Offering a free product WORKS

by robp12
21 replies
Hey guys,

I've long been reading the big blogs out there, ProBlogger, Smart Passive Income, and Daily Blog Tips, taking in their advice. One piece of advice I constantly saw was that you should offer some type of free content to you users to increase e-mail opt-ins or Facebook likes.

I struggled for quite some time trying to figure out something that I could create, worth while enough to give away. Finally, I decided to create an E-Book about "How to Make Money in College" and give it away to anyone who signs up for my newsletter. Since I've released the short e-book, directed towards beginners, I've actually doubled my e-mail list. It's only went from 10 to 20, but it's still an improvement! The first ten subscribers took about 5 months to get, the last ten subscribers signed up in a month, quite an improvement.

For those looking to increase subscribers, email opt-ins, Facebook likes or anything of the sort, giving away free content is definitely a great option. I myself was skeptical, but after finally listening to the advices of the experts, it's certainly true. Even if you aren't sure if you have something worthwhile to give away, chances are, you do. Go out on a limb like I did and you might find better success!
#ebook #free #offering #product #works
  • Profile picture of the author GeoMasters
    Hey good work! Free stuff always get me lots of opt-ins.
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    • Profile picture of the author Bryan Mc
      Don't forget to do something with the list!

      Make an offer, or send follow up communication, and do it sooner than later. They are most interested in the subject right at that moment they opt-in.

      The more you let a list set, the more likely they will forget why they signed up... and that usually leads to complaints, unsubs, and not sales.
      Signature

      "You're either making excuses or you're making money - but you can't make both..."

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      • Profile picture of the author robp12
        Originally Posted by Bryan Mc View Post

        Don't forget to do something with the list!

        Make an offer, or send follow up communication, and do it sooner than later. They are most interested in the subject right at that moment they opt-in.

        The more you let a list set, the more likely they will forget why they signed up... and that usually leads to complaints, unsubs, and not sales.
        Yes, I completely agree with you. I'm finding it difficult to figure out exactly what to do with the list, now that I have it. But hey, at least I'm making progress right?
        Signature

        My name is Rob and I'm the founder of Career Dreaming, where I help job candidates leverage the power of recruiters to find a new job.

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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by robp12 View Post

    offer some type of free content to you users to increase e-mail opt-ins or Facebook likes.
    How many email opt-ins is your rent?

    How many Facebook likes do you spend on groceries every week?

    We have all these people coming in here every week saying "I have a big list and I make no money" or "I have a lot of fans and I make no money," because you can't run a business on opt-ins and likes.

    Now, that said: opt-ins and likes are indications that people are listening to you, and that they like what they hear. But you have to be saying more than "here's some free stuff." Everybody likes "here's some free stuff." Saying you like it and volunteering to get more of it isn't worth squat.

    Find something to say. Something you believe in. Something that leads in a direction that you can, I don't know, maybe sell stuff.

    The people who leave your list - and they will, once they realise this isn't the "free stuff forever" club - didn't belong there in the first place and you didn't really want them anyway, even if they say nasty things on their way out the door.

    The people who stay are your real audience. Appreciate them.
    Signature
    "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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    • Profile picture of the author robp12
      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      How many email opt-ins is your rent?

      How many Facebook likes do you spend on groceries every week?

      We have all these people coming in here every week saying "I have a big list and I make no money" or "I have a lot of fans and I make no money," because you can't run a business on opt-ins and likes.

      Now, that said: opt-ins and likes are indications that people are listening to you, and that they like what they hear. But you have to be saying more than "here's some free stuff." Everybody likes "here's some free stuff." Saying you like it and volunteering to get more of it isn't worth squat.

      Find something to say. Something you believe in. Something that leads in a direction that you can, I don't know, maybe sell stuff.

      The people who leave your list - and they will, once they realise this isn't the "free stuff forever" club - didn't belong there in the first place and you didn't really want them anyway, even if they say nasty things on their way out the door.

      The people who stay are your real audience. Appreciate them.
      Thanks for the reply, a lot of useful information. To be honest, I've been blogging for about 2.5 years, having some decent success. But I've never really understood internet marketing before finding this forum and some other websites. I'm working hard every day to really improve my site and the value it offers to readers.
      Signature

      My name is Rob and I'm the founder of Career Dreaming, where I help job candidates leverage the power of recruiters to find a new job.

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        • Profile picture of the author Seth Bias
          Originally Posted by lembone View Post

          How will this help my list

          Gives people a free guide they can use. I usually give away free WSOs and products ( That I've made ) to my list or give them extremely early bird discounts (80% +) on my stuff. They love it and I treat them like how I would my mother. Gifts, gifts, gifts and great conversations and help
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Congratulations! Wanna increase your optins? Stop calling your creation an ebook and start calling it a guide or special report. People perceive ebooks as cheap, a dime a dozen. But a guide or course or tutorial, now that's something special. Try it and see.
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    • Profile picture of the author robp12
      Originally Posted by travlinguy View Post

      Congratulations! Wanna increase your optins? Stop calling your creation an ebook and start calling it a guide or special report. People perceive ebooks as cheap, a dime a dozen. But a guide or course or tutorial, now that's something special. Try it and see.
      Thank you for the advice, it's definitely something I'll look into and probably try when I get some time to edit the ebook after my finals are over..

      Maybe I'll call it "A Guide to Making Money in College". Has a nice ring to it for sure.
      Signature

      My name is Rob and I'm the founder of Career Dreaming, where I help job candidates leverage the power of recruiters to find a new job.

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  • Profile picture of the author marcuslim
    Freebies certainly work. But the challenge is to convert the freebie seekers to buyers...so perhaps you want to offer a low-cost upsell that relates to the freebie, in such a way that their freebie feels incomplete without the upsell to complete it.
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  • Profile picture of the author adebayjim
    Of course, everyone wants something for nothing!

    But yes, it' using that ploy to actually make money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ricochet
    For sure you should always use an opt in gift to entice your prospects, people are reluctant to sign up for newsletters alone.

    Secondly if you are in the IM, MM niche you can easily add subscribers to your list in the hundreds just by participating in JV Giveaways.

    The fact you have gone to the effort to create your own gift is always a good advantage, most JV Contributors just use rehashed PLR, which people are accustomed to, you will have a much better sign up rate just by hosting your own gift with them.

    The leads from Giveaways aren't great but, you can use those leads to start doing adswaps with JV partners and really explode your list size.
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  • Profile picture of the author henrydecon
    I really like this idea as well as the tips as well. I did an e-story (in parts) on my website just to see if my visitors were interested in it. I got a decent amount of downloads so I think I'll move on to part 2 and see what happens before I create a free book to create lists.
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  • Profile picture of the author SiteSmarty
    If free is relevant then it can help build a list that could have the ability to convert. Say for example you have a men's entertainment site focusing on all things Bro (sports, viral videos, music, movies, etc).

    You would want to give away your free newsletter or free updates that relate to the topics you write about on your site.

    You could have that optin on your sidebar in your blog.

    Now if you introduce something unrelated to our core topics, say like your make money e-book. You'd have that connecting to a post or article about how to make money and you would collect optins to your list of those interested in that topic.

    I noticed on your men's site your ask for a newsletter and e-book sign-up. People who want your newsletter are genuinely interested in your info, but probably not interested in your how-to make money e-book.

    You don't know because their e-mail goes to the same list. If you segment your lists then you can target info and products to each list.

    Like CDarklock mentions the size of a list just doesn't matter if you can't convert at some point.

    An example of how the process would work is that you write a post introducing the e-book, then link to a landing page, where you would collect the e-mail for your e-book product.

    Or you could just have a landing page and place a link to it in your menu or from your sidebar.

    The idea is to funnel your traffic to what exactly interests them and give them only one option to move forward, that's to optin. If they don't want to optin that have to hit the back button.

    If you segment your lists and capture folks who are genuinely interested in particular product, free or paid, you'll convert like crazy over the long haul.

    It's a good idea to have an upsell ready at the get go, because you can lay a link in the first responder sent at signup. That's the e-mail that gets a 100% open rate if prospects are serious about your stuff.

    Testing is the key to find out if free is good for your objective or not.
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  • Profile picture of the author shintaiguy
    Hi Iam pretty new to this too I have a list of about 500 built from a free IM ebook libraryall about SEO,CPA, FB etc would you be interested in an adswap?

    I read all the posts it's great advice but we have all got to start out some way, accelerated learning curve.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by travlinguy View Post

      Congratulations! Wanna increase your optins? Stop calling your creation an ebook and start calling it a guide or special report. People perceive ebooks as cheap, a dime a dozen. But a guide or course or tutorial, now that's something special. Try it and see.
      It's kind of funny how things work out.

      I can remember when we started calling the freebie an 'ebook' because 'special report' had been so abused that it was a negative. Then it swung the other way - 'ebooks' were garbage, 'special reports' were valuable.

      I think that the surge of the Kindle, Nook and other ereaders will make 'ebook' respectable again...
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  • Profile picture of the author lawyer2warrior2
    Excellent idea. That's what I do for most of my clients, as well. Offer a free consultation and more often than not they end up retaining me.
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  • Profile picture of the author TestiVar
    The only list that is worth anything is your buyer's list.

    A list of your best friends, people you gave something for free, people who put their card in a fishbowl, people who clicked a "like this" button or people who ask you questions are relatively worthless.
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    • Profile picture of the author hustlinsmoke
      Originally Posted by TestiVar View Post

      The only list that is worth anything is your buyer's list.

      A list of your best friends, people you gave something for free, people who put their card in a fishbowl, people who clicked a "like this" button or people who ask you questions are relatively worthless.
      Most Internet millionaires started by giving away stuff. It's the way Internet Marketing works.
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    I down loaded your free e-book from e-junkie and read it just now. Please make it longer than five pages. Yeah, like maybe nine. Also, add some crazy pics. Helps to spice it up. Text is a bit dry for me. All in all, great job bro, and keep the hits coming yo!
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