To free, or not to free? That is the question...

11 replies
#free #free gift #freebie #funnel leads #list building #question #subscribers
  • Profile picture of the author Saiah Davis
    I've seen this discussion around quite a bit.

    My take is this... if you rely on your front end product then without a doubt everyone on your list will be a paid subscriber that have already taken the step of giving you money and may or may not continue to give you money based on the value they have received from you.

    Offering a free product, your results will depend on the value the product gives to the person that receives it. You will have a mixture of buyers and freebie seekers joining your list but this is where the relationship building process that is preached about in internet marketing comes in to play.

    If the product creates value for the user then its likely that subscribers with initial intent to pay will purchase from you and you still have the potential to turn the freeby seeker into a buyer.

    The freeby seeker may not be converted on day 1 but i'm sure a percentage of them will convert over a period of time based on the value they receive from your back end.
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  • Profile picture of the author onSubie
    Many marketers teach this method.

    The new delayed email squeeze pages featured at LeadPages and copied by everyone else are good for this.

    You ask for the email before sending them to the offer. After they enter the email, they are sent to a paid offer.

    You already have their email without giving away a freebie when they are sent to the offer.

    If they buy, they go onto your buyers' list.

    If the don't buy, they stay on your prospects list but they have not been given a 'freebie'.

    Another way is to send them to a paid product but offer a 'freebie' as a downsell if they leave the offer page.

    Another method is to send them to a 'super cheap' offer instead of a 'freebie'.

    So they get sent to an offer for only $1.

    It is practically free so a lot of people will pick it up. But anyone who grabs a $1 offer has shown they have a CC or PayPal and are able to buy online.

    How many freebie seekers are from countries that do not have PayPal or a reliable online payment method?

    There are a lot of Warriors asking about alternate payment methods because of the country they come from.

    If they are on your list they can't buy anything even if they wanted to.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonwebb71
    Now I remember why I left here many years ago!
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Originally Posted by jasonwebb71 View Post

    he stated that it's better to avoid offering a free gift, otherwise you'll just end up with a list of freebie seeker and "tyre-kickers".
    I don't really agree.

    I haven't heard/seen his specific points, but in general, it seems to me that many of the perspectives one hears/sees aired on this subject rest for their credibility on some mistaken assumptions.

    The first, I think, is the assumption that "giving something away free" makes people into "freebie-seekers". It doesn't, at all. If people were ready to buy something, and you give them a free report in exchange for their email address, as long as your free report doesn't give them everything they were ready to buy, they'll still be ready to buy something after reading your free report, too. The differences are that (a) there'll be more of them, and (b) they'll be more willing to buy it from/through your recommendation, as long as the free report you give them serves all these purposes.

    The second is perhaps the assumption that "freebie-seekers" can't be turned into buyers.

    The third is probably the assumption that it would, somehow, be "worse" to attract freebie-seekers together with good potential customers than just the good potential customers on their own. This one's basically nonsense. It's actually better to attract ten good potential buyers and twenty freebie-seekers than it is just to attract ten good potential buyers and nobody else. It's easy to imagine that you're going to have a "choice" between attracting "good potential customers" or "freebie-seekers", but the reality just isn't like that, at all. The "logic", there, is almost exactly the same logic that makes people think it's somehow better to use opt-in confirmation than single opt-in, when you build a list, "because the average quality of your subscribers will be better". It's nonsense that fools a lot of people, in my opinion. Single opt-in loses none of the "would have confirmed anyway" people, in that example, just as "giving a freebie" loses none of the "ready-to-buy anyway" people, in the example we're discussing. There's really a lot of fallacious reasoning applied to such situations.

    And I think there are actually more mistaken assumptions "in there" than just those three, as well.

    Originally Posted by jasonwebb71 View Post

    Instead, Todd suggested getting them to sign up purely on the strength of the front-end product that you're going to offer them. His theory being that if you're offering them a genuinely compelling promise to solve their problems then they will sign up just to see what the solution is.
    That sounds perfectly reasonable, doesn't it?

    I think my problem with that is with the word "instead", and what he probably means by it, which (I strongly suspect) relates to those mistaken assumptions mentioned above?

    Originally Posted by jasonwebb71 View Post

    I can see the advantages of his suggestion if you're running PPC advertising, as you don't really want to be paying for subscribers who will never convert to sales, but I wonder also if you risk missing out on people who might eventually become buyers.
    Exactly so.

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    • Profile picture of the author Michael Shook
      When you go to a store like Costco and the aisles are lined with demo people giving out samples, probably not all the people who taste the samples are going to buy the product - but probably enough are to make it worthwhile giving away a lot of samples.

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      • Profile picture of the author jasonwebb71
        Now I remember why I left here many years ago!
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by jasonwebb71 View Post

    However, on a Todd Brown webinar I recently watched, he stated that it's better to avoid offering a free gift, otherwise you'll just end up with a list of freebie seeker and "tyre-kickers".


    You have to remember that everyone's business is different and every niche is different.

    Your question doesn't deserve a "one size fits all" answer.

    Someone selling a higher end product at his site, say $100 and above, should not feel like he has to conform to the same marketing approaches that are taken by another who sells a $7 product.

    You need to try different approaches, test and track, and see what works best for your own offers. It can be done quickly and with minimal out of pocket costs.

    I will tell you from my own experience, I'm fine with having people on my lists who want free information. I know I can make sales with them because I work with them and over time they'll stop responding to my messages (non-sales offers) if they don't want to keep a dialogue going with me.

    It's kind of like locking the door to your store if someone says he only wants to "browse." Why not put him into a "prospect" list and work with him? Sure "customer" lists of buyers ought to be your goal . . . but to exclude those who aren't ready to buy right now, IMO, is too drastic. As others have said, just because someone doesn't buy on first contact it doesn't mean they are only after a freebie.

    I don't know Todd Brown, but I think it's dangerous to assume that his business approach is the one that will work best for you. Maybe he just doesn't want to be bothered with nurturing his prospects. That's fine for him . . . but it has paid great dividends for me in several niches.


    Steve Browne, online business strategies, tips, guidance, and resources

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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      Iam inclined to the Freebie gift. Here is my reasoning. You are going to have all the Buyers on that List with the freebie List ( more than likely) and then on top of that you can use your skills and talents to eventually persuade those Freebies to be Buyers.

      Use those skills, people

      - Robert Andrew
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    • Profile picture of the author jasonwebb71
      Now I remember why I left here many years ago!
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  • Profile picture of the author xradical
    The key issues are 2 fold:

    Issue #1. What is the quality of your freebie?
    A) If this is not as high quality as your main product, you will lose potential customers right away. So do your best in making the freebie really worth their while.

    B) But if it is as good quality and informational as your main product, then if the customers perceive it to be "not worth it" to not buy the main product. Even though you lost potential customers, still more importantly you have saved yourself from potential future chargebacks and requests for refunds at a later date.. if they had bought it based on just the marketing copy.

    So key takeaway is to make your freebie exactly as good as your real main product, perhaps the first 2 chapters of your ebook, or the first 15 minutes of your video etc. Then only you will get genuine customers.

    Issue #2. Who is your target Audience?
    whether it is college-students or real estate agents or investment bankers makes a lot of difference in your list building strategy. So it would be meaningful to do a basic survey of some members of your target audience to see what would work for them.
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  • Profile picture of the author ddev
    Depends on the niche.

    If it's a niche where most of the visitors show an intention to buy (example: forex trading, PPC, etc), it would be interesting to put those visitors on a list (you would use a freebie).

    If you're doing SEO or PPC, most of the time the keywords that people use can determine the buying intention.
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