Creating a list on autopilot

51 replies
Imagine that BMW would give you a new car of your choice if you decide to opt-in. Would you opt-in? Of course you would! You are stupid if you think "no way".

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?
#autopilot #creating #list
  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Your example is even better than you told. If your client is any good at running his business, that $40 dinner will only really put him about $10 out of pocket. For $10 "advertising cost", he would pull in a $160 tab, of which at least $50 would be profit. I'll buy $50 bills for $10 all day long.

    This isn't just limited to list building, either.

    A few years ago, we had a family vacation in Hawaii. The tour company had a 'welcome breakfast' (estimated cost, ~$3/plate), during which they pitched other paid activities (luaus, helicopter tours, etc.). In addition, they had several door prizes to make sure people stuck around after the plates were cleared.

    I won a $76 ticket to a luau. I had a choice - go alone, pass up the prize, or pay for 4 more tickets. What did I choose? We all enjoyed the show...

    Extending that, this was the second time we attended one of these welcome breakfasts. The first time, it was just my wife and me. We didn't win anything. But several lucky people in bigger groups won single prizes...

    The marginal cost of a single luau probably wasn't anything close to the $76 face value on the ticket, and it generated $230 worth of sales for the luau operator.

    You're right. Making like Santa Claus can make for very happy trips to the bank.
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  • Profile picture of the author Blimeyoreilly
    This is going to be a popular post with plenty of response... Giving something away for free is a cool strategy (especially in IM like eBooks etc.) particularly to promote response & viral reaction. No one will argue with this concept... However, just as there are positive viral reactions (possibly based on reputation or word of mouth) there are bad outcomes from viral response examples... For example BMW recently having a technical problem allowing fraudsters to manipulate certain vehicle security malfunction or a restaurant exposed as having an issue with an insect pest issue magnified by regional governmental cut-backs & the like (perhaps to neighbouring premises where pest control was usually handled by local funding). Whatever it is... I say giving away technical details or insect pests for free can be really popular to many sad people lol...
    Hey mister, I am running out of a sense of humour but at least I enjoyed writing this post.
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  • Profile picture of the author pizaruu
    create compaign in google adwords
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  • Profile picture of the author mikemeth
    Definitely works look how many fan pages offer free stuff if you like or if you opt-in, now problem is where to advertise this offer
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  • Profile picture of the author jamescanz
    Originally Posted by sabluuk View Post

    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?
    Here are my thoughts being an authority affiliate marketer in niche of building muscle ... so

    Someone gave me this idea in another thread, basically to give my away a free 5 day videos /slideshows that go hand in hand with the stories that I tell on my autoresponder.

    Some people learn better by reading, some visual, some both. But the great thing about it is that I can further engage my subscriber and give them coaching that usually values around $50 / hour. AND open up, tell more personal stories, provide rapport, value, etc
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  • Profile picture of the author retsced
    Yep, a funded proposal is always an effective marketing strategy, has been for years.
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  • Profile picture of the author gpwilson
    It would be great if you would implement it properly. Best of luck dude.
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  • Profile picture of the author markwilson4074
    This idea looks promising.

    Internet marketing is all about "quantity" and thinking in "masses"

    In collecting optins, the biggest initial challenge is to get target traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author dengkane
    Great sharing, it let's me think about how to build my lists, and I can provide some real services to let visitors opt-in, such as setup a wordpress site or setup an autoresponder account, these tasks are very easy for me.
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    • Profile picture of the author sniperdomi
      Originally Posted by dengkane View Post

      Great sharing, it let's me think about how to build my lists, and I can provide some real services to let visitors opt-in, such as setup a wordpress site or setup an autoresponder account, these tasks are very easy for me.
      Yes it is for me too, but what if there few thousand of subscribers to your list. You would need a big infrastructure to do it.

      That thing won't be possible to handle alone.
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  • Profile picture of the author pinakin
    The exact fundamental I've studied in my first semester of Bachlors in Marketing Management, it is called razor and blades business model, if I give a razor for free then that guy will have to purchase your blades to use the razor, I would suggest to mix this method with the conditioning methods it would bring some cool result
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  • Profile picture of the author GuruGuna
    Great post. I wish I have a BMW to give away! I guess the more valuable your give away is, the higher the conversion rate is going to be.

    I think it is rather difficult for anyone to build a list without giving away something.

    I always found that an honest sales letter and an honest give away product converts really well.
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  • Profile picture of the author nav123
    Hey, I like your concept on Bmw. Everyone here knows it sounds too good to be true. Bmw has been a established brand for very long years. So definitely people would opt in. What I am actually getting about is if you are just starting out you should always remember to create a valuable brand for yourself. So people would recognise your brand. This in turn would really help your visitors conversion rate improve drastically for the long run.
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  • Profile picture of the author paul nicholls
    You have hit the nail on the head here

    I always tell people to give away something of value otherwise your subscriber is never goingt o open anything from you ever again if you sent them garbage the first time

    First impressions are very important

    My first list which i built i initially gave away 5 free videos out of my 23 videos but a few months later i ended up giving away 15 videos and then sold the last 7 or so

    People loved it and i often and still do get emails saying that it is high free value

    Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author sabluuk
      Originally Posted by paul nicholls View Post

      You have hit the nail on the head here

      I always tell people to give away something of value otherwise your subscriber is never goingt o open anything from you ever again if you sent them garbage the first time

      First impressions are very important

      My first list which i built i initially gave away 5 free videos out of my 23 videos but a few months later i ended up giving away 15 videos and then sold the last 7 or so

      People loved it and i often and still do get emails saying that it is high free value

      Paul
      Awesome concept and exactly what i mean
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    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by paul nicholls View Post

      You have hit the nail on the head here

      I always tell people to give away something of value otherwise your subscriber is never goingt o open anything from you ever again if you sent them garbage the first time

      First impressions are very important

      My first list which i built i initially gave away 5 free videos out of my 23 videos but a few months later i ended up giving away 15 videos and then sold the last 7 or so

      People loved it and i often and still do get emails saying that it is high free value

      Paul
      ALways give them your best stuff, yes, and leave them craving for more. Chances are if you what you give away is doing its job they will crave for more.
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  • Profile picture of the author webmarke
    Great post. But to make your list grow even faster you need to add a viral element to it. I suggest you make a sales page with an offer.

    To make your offer go really viral you need to make sure that your visitors will know that they are getting a high value product for free!

    To do this just add 2 options to your offer.

    A paid offer and a viral element to let them get it for a tweet or like.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ed Micah
    Well said -- quality goes before anything I'd say.
    You offer them something really sweet, they'll just love you, trust you, and finally pay you. I guess that's how internet marketing work )
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  • Profile picture of the author hbhanot
    Word FREE is a magic word if used correctly.
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  • Profile picture of the author jendg
    i also believe in giving free good info products and building a relationship first with your list
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  • Profile picture of the author kb24
    Sabluuk

    Where do I get this valuable stuff to give away? I have a squeeze page giving something away to build my list..autoresponder ect.. the problem is finding valuable stuff. I want to build it out so all I have to worry about is new subscribers..
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    • Profile picture of the author sabluuk
      Originally Posted by kb24 View Post

      Sabluuk

      Where do I get this valuable stuff to give away? I have a squeeze page giving something away to build my list..autoresponder ect.. the problem is finding valuable stuff. I want to build it out so all I have to worry about is new subscribers..
      Depends on the niche. For instant i have a website about great tips for a nice day out. For that list i give away tickets of festifals.

      I contact big dutch festifals (yes im from the Netherlands ) and ask them tickets to give away to my list. Mass people optin for this.

      On another IM blog i run in holland i wrote a full story on how i made it to making 200 euro a day in 4 months (i translated this to english also which you can find in my signature). The people who visit my blog want to have this.

      If you know a lot about your niche, start writing. If you are affiliate marketeer for let's say nike sneakers. Contact an online store if you can give away one pair a month which you randomly of your list. That is great value.
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      • Profile picture of the author Walter Parrish
        not everyone will take the bmw for other reasons (taxes, higher insurance rates, depending on your class and neighborhood theift etc), but giving something of value is always the way to go.
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        • Profile picture of the author sabluuk
          Originally Posted by Walter Parrish View Post

          not everyone will take the bmw for other reasons (taxes, higher insurance rates, depending on your class and neighborhood theift etc), but giving something of value is always the way to go.
          So you really think if BMW did this that people will say "no thanks"?
          Excuse me but these people can be labled as idiots.

          Let's say you do not want to drive a BMW, you won't take it for free and sell it or even give it away?
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          • Profile picture of the author Matida
            I also believe in givng away free quality products to build a relationship with your list, but at the same how would you turn the free e-mail list into a buyers e-mail list? For sure the quality of the products needs to stay good or maybe even excellent, but is that enough?
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            • Profile picture of the author sabluuk
              Originally Posted by Matida View Post

              I also believe in givng away free quality products to build a relationship with your list, but at the same how would you turn the free e-mail list into a buyers e-mail list? For sure the quality of the products needs to stay good or maybe even excellent, but is that enough?
              IMO that is not enough. You have to build a relation with your list. Not all my e-mails are for making affiliate sales. As a matter of fact. 70% of my e-mails are pure information to feed feed feed the reader. If they trust you, they will buy what you recommend.

              A reader can easily see what you are doing.
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              • Profile picture of the author Matida
                Originally Posted by sabluuk View Post

                IMO that is not enough. You have to build a relation with your list. Not all my e-mails are for making affiliate sales. As a matter of fact. 70% of my e-mails are pure information to feed feed feed the reader. If they trust you, they will buy what you recommend.

                A reader can easily see what you are doing.
                Sorry, I think I wasn't clear. I didn't mean affiliate products, but your own products have to be good and indeed not all e-mails should be about selling to your list. But you gave the answer already: about 70% of your e-mails are purely informational and tha should be enough tomake them buy your other products and / or affiliate products.
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          • Profile picture of the author Walter Parrish
            Originally Posted by sabluuk View Post

            So you really think if BMW did this that people will say "no thanks"?
            Excuse me but these people can be labled as idiots.

            Let's say you do not want to drive a BMW, you won't take it for free and sell it or even give it away?
            That's stupid and narrow minded on your part. Just because you would do something for certain reasons doesn't mean that the whole world will do the same. Never assume that everyone is the same.

            A good sales man knows to make the offer to every potential customer, no matter what they think about the person on a personal level, try it sometimes.
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            • Profile picture of the author sabluuk
              Originally Posted by Walter Parrish View Post

              That's stupid and narrow minded on your part. Just because you would do something for certain reasons doesn't mean that the whole world will do the same. Never assume that everyone is the same.

              A good sales man knows to make the offer to every potential customer, no matter what they think about the person on a personal level, try it sometimes.
              Ok, could very well be that not everyone wants a free BMW. Though i can guarantee you that if this offer was real, that optin rate would be skyrocketing.

              Question is: Is it interesting to focus on people who do not want stuff, or focus on the people who do value your goods and try to increase that.
              I think the last one
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              • Profile picture of the author Walter Parrish
                Originally Posted by sabluuk View Post

                Ok, could very well be that not everyone wants a free BMW. Though i can guarantee you that if this offer was real, that optin rate would be skyrocketing.

                Question is: Is it interesting to focus on people who do not want stuff, or focus on the people who do value your goods and try to increase that.
                I think the last one
                A Billionaire may value the Models you've created more than a car.
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                • Profile picture of the author sabluuk
                  Originally Posted by Walter Parrish View Post

                  A Billionaire may value the Models you've created more than a car.
                  Thats true, But how many billionaires are there compared to not-billionaires.

                  What i mean is that you should focus on the majority of your potential. If you are not making something specifically for billionaires, then don't focus on them.

                  Focus on the potential and try to build from there. That will make it much easier to succeed and will be also possitive energy
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                  • Profile picture of the author Walter Parrish
                    Originally Posted by sabluuk View Post

                    Thats true, But how many billionaires are there compared to not-billionaires.

                    What i mean is that you should focus on the majority of your potential. If you are not making something specifically for billionaires, then don't focus on them.

                    Focus on the potential and try to build from there. That will make it much easier to succeed and will be also possitive energy
                    I don't know about potentials. Most business including those I indulge in deal with facts and figures not potentials. Sure you may think your customers will do this or that and feel good about it, but it's better to know what they are going to do. Even though most businesses are not masters at it yet some know exactly what the majority of their customers will do.

                    A person who loves oranges has the potential to eat an apple, but if you Know they love oranges if you want success you better offer them that orange.
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                    • Profile picture of the author WFAlex
                      I get the point about giving away free birthday meals (and then cashing in on all the friends that guy/girl is gonna bring) but not so much about giving away a $200 piece of software for a free opt-in and tweet?

                      With the birthday example, you build a list of freebie seekers but you know they will pay their drinks plus their friends will be paying in full anyway. Makes sense.

                      With the software, you only get the freebie seekers, there is no guarantee like in the birthday example to make any money, other than the usual assumption to mail them some affiliate offers and hope they'll buy. Or are you talking about giving away free software that then runs as adware (no, this is not spyware) or some form of shareware?
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                      • Profile picture of the author sabluuk
                        Originally Posted by WFAlex View Post

                        I get the point about giving away free birthday meals (and then cashing in on all the friends that guy/girl is gonna bring) but not so much about giving away a $200 piece of software for a free opt-in and tweet?

                        With the birthday example, you build a list of freebie seekers but you know they will pay their drinks plus their friends will be paying in full anyway. Makes sense.

                        With the software, you only get the freebie seekers, there is no guarantee like in the birthday example to make any money, other than the usual assumption to mail them some affiliate offers and hope they'll buy. Or are you talking about giving away free software that then runs as adware (no, this is not spyware) or some form of shareware?
                        Who says you will ONLY get freebie seekers if you provide quality software?

                        I've read a casestudy on the web (searching for it but cant find it anymore) where some guy had about 5 software products around the pricerange of 1k. He also had a product of 500 dollar.
                        He gave that product away for an optin. It resulted in people buying the higher priced software because they were a logical followup for the 500 piece.

                        Sharware is another good idea
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  • Profile picture of the author Baadier Sydow
    I really like this and thanks for sharing. Its a concept that works really well and its exactly why webinars are so popular at the moment. Giving away 45 minutes of great content and then a 15 minute pitch seems to be the guru's blueprint at the moment. Also a really good idea to implement offline with recorded webinars.

    Hook them with free information and club then with a paypal button
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  • Profile picture of the author crissie
    In your example, you're making money for both businesses. Only a fool would not go for this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Schwarz
    How could this work for a dentist or oil change place?
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  • Great post. Thanks for sharing.
    Offering value to your subscribers is KEY! But making it really appeal to that target audience makes the difference between a responsive list and an unresponsive list.

    Great thread
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  • Profile picture of the author Manie Amari
    Great points sabluuk!

    I can attest to this working really well as I just recently launched a FREE WSO and bagged me just shy of 700 subs

    I could have easily sold the WSO for $27 but instead decided to give it away for free. It not only has built me a nice targeted list but it has also allowed me to build relationships with other product developers.


    Manie
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    This will NOT be up for long. Get it now whilst You still can. Btw it's FREE...
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  • Profile picture of the author ExRat
    Hi sabluuk,

    Originally Posted by sabluuk View Post

    I strongly believe that giving away something of value will make you money on the backend and you list will grow way faster.
    The problem most people seem to have is that even if they get this part right, they don't appreciate that they are setting expectations - so when they follow up with pump and dump tactics the disconnect is too obvious.

    To use John McCabe's analogy (post #2) it's like offering a high quality meal very cheap to get people into the restaurant, then once they have eaten there, the only option thereafter is overpriced junk.

    Or in your example, give them a free BMW for opt in then send them emails trying to sell a Skoda with BMW bodywork for $150k. They will take the BMW, then unsubscribe quickly afterwards feeling tricked.

    In my opinion, the quality has to be continuous and consistent to make the initial effort worthwhile.

    Alternatively, claim to offer a free BMW for opt-in, but send a screensaver image of one on sign up. Then sell ad swaps to unsuspecting newb IMers and practice creating subscriber remorse. I don't recommend this pointless method or practice it myself, but apparently it's very common.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jackson Tan
    awesome!! very nice example of the important of giving value.. i really like it...
    thanks for sharing
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