Do free reports work anymore or are they a waste of time?

42 replies
I was thinking about putting out a free report, but I am unsure if it is going work. It has been a long time since I have done this so I do not know if people are still going for this. What would people need to see in a free report in order to download it? I would imagine it would have to be something good and not just a teaser to buy a product. What would it take for you guys to sign up. I have even thought about not requiring opting in to read it, but making this an option later. What do you guys think. :confused:
#anymore #free #reports #time #waste #work
  • Profile picture of the author RonnyRaygun
    Originally Posted by pheonix44 View Post

    What would people need to see in a free report in order to download it?
    Value

    Solve their problem
    Signature

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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by pheonix44 View Post

    Do free reports work anymore or are they a waste of time?
    I use them in every niche in which I do business.

    Originally Posted by pheonix44 View Post

    What would people need to see in a free report in order to download it?
    I think you have to offer whatever the bulk of the traffic you're going to attract is likely to see as "valuable content". It obviously doesn't have to be something that "offers a solution to a problem" (many niches don't involve "problems" at all), but clearly in some niches, that's one possible approach.

    The only real "selling" I do on my sites at all is "selling" the free report so that I can build lists (because I'm an affiliate marketer, and you certainly can't make many affiliate sales without your lists!).

    Originally Posted by pheonix44 View Post

    I would imagine it would have to be something good and not just a teaser to buy a product.
    I think it needs to be "not a teaser to buy a product" at all - not "not just a teaser to buy a product".

    I use it to offer something I hope will perceived as "information/secrets of great value", which is a little PDF specifically designed and created to be part of my continuity-process and to do all these things ...
    • Brand myself and my site
    • Fulfil the promise of offering information/secrets of great value
    • Set my subscribers' expectations
    • Ensure that the subsequent email series gets the maximum possible open-rate and attention (this is perhaps the one that most determines whether or not you make a living, which is why people "giving away some sort of old PLR/MRR-rights information and hoping for the best" are living on another planet: there's not much point in building a list if four-fifths of your subscribers aren't even willing to open and read your emails!)
    • Continue the process of establishing credibility and trust already commenced on my site
    • Provide content able to interest and impress subscribers enough to grab their attention and make sure they "stay with me" so that out of all the other lists they're also on (let's not pretend they're not!) mine is the link through which they effectively choose to buy
    In other words, just like almost everything else that determines people's success/failure in internet marketing, it's almost all about quality and relevance.
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  • Profile picture of the author pheonix44
    Value

    Solve their problem
    The issue with this is it has to be a problem that is hard to solve or find the solution for anywhere else. If this is not the case people will not care. Also, if I am able to solve a tough problem that is hard to find the answer for somewhere else then I would not want to give it away for free. How would you handle that? I was thinking offer a free chapter or something.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by pheonix44 View Post

      The issue with this is it has to be a problem that is hard to solve or find the solution for anywhere else. If this is not the case people will not care. Also, if I am able to solve a tough problem that is hard to find the answer for somewhere else then I would not want to give it away for free. How would you handle that? I was thinking offer a free chapter or something.
      Sometimes, even many times, you don't have to solve the problem in the initial contact (the free report).

      Many times, simply helping the individual to see the problem clearly and dispassionately is enough to earn trust and a chance to build the relationship. If you can take someone in pain or anxiety and help them clearly see the source, that person will make the leap to "he/she gets me" all by themselves.

      That's when you can guide them to the solution that ends up in the win-win column...
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      • I love free reports and will often give my email in exchange for one. I appreciate the ones that offer real information, whether a solution, overview or something related.

        But it's got to be solid, not fluff. With fluff, even if it's free, I feel like I've been scammed.

        Mary
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
          Originally Posted by BrightShinyObjects View Post

          But it's got to be solid, not fluff. With fluff, even if it's free, I feel like I've been scammed.
          This.

          This is the point. Many people feel exactly like Mary and I do about that.

          If you give away "fluff" thinking that it doesn't matter because it was free anyway, and you only did it for the email address, you've just shot your own business in the foot, because the report's recipients aren't going to open and read your emails in future. And from your perspective, the purpose of sending them a "free report" was precisely to get them to open and read your emails in future - otherwise you don't really have much of a business, after all.
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        • Profile picture of the author Sandra Martinez
          Originally Posted by BrightShinyObjects View Post


          But it's got to be solid, not fluff. With fluff, even if it's free, I feel like I've been scammed.

          Mary
          Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

          This.

          This is the point. Many people feel exactly like Mary and I do about that.

          If you give away "fluff" thinking that it doesn't matter because it was free anyway, and you only did it for the email address, you've just shot your own business in the foot, because the report's recipients aren't going to open and read your emails in future. And from your perspective, the purpose of sending them a "free report" was precisely to get them to open and read your emails in future - otherwise you don't really have much of a business, after all.
          Exactly. Fluff is a horrible branding strategy.
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  • Profile picture of the author karlmay1980
    If you have noticed many top marketers don't ask for optins at the minute but allow instant download, they then direct you to an optin from the ebook to get another vital bit of content and then obviously to the selling.

    This way it gets the content into the hands of the public first and action takers will still opt in, but obviously the content need to be right and of value.
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  • Profile picture of the author Confined To Life
    A couple of weeks ago someone posted some information pertaining to an eBook infographic and how the numbers have gone up 42% (people reading eBooks online). So yes, I do think they're valuable.

    The thing you have to remember is that you need it to be interesting. You can't just say 'eBook/Report on <SaidTopic>'. It has to grab their attention.
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  • Profile picture of the author pheonix44
    If you have noticed many top marketers don't ask for optins at the minute but allow instant download, they then direct you to an optin from the ebook to get another vital bit of content and then obviously to the selling.

    This way it gets the content into the hands of the public first and action takers will still opt in, but obviously the content need to be right and of value.
    This is what I planned on doing. I figured it is a better idea to give people access fast and make things easy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Franko Ferencic
    I think as most valuable stuff you give in your free report most likely you will have people sign in for it. If they see you are giving valuable information they will come back. Offer them another valuable free report and then monetize your final product. That way you are building your list and with that generous offers you are building relationship with your subscribers. As stronger relationship with your subscribers you have they will more likely buy from you again and again. I'm sure they will recommend you to other people. Word about the fact that you over deliver will spread and new people will be attracted to you.

    Wish you all the best !

    Franko
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  • Profile picture of the author Bill Hugall
    I think that you are over analyzing it. The free report only needs to be an introduction with some value. You can follow-up with some higher quality stuff down the road. Not to mention using a free offer with a nice funnel always works well.
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  • Profile picture of the author TomYevsikov
    Yes, freebies still work and they absolutely have to be valuable.

    But, a teaser is also needed.

    Yes they should buy your product because thats what makes you money, not the freebies.

    Create value to presell your brand
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Are you questioning the FORMAT or the CONTENT. I don't
    see how a free report can lose it's appeal if the content
    is valuable to your target audience.

    -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
    Make your free report as good as or better than any of your paid reports.
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  • Profile picture of the author rmolina88
    The freebie better shoot money out the vistor's monitor.
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  • Profile picture of the author thedanbrown
    Free reports or giveaways definitely still work and you just need to provide a ton of over the top value so that a) people will opt-in and b) people are more likely to buy your products or the products you recommend because of the value you already delivered for free
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  • Profile picture of the author pheonix44
    Free reports or giveaways definitely still work and you just need to provide a ton of over the top value so that a) people will opt-in and b) people are more likely to buy your products or the products you recommend because of the value you already delivered for free
    Over the top value is the tricky part. If it is really good, then it would be hard to follow that up in a paid product I might put out later. The paid product can actually end up being a let down.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sandra Martinez
      Originally Posted by pheonix44 View Post

      Over the top value is the tricky part. If it is really good, then it would be hard to follow that up in a paid product I might put out later. The paid product can actually end up being a let down.
      Yep! saw that happening in real life...

      mmmm I think the free product is not just a free product. it has to be something that complements and introduces the paid product.

      For example, suppose you sell software.The free product can be a document applying it successfully to a niche product. Or better.. showing how it is done the hard way, and then showing how easier is to use it.

      People who can´t or won´t buy the product still can make it happen, and will keep thinking about the soft with each boring task. Sooner or later they will come back to buy it.
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      • Profile picture of the author gcozzens
        I also use free reports and full length free eBooks in my business. If you were to look at one of my free eBooks you would realize it's not just a weekend or month project just to get email addresses. They are complete and thorough and even though they use affiliate links to recommend products, they are only products I really feel are of value. The bottom line - Provide real value and solve real problems or even though you may get the email address, they will likely not stay on your list very long.

        Yes - they still work very well for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author TimothyTorrents
    I can't say for sure. I don't have a opt-in page up yet. But from what I have learned from this forum you usually collect a lot of "free-bie seekers" if you offer a free report. If you offer a paid report you know for sure that the people who signed up for your list are ready to buy products from you.
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    • Profile picture of the author ActionToCash
      What about the whole offer the first three chapters free format, and then opt-in, or pay for the remaining chapters?

      Has anyone tried this with success?

      RK
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      • Profile picture of the author techbul
        Originally Posted by RandallKowalenko View Post

        What about the whole offer the first three chapters free format, and then opt-in, or pay for the remaining chapters?

        Has anyone tried this with success?

        RK
        I never tried it, but I was thinking the same thing. Can someone shed some light on this one?
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      • Profile picture of the author Sandra Martinez
        Originally Posted by RandallKowalenko View Post

        What about the whole offer the first three chapters free format, and then opt-in, or pay for the remaining chapters?

        Has anyone tried this with success?

        RK
        It is ok for fiction. But I would not be happy as a user for anything else.
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    • Profile picture of the author WriterWahm
      Originally Posted by timbonitus View Post

      I can't say for sure. I don't have a opt-in page up yet. But from what I have learned from this forum you usually collect a lot of "free-bie seekers" if you offer a free report. If you offer a paid report you know for sure that the people who signed up for your list are ready to buy products from you.
      I think that's a blanket statement and it's side-stepping the issue. Sure there's a place for paying subscribers and you're right, they most likely will buy from you again. But if you do your homework well, you can turn your 'freebie seekers' into real, paying customers. It all depends on the value of what you offer and the relationship you build with them afterwards. Not offering a free report on your website (or wherever else you choose to offer it) is totally ignoring a legitimate tried and tested method of building your list.
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  • Profile picture of the author pheonix44
    What about the whole offer the first three chapters free format, and then opt-in, or pay for the remaining chapters?

    Has anyone tried this with success?

    RK
    I was thinking about doing this, but I am not sure this would work. I would like to hear if anyone else is having success with it.
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  • Profile picture of the author pheonix44
    It is ok for fiction. But I would not be happy as a user for anything else.
    What if one really good tips were provided that was really hard hitting? If the remaining information was not free would you still be unhappy or just not buy it?
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    • Profile picture of the author Sandra Martinez
      Originally Posted by pheonix44 View Post

      What if one really good tips were provided that was really hard hitting? If the remaining information was not free would you still be unhappy or just not buy it?
      Reports need to have closure.

      Things that could work...

      Suppose you develop a full marketing strategy to sell crafts online.

      A good cloud would be: 5 awesome tips to promote your crafts online.

      those are good and have closure, they are applicable.

      Then you sell the whole system.

      Now, if the cloud does not have closure, people get mad. Because you made them waste their time.

      Another... Install your wp blog in 10 minutes

      you give a step by step installing from cpanel.

      then you sell the full package that is the set of plugins it needs for promotion, and a full social traffic system to make the blog stellar.

      the product should be the next natural step, makes sense?
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  • Free reports still work. They probably always will.

    Although a free video, webinar or podcast have a higher perceived value & are just as easy to produce...
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  • Profile picture of the author pheonix44
    Reports need to have closure.

    Things that could work...

    Suppose you develop a full marketing strategy to sell crafts online.

    A good cloud would be: 5 awesome tips to promote your crafts online.

    those are good and have closure, they are applicable.

    Then you sell the whole system.

    Now, if the cloud does not have closure, people get mad. Because you made them waste their time.

    Another... Install your wp blog in 10 minutes

    you give a step by step installing from cpanel.

    then you sell the full package that is the set of plugins it needs for promotion, and a full social traffic system to make the blog stellar.

    the product should be the next natural step, makes sense?
    So you are saying a good strategy is to sell a complete solution. After this sell a more detailed plan on how to execute it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sandra Martinez
      Originally Posted by pheonix44 View Post

      So you are saying a good strategy is to sell a complete solution. After this sell a more detailed plan on how to execute it.
      More or less... yes.

      There are many different systems that work. But the bottom line is: you give what you promise, and do not waste the readers time.
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  • Profile picture of the author pheonix44
    More or less... yes.

    There are many different systems that work. But the bottom line is: you give what you promise, and do not waste the readers time.
    What would you do overall? How would you package a report so that you could sell a product later? What I am saying is the front end information has to be really good, but if it is too good then following it up would be tough.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by pheonix44 View Post

      What I am saying is the front end information has to be really good, but if it is too good then following it up would be tough.
      Yes, you have to "strike a balance", one way or another, without giving away the farm.

      I'd advise you to err on the side of giving away too much, though, rather than too little, never losing sight of the fact that the primary purpose of the "free report" is to secure the maximum possible open-rate for your subsequent autoresponder series. That does depend more on "how you say it" than on "what you say", though - so you don't really need to give away the farm!

      It's essential to take a long-term view, because without your subscribers being willing to open, read and pay attention to your emails, you haven't actually achieved much: http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post6123982
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    • Profile picture of the author Sandra Martinez
      Originally Posted by pheonix44 View Post

      What would you do overall? How would you package a report so that you could sell a product later? What I am saying is the front end information has to be really good, but if it is too good then following it up would be tough.
      I told you what I would do... there are different ways to go around it, but the best one depends on the niche and the product you are offering. The cloud has to be designed specifically for the product.

      What are you selling? an ebook?

      Now... don´t get caught in the extreme perfectionism. Do you want to offer leaked chapters? go for it. And refine from the results.
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  • Profile picture of the author benzwm02
    Originally Posted by pheonix44 View Post

    I was thinking about putting out a free report, but I am unsure if it is going work. It has been a long time since I have done this so I do not know if people are still going for this. What would people need to see in a free report in order to download it? I would imagine it would have to be something good and not just a teaser to buy a product. What would it take for you guys to sign up. I have even thought about not requiring opting in to read it, but making this an option later. What do you guys think. :confused:
    If the report offers what the targeted visitor was seeking then it helps. If it is junk like the majority of free online reports then your credibility will go down and the targeted visitor will not seek anymore information from you again whether it is paid or free.

    There is more opportunity for free products than ever. QUALITY free products that is. If you can show everyone you actually know what you are talking about you will have more subscribers and followers than you know what to do with.

    If you offer garbage expect garbage back.
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  • Profile picture of the author overtonis
    Free reports are old reports most of the time. At one time they were usually very effective and profitable. But due to turnover rate of Algorithm by google...these techniques are no longer highly effective thus they are now "free".
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  • Profile picture of the author pheonix44
    There is more opportunity for free products than ever. QUALITY free products that is. If you can show everyone you actually know what you are talking about you will have more subscribers and followers than you know what to do with.
    I would not put out anything I felt was not going to be quality. The only thing I am saying is whatever I put out would have to be something you could not easily find somewhere else. It would have to provide an action plan. This is what I want to do. I just do not know how much I can give away without giving it all away.
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    • Profile picture of the author benzwm02
      Originally Posted by pheonix44 View Post

      I would not put out anything I felt was not going to be quality. The only thing I am saying is whatever I put out would have to be something you could not easily find somewhere else. It would have to provide an action plan. This is what I want to do. I just do not know how much I can give away without giving it all away.
      Yes, putting out a free report or product that everyone else is putting out would be useless even if it is well done. You would have to make it appear unique or be unique to attract attention.

      Why not put the whole product for free? If you are new to your market this is a great way to build subscribers and gain leverage.
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  • Profile picture of the author pheonix44
    Why not put the whole product for free? If you are new to your market this is a great way to build subscribers and gain leverage.
    This would be risky only because the time it would take me to put together something really good would be long. Yes, the value of getting lots of subscribers is high. I am just worried that following it up and charging on top of that would be tough. However, there are several niches where I can do this.
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    • Profile picture of the author taffie
      I think most of us struggle with this question, and as it is, there has been a lot of variations to the answers.

      From what I have gathered, it sounds like most people seem to be thinking mainly of people who are already exposed to IM.

      The way I think of it is these old products that are turned into free reports are still powerful and highly informative for the right people and there are millions of these right people for there to be such a thing as saturation.

      Of course people who have been exposed are the best as they have some understanding of the game but surely there are new entrants coming in everyday!

      I think key is to just give value and more value and not hold back. Just use the PLR's and save yourself the time of creating something that you think is unique, that is way time consuming, and when and where are you going to find the time to create the actual product?

      So, like has been said, give a complete and valuable report and continue to build relationship with more value while you entice them to buy something from you.

      Problem is some of the information is too good and we do not want to give it for free. It's a catch 22 situation, very tricky.

      But that's just 2 cents worth!
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  • Profile picture of the author pheonix44
    I think key is to just give value and more value and not hold back. Just use the PLR's and save yourself the time of creating something that you think is unique, that is way time consuming, and when and where are you going to find the time to create the actual product?
    I am not a big fan of PLR. Creating certain products would not be something I was worried about. I think I would just focus on problems that are not easily solved.
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