How Much Free Content Before Making The Offer?

15 replies
Hi Warriors,

Many email marketers seem strongly divided on which strategy to implement to obtain the best conversions. Testing indicates both strategies can be effective and hence the debate.

After someone opts in to receive your free product, you send them a welcome or thank you email, which includes the free gift.

What do you think is the best strategy after this point, and WHY?

1. A 5-8 email campaign that combines free content and demonstration of authority in defined niche, with the product/service offer in the final email?


2. The same campaign, but with the product/service offer GENTLY mentioned at the end of EACH email, with a little stronger pitch on the final email?


3. A different approach?

I know both can be effective, but I'm curious on your reasons why you prefer one strategy over the other.


#content #free #making #offer
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  • Profile picture of the author msulcs
    I'd do the 2nd option.
    Let them know about your product right from the start.

    I usually opt-out after 3 emails.
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    • Profile picture of the author palmtreelife
      Would you probably opt out even if the lead magnet was (for example) a 5-part mini course on "how to...." where you get 1 email per day for 5 days and you know the title/subject of each email from day 1?

      I guess early opt outs could be a concern, but if I am very clear from the first email what each day will provide, and you still opt out early, chances are you wouldn't be interested in my offer either way?
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  • Profile picture of the author jmosticc22
    I agree with the second option, I think 5-8 emails is to much you lose interest before the final email. I think with less emails and extending a soft offer in each will do better for you. Either way if your offer creates value for them they will listen and follow your campaign.
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    • Profile picture of the author palmtreelife
      Thanks, J. I understand that rationale and logic. Here's my debate on that though...if someone loses interest before the 5th email, would they have bought in an earlier email if the offer was available anyway? The offer and the content are meant to complement each other, so if they are not enjoying or getting value from the content, then I highly doubt they would buy anyway....whether the offer was in the first email or the last.

      Now, IF they are still interested in the content and engaged to the 5th email, I believe conversions would be higher because they have been hand held through the sales funnel journey. I have not tested this, but I feel it's well researched and was hoping someone here had already tested this theory.

      Does that make sense?
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  • Profile picture of the author stodary2000
    I think I am subscribed to few email lists that provide values all the times

    Later on I realized that they use a technique by Andre Chapman

    1) Telling stories to keep you engaged
    2) ask a question and leave it for the next email (teaser)

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    • Profile picture of the author palmtreelife
      Yes, providing value is always important for continued engagement. Do these email lists ever try to sell you anything? That's my question...what is the frequency of the sales offer or promotion?
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  • Profile picture of the author myob
    Third option. I promote nominally-priced products, and buyers have the choice to subscribe only after the purchase. Thereafter, every email includes niche-relevant content, sometimes free downloads or resources, and always a promotion for incremental higher end products. My lists are culled regularly of inactive subscribers and non-buyers.

    The rational behind this approach is that generally those who arrive at my websites have already been "warmed up" mostly through syndicated articles published in online/offline sources. Articles in well-regarded publications provides an aura of authority, which compresses the time required to sing and dance for free.
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  • Profile picture of the author Delboy Trotter
    I prefer the second option. Better initiate your audience to the fact that you're selling something along the way. The free content could easily be adapted to offer something at the end.

    Remember, it's not about smart selling rather than building an audience who trust you and your content.
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  • Profile picture of the author 17
    Hey man.

    Don't worry. Both work. So test both of them.

    You won't find a big difference. The thing is, which one of them can u do over and over again, and will create more goodwill down the line.

    With email marketing, we want to improve and optimize everything. It's all numbers, except people ain't. The most optimized campaign might be for the return within 6 months, and the worst within 5 years.

    Just do what you think is best for people
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  • Profile picture of the author aduttonater
    Give free info then-navigate them to the free info after submitting email address. Make offer within info. If they don't buy keep in touch (2-3) emails bi weekly. Give them another offer on the backend at a later time.
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  • Profile picture of the author sgalla414
    Unpopular opinion I think but I would say option one. You have to build trust before can make an offer. Establish a relationship over a period of time (5-8 emails) before making a pitch. Like you mentioned previously, if they haven't opted out by the 5th email they are likely more invested than someone who will opt-out after the 3rd.
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    • Profile picture of the author palmtreelife
      Thanks. So far, it's working well with option 2, but I will still do more testing to see which is better. Very few opt outs before the first campaign is over, so it's just a matter of seeing if those opt outs would click the offer if presented earlier in the campaign.
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  • Profile picture of the author eggninny
    I think the 2nd option works well. A 5-8 email campaign with the offer mentioned at the end of each mail, offers can be different in every email.
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    • Profile picture of the author palmtreelife
      Changing the offers in each email only works if you're sure the subscriber does not unsubscribe before the end of the email campaign. Changing the offer presentation in the emails is smart, but it should be split tested...segment the email list and send one email campaign with one style of offer to one group and another offer style to the other group. Measure clicks and unsubscribes.

      That's the only way to really know. If you have a GREAT offer in email 7, but most unsubscribe after email 5, you'll never know if your offer in email 7 converts because no one will have seen it.
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  • Profile picture of the author DIABL0
    I use to watch DigitalMarketer. Their series length was based on the purchase price. In that the higher the price, the longer the series. They also display the offer immediately after subscribing.

    My core business is lead generation. I send no content since no purchase is required. I did test some time ago if sending content would increase conversion. There was no real significant increase / not worth the extra work.
    How to Build LARGE EMAIL LISTS on a Budget and MONETIZE Like a PRO
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