Do you guys think it's necessary to include bonuses for ebooks?

19 replies
I've seen authors selling just their ebook alone with no bonuses, and I've seen some who include 3 (or more) bonus ebooks. But in my experience, most of the bonus ebooks that I've ever gotten whenever I purchased an ebook were pretty worthless.

Do you guys think they're necessary these days? Do they actually increase conversions? Or does it depend on the niche?
#bonuses #ebooks #include
  • Profile picture of the author Rich Struck
    I tried adding free ebooks to a product that I sell and it devastated sales. First I tried 3, then 6, then 12 and each time, my sales got worse. I took the freebies off and everything went back to normal. The ebooks were directly related to the product but I think people have the perception that ebooks are crap and that in turn cheapened my product and turned people off. YMMV.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1966772].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Sean Fry
      Originally Posted by Rich Struck View Post

      I tried adding free ebooks to a product that I sell and it devastated sales. First I tried 3, then 6, then 12 and each time, my sales got worse. I took the freebies off and everything went back to normal. The ebooks were directly related to the product but I think people have the perception that ebooks are crap and that in turn cheapened my product and turned people off. YMMV.
      Very interesting.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1966787].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author hugofortin

        Good to know! I'm in the process of ebook creation and it's important to know that.


        Are you FRUSTRATED because you have no LEADS for your MLM company? Don't make any MONEY from your MLM company? If you have answered YES to these questions, please visit my blog for advices on how to have leads and make money in this Industry.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1966823].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author genetaylor
        As a veteran of buying ebooks and online eduational programs, I think that bonuses are unimpressive at best. Most bonus information is worth what you paid for it. Worse yet, it can become an energy sink.

        By the time you read all these fabulous bonuses, you are usually confused and have taken information overload to new levels.

        Be careful what you digest. There is so much useless information online and bonuses are prime suspects. If it is valuable information, why isn't the owner selling it?

        I would rather just pay for good information. I just bought an amazing educational video program for $77 with no bonuses. I consider it the best information I have ever bought.

        Before buying, I read an interview with the program's creator. I would bet everything I own he is making executive money. The interviewer asked him what was the biggest problem for newbies. He said "Reading too many damn ebooks". You learn by doing. Spend that money on a marketing campaign. You will learn more from lost money than an ebook.

        But there are some great ebooks out there....for a price.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1966854].message }}
      • {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1966933].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    For low cost items, no. Once the price gets up over $50 though, I've found it helps to offer one bonus. I used to offer more, but have moved away from that.

    Another thing that has been working well for me on higher priced ebooks is to offer free lifetime upgrades as a bonus. Let me tell you, customers are thrilled to get a free upgrade months after they bought your product.

    Of course, in order to know when a free upgrade is available they need to stay subscribed to the product list. Send out a free upgrade notice and you've got a happy customer, one who is receptive to the new offer you include with the upgrade notice - and you always include a new offer with any upgrade notice.

    If your new offer also has free lifetime upgrades, it will carry that much more weight because they just got a free upgrade. As long as the upgrades are worthwhile, you're all but guaranteed a huge amount of new sales.

    Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1966816].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author AndrewStark
    This is something that needs to tried and tested.

    My opinion is that if the bonus list is longer than the salescopy then the bonus is diluting your offer and will decrease your conversions.

    Also the quality of the bonus is important, if it's just a rebranded free report again this will hurt conversion - stick these on the download page as unadvertised bonuses or add them to the autoresponder follow-up series.

    Making the ebook available in an audio format would be a good bonus, as would access to a buyers only forum. You could also do a telesimar / webinar for faq which is also instantly available to new buyers.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1966871].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Sean Fry
      I've been thinking that IM'ers selling an ebook have historically felt like they had to include bonuses in order to help justify the sale in the consumer's mind. After all, an ebook is a digital product (often costing much more than hard cover books) so somewhere along the line they started offering several bonuses to sweeten the deal and help create urgency and help increase the value in the buyers mind.

      But I think that most consumers learn very quickly that bonus ebooks are usually worthless, but marketers still see other people including ebook bonuses so, they just think it must be something that works so they do it as well.

      Dennis' post about offering bonuses if it's over $50 does make sense though. And I like Andrew's suggestions for audio or webinar bonuses rather than ebook bonuses.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1966901].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    Nobody wants a whole bunch of ebooks as a bonus. A few
    "special reports" directly relevant to getting the results
    the original product promises can be a good idea.

    People don't want to be buried in content to read. They
    want concise, laser-targeted information to help them get
    as fast as possible from where they are to where they want
    to be.

    I think audios can be a great bonus though, because people
    can listen to them while they're doing other stuff. Several
    hours of talking head or screen-cap video is a turnoff to me
    usually and I'll bet most people feel the same way.

    Making a bonus of a membership to a video training site
    repositions the video as not hours of crap to wade through,
    but a resource I can turn to when I need it.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1966898].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author DireStraits
    I seldom buy any ebooks but my personal perspective is that for those with the slightest clue as to how marketing and such works, the bonuses are largely useless and of little value. If they held real value they'd be sold as the main product, not offered for "free".

    When I see even the most decent of sales pages and then the seller tries to sucker me in with lashings of bonuses, that product immediately loses a lot of the credibility in my eyes.

    Good products sell themselves past a certain point and real-world testimonials are more than enough to justify the value of any respectable product/ebook without all the extra stuff being necessary.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1966948].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Medway1
    It depends what the bonus is and whether it has any real value rather than a ficticious and meaningless figure. Try a bonus that is as valuable as the e-book you are selling. It needs to enhance what you are selling and not just be a product sitting your hard drive that you feel can be thrown in.

    Put yourself in your customers shoes, why is he/she going to buy your product and would they want the bonus if they had to pay for it?

    Have you considered an upsell instead?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1966957].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
    If the ebook is in a higher price range and the bonus can actually compliment it ... sure

    If the $17 ebook has 5 bonus anythings , usually tells me the producer doesn't have a high value of their own product .

    There is always exceptions . Some of Dennis' free ebooks are worth more than the price of the one being sold . .

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1966961].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Nicholas Kemp
    It depends on on the bonus. In my experience eBook bonuses don't help conversions (just more reading), unless they are something like real case studies. The only bonus I would add to an eBook would be an audio version of the book or some screen capture videos.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1966984].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Ricci Cox
    If you have a really cool product that helps people achieve the results they want, then you don't need a free ebook bonus to get them to buy.

    As long as you really sell the benefits of your cool product - with a kick-a*s sales letter - at a price they can't resist, you'll sell loads of your product.

    I'd only offer a bonus if it was something NEW that complemented your product and offered REAL, genuine value to your customers.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1966988].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author EvanScott
    Bonuses really do help conversions. Ive tested this in multiple niche markets. From my experience and testing if your selling a video course, adding a few bonus ebooks or an extra 1 ot 2 videos with really good content is deff a plus!

    Whenever you launch your products its always a good idea to TEST TEST TEST!! Find what works and go with it.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1966997].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author craigbrown
      Originally Posted by EvanScott View Post

      From my experience and testing if your selling a video course, adding a few bonus ebooks or an extra 1 ot 2 videos with really good content is deff a plus!
      That's how I see it. I have bought about 20 ebooks in my niche and in related niches and without exception, the "awesome free bonuses" were absolute crap - just blatant or clearly spun PLR which was there purely as a sweetener and filler but offered little in the way of value.

      I'm working on a launch at the moment, and I can proudly say that my "bonus" ebooks are, when presented as supplemental and in context to the main ebook, freaking awesome. You see, I solve the main problem in the ebook and the bonuses solve smaller related problems for the consumer. I could have thrown it all together into one massive 400 page ebook, but I figured it was easier to digest this way.

      I am also offering a free basic training course which helps to solve the main problem with upsells the ebook as well as a paid course which goes above and beyond the ebook. And no, the courses are not run of the mill autoresponder sequences.

      There's no reason why bonuses have to be low value.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1967267].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author JDArchitecture
        As someone who has done some research, investigation and working on educating myself, but have yet to take the plunge.... As a customer...

        I must say that you quickly learn that most bonuses are outdated, already free all over the web, or flat out useless.

        Adding the info on your landing page often makes the page way too long.

        Way too many of the exact same bonuses appear with multiple product offers by different people.

        I would consider bonuses that are relevant to your content, unique and timely. Perhaps custom templates/art, hard to find links of free resources, solidly researched recomendations/reviews of other services, etc.

        If you believe that simply using the word "bonus" is a selling point -- and I can see the merit in that -- then maybe calling a particularly salient, but somewhat tangential, chapter at the end of an ebook a bonus is a better way to go.

        If feel you need bonuses to justify your price, then I think a lower price w/o bonuses is a better approach.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1967418].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Emily Meeks
    The only way to know for sure is to test it out for yourself.

    However, when I'm in "buying" mode and looking at WSOs for instance, if I see someone has tacked on a few, VERY relevant bonuses to their paid product, I'm interested.

    If you're selling a Twitter product, I may like some Twitter backgrounds.

    If you're selling a guide about product launches, what does a guide on site flipping have to do with anything?

    Maybe... just maybe...

    After I buy the PDF version of your product, I'll be *pleasantly surprised* to find video segments included as a free unannounced bonus...

    In all that you do, know your True INTENT...

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1968049].message }}

Trending Topics