of your post or page. From the drop-down menu, choose the form you created previously.

Choose a form.

In the content editor, you’ll see a live preview of your form. You can now save or publish your post/page and view your form in action on your website.

a sneak peek at the form

When users submit the form, they will receive a confirmation message with a file download link or be redirected, depending on your settings.

Message of confirmation

3. Use MemberPress to collect email addresses for file downloads in WordPress.

If you want to make the file download available to existing users, members, or paid users, this method is recommended.

We’ll be using MemberPress for this method. It’s the best WordPress membership plugin for controlling access to premium content, file downloads, members-only content, and more.


The MemberPress plugin must first be installed and activated. See our step-by-step guide to installing a WordPress plugin for more information.

You must enter your license key on the MemberPress » Settings page after activation. This information can be found on the MemberPress website under your account.

License key for MemberPress

After that, go to the ‘Payments’ tab and choose a payment method to accept membership subscription payments. If you want, you can also create free subscription plans.

In MemberPress, add a payment method.

PayPal and Stripe are accepted by MemberPress. Authorize.net’s Plus and Pro plans can also be used.

After you’ve chosen your payment method, you’ll be prompted to enter your account information. You can also add multiple methods if you want.

To save your changes, click the ‘Update Options’ button once you’ve finished.

Now it’s time to make a membership plan.

Simply click the Add New button on the MemberPress » Memberships page.

Create a new membership option.

You can name your membership plan and choose a pricing option on the next screen. You can choose from lifetime, expiring, or fixed expiring membership plans, depending on how you want to organize your memberships.

In MemberPress, you can make a membership plan.

Then, to make your membership plan available, click the Publish button.

The next step is to create an access rule. This allows you to choose which parts of your website should be password-protected and only accessible to members.

Create a new rule.

On the next screen, under ‘Protected Content,’ you must first select which content you want to be restricted.

MemberPress comes with a plethora of features. You can choose posts that match specific tags, categories, subpages of the same parent page, single posts, or any URL.

Configuration of the rules

For example, we’ve decided to make all content marked as members-only private.

You must then choose who will have access to the restricted content. Anyone with a Basic membership has been chosen.

Don’t forget to save your changes by clicking the Save Rule button once you’ve finished setting up the rule.

The next step is to create content that you want to keep private. We want users to be able to download a file for this tutorial.

You can create a new post in WordPress, and we’ll simply add the tag members-only to protect this page based on our rules settings.

Creating exclusive content for members

After that, simply include a link to your file download or a download button in the post content.

Then, in the ‘Membership Unauthorized Access’ box, change the ‘Unauthorized Message:’ to custom. Following that, you can add a custom message to display to users who have not yet signed up.

Message about unauthorized access

Incognito mode allows you to save or publish your content and preview it in a new browser window. With the login form, you’ll see your custom unauthorized access message.

Download page for restricted files

Using MemberPress to Integrate with Your Email Service

MemberPress integrates with all major email marketing services, allowing you to automatically add all new website visitors to your email list.

Install the addon for your email provider from the MemberPress » Addons page. For the purposes of this tutorial, we’ll use Constant Contact, but the settings are similar for most email providers.

Install the email marketing extension.

Switch to the Marketing tab on the MemberPress » Settings page. By providing your account API keys, you can connect your email service from here.

Allow email marketing to be used.

You’ll need to consult the MemberPress documentation for your email service provider for more information.

To save your settings, click the Update Options button after entering the required information.

After that, go to MemberPress » Memberships and make changes to the membership plan you created earlier. Switch to the Advanced tab after scrolling down to the ‘Membership Options’ box.

You can check the option to enable email sign up for that membership plan from here.

After that, don’t forget to save your changes by clicking the ‘Update’ button.

Users will now be able to subscribe to your email list when they visit the sign up page.

To join your email list, use the sign up option.

In WordPress, you can keep track of your file downloads.

Now that you’ve made the email requirement for downloading a file mandatory in WordPress, you might want to see how people are finding it and how many people are downloading it.

You can accomplish this by utilizing MonsterInsights. It’s the best Google Analytics plugin available, and it lets you track file downloads in WordPress with ease.


We hope that this article has shown you how to easily require an email address in WordPress to download a file.

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