Why Free is not always the best way to build a list.

13 replies
The most used way of building a subscriber list has generally been to give away something of value for free. It isn't actually free because you are asking for their email address, but you would not be charging money for the product that they get.

Personally I prefer to charge something. The stuff I create is always worth at least something and I want subscribers to know that. Also a list built up of people who have at least paid something is always going to be more powerful even if it only cost them a $1. The fact is they will have crossed that barrier of using their credit card. This is the point that you lose most potential buyers or subscribers.

I would rather have a list built with ready made buyers than freebie seekers. That said building the relationship with either list is still going to be the most important part.

How do you build your list?
#build #free #list
  • How about a free offer then an immediate upsell after that?

    I guess usually the top priority is to get the contact details, regardless of whether they buy on the spot or not. Because as long as you get their contact, you can still build relationships with them anyway even if they dont buy (yet). Yes there may be a lot of freebie seekers here and there but I'm thinking that if you conversion (or copy) is good, then they will eventually buy, wont they?

    I usually think the free offer method was simply just to capture the lead and build relations then sell a bit later. As you said, building that relationship is always the key part.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dann Vicker
    If you have a well optimized sales funnel, you can generally turn 10% of your freebie list into buyers, and it's damn pretty much faster for me to build this kind of list.

    So if this is so, I'd potentially be building up a buyers list too by converting 10% of my freebie list into a buyers list.

    It all depend so on your sales funnel friend.
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    • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
      You need to learn how to give away FREE information
      strategically.

      The fact is that not all people who visit your site are
      ready to buy right now.

      Remember...

      "People buy when they're ready to buy, not when you're
      ready to sell"


      Therefore, if you only have a paid offer as the starting
      point in your marketing funnel, you will be turning away
      some people who would have become buyers later on.

      Personally, I prefer to have a strategic free report and
      then make offers for people to buy throughout the rest
      of the process.

      That way, I convert more subscribers into customers
      and build a bigger BUYERS list.

      Dedicated to mutual success,

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

        You need to learn how to give away FREE information
        strategically.

        The fact is that not all people who visit your site are
        ready to buy right now.

        Remember...

        "People buy when they're ready to buy, not when you're
        ready to sell"


        Therefore, if you only have a paid offer as the starting
        point in your marketing funnel, you will be turning away
        some people who would have become buyers later on.

        Personally, I prefer to have a strategic free report and
        then make offers for people to buy throughout the rest
        of the process.

        That way, I convert more subscribers into customers
        and build a bigger BUYERS list.

        Dedicated to mutual success,

        Shaun
        I totally agree with this, by providing a lot of great information to your list over time, a lot of them will eventually pay you back for helping them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kishor Mhaskar
    I am building my list from giveaway events. Its little bit slow but I got list of 100 within few days and got a sale also.

    I think for starters who have less budget, free giveaway events are good option
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  • Profile picture of the author CraigSee23
    A different rout would be to create content that would bring a lot of value to your users and then entice them with a different type of content that complements the content that they have already consumed. Make it exclusive to the list so that they have to sign up to receive it.

    -Craig
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  • Profile picture of the author KateStevensB
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author marknel
      The freebies will help them make a decision to buy the product and sometimes because they've got a freebie, consciously or not, they feel obligated to pay you back. In fact freebies also help in increasing web traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author anja98
    I feel people are always attracted to FREE stuffs. My thoughts is that as long as we don't position the free stuffs to look like spams.
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  • Profile picture of the author fenixpro
    people like free, period. people like quality, period. show quality and give away free = more subs and/or happier list. show quality and charge minimally = fewer subs, but still happy list. it all depends on the funnel i would say...
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  • Profile picture of the author tomandre
    I think that people who are willing to whip out the cc and pay the $1 for a high quality product is worth more than the ones getting the free stuff. Main thing is to offer something of quality, giving away crap will not help much!
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    I build my list via offering something for free. When someone subscribes, they get to download the freebie, and then have the opportunity to buy something. The freebie technique still works... i guess your $1 strategy is just another implementation of the same thing. Your list would be more valuable... but some people dont even want to part ways with $1!
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  • Profile picture of the author kaizerinfo
    I agree with topic starter,1 $ not a big deal,we can filter the list.Someone who don't pay 1 $ ,never will pay in the future. He just not interesting and look only free info.
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  • Profile picture of the author jamesrich1
    Just because someone might not be willing to part with $1 up front will not mean that you cannot gain their trust over time. I understand the perspective but think that you will lose a lot of customers over time from forcing a buy or leave.

    At least with the free approach you offer value first. You could test out whether your prospects are willing to buy on your sales letter/video after the opt in. Its still good to always get your visitors info. Its almost like saying you would demand a kiss from a hot girl and not just take her number after meeting her.
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