My point with this is that you should give something of real value to your visitors so you would get a close to 100% conversion on it. If this BMW example was real, imagine how fast this would go viral on autopilot.
Let's say you own a restaurant and you want your visitors to opt-in to your list. Why not give them something really cool like a free dinner on their birthday.
One of my clients owns a restaurant and i suggested exactly this strategy. His first response was "Hell no, i cannot give away a free dinner!". What he didn't think of was that if a person makes a reservation for his birthday with a free dinner coupon, he would never come alone. Most likely with 3 others which makes it a party of 4, with 3 paying for their dinner. Besides that, his dinner is free but he will be billed for his drinks. And when it is somebody's birthday... trust me.... they'll drink.
Now by giving away this birthday coupon, 4 people (on avarage) will come to that dinner. Which banks the restaurant about 80% of the bill. Let's say the bill is 200 dollar, the restaurant still banks 160 dollar. If we did not do this promotion chances are large that this person would not celebrate his birthday in this restaurant. Which will make the restaurant obviously 0 dollar.
I convinced my client to implement this strategy eventually. He now is more then thankfull for it. Almost every website visitor opts in now and weekly he gets reservations for birthdays. He also mails them when he has some special offers. One mail on valentine with an offer and the restaurant was over-booked. The other powerfull thing is that people who optin will recommend to do this also to their friends and family.
The point of the whole story above is that i am a big believer of giving away something big in exchange for an e-mail adress. If i would own let's say a software company I would definitely give one of my products away in exchange for an e-mail address. If you give something worth well over 200 dollar away for free you can even ask them to "like" or "tweet" first before the optin page is shown. This way your list will go viral fast....
So my question to you guys:
I strongly believe that giving away something of value will make you money on the backend and you list will grow way faster. Nowadays everybody gives away free reports. It is time to get creative! What do you guys think and what is your strategy?