Building a list - free e-book or e-course?

by omh
20 replies
Hi everyone!

I'm starting list building but I don't know which I should offer as a freebie, e-book or e-course? What do you prefer?
#building #ebook #ecourse #free #list
  • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
    Originally Posted by omh View Post

    I'm starting list building but I don't know which I should offer as a freebie, e-book or e-course? What do you prefer?
    BOTH.

    A free report that's downloadable has the benefit of
    providing value and satisfying the visitor's desire for
    instant gratification.

    Then use an e-Course to follow-up with your list and
    deliver them with more value over time. You can even
    use the e-Course to refer to the contents of the free
    report to make sure they've followed through with your
    recommendations.

    Dedicated to mutual success,

    Shaun
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  • Profile picture of the author Harvey M
    Opposing what Shaun's said, I think you'd be better off sticking to one and perfecting it. If you have the time to make an excellent e-course and an excellent eBook, go ahead. But if you're looking for a single thing to generate some interest, I'd recommend an e-course.

    People (on your list) read eBooks once. Initially, they'll be hyped up about the great information. But eventually, they will start to lose interest unless you keep them busy (on the list).

    By using an e-course (say, a 7 day course), you can get them excited not for a day or two, but for the whole 7 days. If you're planning on sending them a product, they will never be more willing than straight after that 7 day course.
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    There's no need for a Plan B because it distracts from Plan A.
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    • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
      If you want mediocre results - do one or the other.

      If you want exceptional results - do BOTH.

      Each approach has it's own strengths and weaknesses.

      I've been building lists for over 8 years now and have
      tested many different approaches and doing both gets
      better results.

      Dedicated to mutual success,

      Shaun
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      • Profile picture of the author omh
        Originally Posted by Shaun OReilly View Post

        If you want mediocre results - do one or the other.

        If you want exceptional results - do BOTH.

        Each approach has it's own strengths and weaknesses.

        I've been building lists for over 8 years now and have
        tested many different approaches and doing both gets
        better results.

        Dedicated to mutual success,

        Shaun
        Yeah, you're right. This seems to be the best choice. Thanks for help mate!
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    • Profile picture of the author omh
      Originally Posted by Harvey M View Post

      Opposing what Shaun's said, I think you'd be better off sticking to one and perfecting it. If you have the time to make an excellent e-course and an excellent eBook, go ahead. But if you're looking for a single thing to generate some interest, I'd recommend an e-course.

      People (on your list) read eBooks once. Initially, they'll be hyped up about the great information. But eventually, they will start to lose interest unless you keep them busy (on the list).

      By using an e-course (say, a 7 day course), you can get them excited not for a day or two, but for the whole 7 days. If you're planning on sending them a product, they will never be more willing than straight after that 7 day course.
      That's true, but I think a free e-book would get more subsrcribers than a free e-course. Even if of those e-book subscribers would probably be just freebie seekers.
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  • Profile picture of the author marketinguk
    I agree with Shaun here. It's a very sensible business model to offer a free downloadable report on the topic they're interested in whilst optining in and then offer them a chance to buy your ebook or whatever which is expanding on the free report. If they buy then great if they don't you can follow up and see if they want to buy in the future, like after they have read the report propely etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Penberthy
    I personally have great success offering a free e-course that I've put together but I haven't fully tested my results with an Ebook so thanks for the recommendation Shawn, I'll try that out and see how it differs .
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    • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
      Rather than giving away a full e-book, consider selling
      the e-book and giving away a brief report that pre-sells
      the subscriber on buying the e-book.

      That way, you get to convert more subscribers into
      BUYERS instead of just building a list of non-buyers
      who expect great content for free.

      Then add those who buy onto a buyer's list and keep
      those who don't buy on a prospect list that continues
      to give them value and invite them to buy your first
      paid product.

      Dedicated to mutual success,

      Shaun
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  • Profile picture of the author kasher9
    What I'd do is be slightly craftier, do as shaun says, offer both but set them up on two different domains, see what list building strategy works best, and then rinse and repeat. Best way to build your knowledge on building lists, don't listen to anyone when it comes to membership lists, not even me, everyone has their own unique and tried way which works specifically for their product
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  • Profile picture of the author Entrecon
    The thing with an e-course is that you are training your list to expect e-mail from you. If they are used to getting an e-mail with the material from the e-course in it you can slowly start dripping in e-mails with offers in it and make the transition from course material to marketing material.
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  • Profile picture of the author shawnmichaels013
    Banned
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author jvjoe
      Both works better when combine. Offer a free report on your squeeze page then 7 or 10, or whatever number of days your e-course. While in your e-course, you can promote an affiliate product to them, if your e-course really offer really help them they will gladly buy your promoted product. Hope this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author chaoslinker007
    So what you guys are saying that if i offer a webinar after registration there will be less subscribers but more buyers and if i offer an ebook i would have more subscribers that are seeking for freebies? so i should combine em both?

    what if i offer a webinar video will i still make money from the list?
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  • Profile picture of the author Marko87
    Yep as other have said doing both can work really well. Like anything in marketing it's probably a good idea to test both out and see which gets you the better results.

    A lot of things can be done with both the ebook and the course. What sort of quality are we talking about here? If the course is really good quality you could even consider charging for it as a OTO after they get the ebook.

    Otherwise you could do what jvjoe has suggested and sneak in some recommended products into the course materials and try to monetize it that way.

    Also, to echo what some people have said a list of buyers is better than a list of freebie seekers. Just remember to be delivering VALUE to subscribers, that way they will be much more responsive to you once they are on your list.
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  • Profile picture of the author marketwarrior06
    Banned
    e courses are like short and more popular. Because you can get the detail idea about an specific matter in detail
    that's why i like it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dann Vicker
    Let's take it this way. Use the free ebook to get them into your list, and the deliver the e-course over time to keep them interested in your messages. If you'd rather use an e-course, expect lower conversions on your squeeze page as it's no longer as effective as it used to be.
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    • Profile picture of the author pex7
      Originally Posted by Dann Vicker View Post

      Let's take it this way. Use the free ebook to get them into your list, and the deliver the e-course over time to keep them interested in your messages. If you'd rather use an e-course, expect lower conversions on your squeeze page as it's no longer as effective as it used to be.
      This is a good way to put it. I use an ebook for the squeeze page and then my follow up messages are basically an e-course, but I don't call it that. Your follow up messages should tie into each other the way an e-course would so that people will want to open your next email.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Why are you asking us?

        Unless, of course, marketers with an opinion and a willingness to share it are your target market.

        Shaun's right - do both for optimum results.

        And let your market tell you how they want it positioned. Do they want an ebook, and you over-deliver with a valuable course add-on? Or do they want the course, with a valuable text (ebook or report) as a bonus?

        kasher9 was close, minus the "rinse and repeat" which seems to imply that all markets will respond to the same combination. When you enter a new market, start over and test multiple approaches. Don't just assume that what worked for list-building Warriors will work on scrap-booking grannies. It might, but another approach might work better...
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  • Profile picture of the author KevinW
    I like the ebook model. Give me something of value with an ebook I can read immediately and you'll get plenty back.
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  • Profile picture of the author smadronia
    Originally Posted by omh View Post

    Hi everyone!

    I'm starting list building but I don't know which I should offer as a freebie, e-book or e-course? What do you prefer?
    People love free stuff, and instant gratification. So personally, I'd do something they can download. How long is your ebook? I'd keep the downloadable short, a 15 minute video, 20 minute mp3, 15 page ebook. Something that had substance, but wasn't too long.

    Then follow up! An ecourse is a great way to build trust and interest. If you don't follow up, they'll forget who you are. You can slip affiliate links or soft upsells into ecourses towards the end, if you want. Or put them in lster emails too.

    Of course, if you have one of these, but not the other, go with it. It's better to use what you have and build a list than just sit around until you have both ready to go. Remember, if you wait for them to both be perfect, you'll never launch them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Coolstro
    This is your first impression so make it incredibly value, ask yourself if you would have gladly paid $47 or $97 for it
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