In my experience providing something for free is a good way to attract attention but of little value in converting prospects to customers. To do that effectively I suggest using autoresponders.
1. Get your prospects email address to qualify for your "Free Thing"
2. This should trigger an opt-in email to your prospect.
3. Prospect opts in and gets access to the Free Thing.
4. Your Auto-responder sends him emails until he turns into a customer.
In terms of free templates I would suggest, an immediate email giving info on how to use it, ftp instructions with links to ftp client sites, etc., Then the next email should contain more usefull info on getting a site up and running but also a (say 25%) discount on web templates.
The next email, 1 or 2 days later should contain more usefull info, perhaps SEO, and (15%) on web templates.
Now the user realises that the longer he waits the smaller the discount.
Thanks..but what about if downloads are from third party site ?
Thanks for the idea..but what if templates are posted on free template sites..then how do iget emails of downloaders..because i need to get free template downloaders first knowing about my designs..which i cant do at my site, since it would involve tons of direct marketing.
Or do you suggest i place a email subscribe offer withing the templates??