We’ve all become accustomed to expecting a freebie or some kind of give-away in return for our email address going on the list of a vendor for future contact.
It just seems to be the way online business owners operate these days. There’s nothing sinister about it unless the intention of the marketer is to spam the heck out of the unsuspecting subscriber.
Sometimes I get questions about what should be given away, how long, or how good it really needs to be. Does it have to be unique or could it be a piece of PLR content or something else not created by the business owner?
I have a little different view of what’s happening regarding these freebies although it may not apply to you, in particular, as I don’t know what you are offering as a bonus download, what your site offers, how targeted your prospect traffic happens to be, etc.
But one thing that I see many marketers get wrong is this:
Their main offer, the reason they want to attract customers to the site, is not compelling enough by itself to get the prospect to want to subscribe to the email list. There is a problem when this happens.
The thinking of the subscriber often is “I’ll just grab this freebie even though I’m not going to ever go to the site (offer).”
I personally believe that the freebie offered should be a bonus, a present, a “push over the top,” icing on the cake, so to speak, for anyone sitting on the fence about investigating further what is being offered. It should not overshadow or be the only real enticement there is to joining the vendor’s list.
In fact, the subscriber should be compelled with the vendor and what he’s offering to such a degree that no freebie should even be necessary in order to get the opt-in. That would certainly be a best case scenario. In some instances, however, the prospect has no clue about the vendor and what his offerings are about; hence, it might be difficult for the prospect to already be excited about the vendor’s business.
I hope that makes sense. Here’s the thing:
You want prospects that are laser-targeted and perfect candidates for your main offer(s) – the money offer(s). You want prospects that are hot for your fantastic product; in essence, you are after people who see your freebie as “just” a bonus, icing on the cake, but not the main, only or even greatest motivator for joining your list.
If your site / product / service (whatever you’re selling) is compelling enough then the opt-in is going to stick regardless of what the freebie might be. Certainly, some folks will “grab and go” at opt-in, and quickly then opt-out. Some are like serial refunders … because they can, they feel like there’s nothing wrong or unethical about their hit and run tactics (never intending to subscribe for more than a few minutes.) Really, these people are actually doing you a favor by not staying.
The very best kind of subscriber you can hope for is one who is compelled to join your list because you offer products (or services) that are tightly aligned with his/her wants and needs in the niche and is willing to pay for the privilege of having access to your products. Great subscribers understand “give and take” and paying their way for the value they receive.
Personal experience, and even studies have verified the fact that customers who buy something from you are much more likely to buy from you again if their purchase experience was a good one and they perceived they received commensurate value for their money. You, as the business owner, gain trust, loyalty, and brand awareness as you “deliver the goods” and beyond to those who buy your offers.
So in the future, you may want to view the “bribes” or freebies that you give in return for email subscriptions in a little different light. Remember that they should be the icing and not the cake. In addition, I think it’s best that you provide a freebie that will promote what you are going to offer to the prospect. Don’t make it a hard sell … just a recommendation as if you were telling your best friend about a great offer that you found.
Finally, I think the freebie ought to be something you created if possible. You want to allow the prospect to see what you are all about … to see and experience your expertise and authority within the specific niche. The freebie is your first chance to make a great impression. If you leave the prospect wanting more of this good stuff, you will have a return visitor that will know the quality of your offerings.
Freebies can be an important “introduction” to your business, your authority, the quality of your offerings, and the relevancy of your business to the niche. Take advantage of this opportunity to show your true colors to new prospects. Make your freebies outstanding and overflowing with value and they will become wonderful little salesmen for your online business!
To your online business success!