charging for an ebook vs lead generation

16 replies
I wanted to get your opinions on this.

Which do you feel is better when dealing with a highly specialised subject:

1. give away free ebook in exchange for email (leads)
2. charge for a premium ebook (lead generation secondary)

I think in some case 2 is better, if you are trying to present the credibility and premium value of your product. I understand its possible to combine them both but choosing 1 or 2 will inform big differences in creating an effective lead generation page vs a click through landing page.

I'm worried that focusing on lead generation can dilute the possibility of making an immediate sale, especially when dealing with a desperate customer looking for an immediate solution.

Opinions?
#charging #ebook #generation #lead
  • Profile picture of the author JensSteyaert
    You should combine both preferably, first capture people's email address and then build trust and promote your premium ebook.

    This is probably the best way to sell your own product because you have the ability to presell it, which shouldn't be understimated. If you direct link to your product you'll have a 1 time shot to sell which decrease your conversions a lot.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrmugabe
      thanks, i think i underestimated the value of building trust over time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Entrecon
    If you sell the book first and then grab the leads from the sale, you are basically pre-qualifying your leads.

    In my eyes it would be best to do something to get the lead first and then work on selling them.
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  • Profile picture of the author loaf1011
    ^ I second what Entrecon said. If you only do lead-generation based on who buys (which isn't a bad thing, as you would have a list of proven buyers!), you'll be missing out on a lot of people who don't buy your premium ebook, but may buy something down the line.

    By giving away a freebie and capturing all of those email addresses you'll still be able to convert the would-be buyers into actual buyers, but now you also have a much bigger list of people who you know for a fact are interested in your niche. Down the line you'll be able to sell/promote to them, even if it's not just your premium ebook.
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveFinch
    I think I'd give away a "report" based on the ebook to get the leads, and then offer the ebook as the next step.
    With a highly specialised subject, I'm sure that would work out well.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Generally speaking...

    Giving stuff away gets you a freebie seekers list.

    Selling stuff gets you a buyers list.

    Go for buyers. But before they know and trust you bombard them with massive value.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrmugabe
      thanks guys, great stuff. gives me a lot to think about.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrmugabe
      Originally Posted by travlinguy View Post

      Generally speaking...

      Giving stuff away gets you a freebie seekers list.

      Selling stuff gets you a buyers list.

      Go for buyers. But before they know and trust you bombard them with massive value.
      That's exactly my dilemma. I know that people hitting my landing page are looking for a SOLUTION through my own experience. So, do i give them the solution for a price that they may or may not be willing to pay or do i try and at least capture emails and build a community.

      TBH i think both are viable but I need to do some some split testing on google analytics to see whether information or treatement is more important.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by mrmugabe View Post

        That's exactly my dilemma. I know that people hitting my landing page are looking for a SOLUTION through my own experience. So, do i give them the solution for a price that they may or may not be willing to pay or do i try and at least capture emails and build a community.

        TBH i think both are viable but I need to do some some split testing on google analytics to see whether information or treatement is more important.
        Much depends on where those people are in the buying process.

        If they're still in the information-gathering stage, or even the consider the options stage, a straight sell will likely scare them off.

        If they've decided they need to buy something, it's time to go for the sale.

        You may need to test a landing page whose intent is helping people who land on it decide which camp they're in and directing them accordingly.
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        • Profile picture of the author mrmugabe
          good points, perhaps i should run two campaigns, one leading to sale page and another to a lead page and compare the conversion rates to see what works.
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  • Profile picture of the author Viper64
    Originally Posted by mrmugabe View Post

    1. give away free ebook in exchange for email (leads)
    2. charge for a premium ebook (lead generation secondary)
    How about both? It really depends on which "site" you're talking about and/or what you're real intent is.

    You can have a site purely for lead generation, but you can also have a very small section (or even on the thank you page) for "I just want it so let me buy it now".

    On your sales page though, the page primarily meant to sell the product, you can also have a small section to collect leads. It's pretty common actually. Ticks me off as an affiliate when I see that on a sales page though. There "should" be 2 versions of the sales page. One for organic traffic with the lead collection and one strictly for affiliates without it.

    It really depends on how you're setting everything up. The majority of people are focused on lead generation though and so only have the lead collection site/page. But when you think about it, If you have a product you're selling, you're going to have a sales site/page. Then you're going to have various sites like blogs etc that primarily do lead collection.

    Just a couple things to think about.
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  • Profile picture of the author copymyideas
    I would suggest charging for the product but offering affiliates 100% of the sale. This is a great way to build a quality list quickly
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffreykig
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      Whenever you are torn between two or more alternatives, possibly both or all of them are viable, I have found that the very best way to proceed is:

      Determine you goal first, i.e., what is the top priority that you want to accomplish? Test and track the results of all the various scenarios to see which one best accomplishes your goal.

      It's really the only way to find the best answer for the goal that you have set.

      So in your case, what is it that you ultimately want? A big list of subscribers, a buyer's list, the most money possible from a quick sale, to build your credibility, or to provide value to your prospects? What is most important to you at this point?

      Choose your goal, try several approaches, test and track results, and you should have your answer about the best way to meet your goal.

      It sounds to me like your haven't set a goal for what you want to accomplish. Once you do that, then how to proceed will become more clear. Testing and tracking will tell you is your choices make sense and which approach best meets your goal.

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author clearspark
    I have the same issue. I'm currently giving away an eBook with huge value (75 page technical document that helps engineers to solve a specific problem). Similar textbooks sell for $30-$100. By offering it for free, I was able to capture 2000+ leads in 2 months, but I didn't make a dime in the short term. I'm working on the assumption that I'll be able to sell these leads much higher value products in the future. If I had charged $10 for the eBook, I figure the number of leads would be less than 10% of what I'd received by giving it away for free, so the future selling opportunity is much lower.

    I could have given away chapter one for free (in return for email address) and tried to upsell the rest of the book, but I think giving away the whole thing has given me a lot of credibility and makes my potential clients trust me a lot more.

    I'm working on the premise of 'plough massive value' first, then worry about monetizing later. I know many gurus would disagree with this method, but it's working for me so far. My next target is 10,000 on my list, then I'll start with little $20 sales and build up to a $2000 information product followed by product sales.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by mrmugabe View Post

      good points, perhaps i should run two campaigns, one leading to sale page and another to a lead page and compare the conversion rates to see what works.
      You're still assuming that you have to choose one or the other.

      You may find that both paths will lead to the same destination, and abandoning one of them will cost you in the long run.

      You may find that one campaign harvests the low hanging fruit (the ones ready to buy right now), while the other takes some time to lead people through the decision process.

      One big advantage of catching people earlier in the process is that the prospect pool is both larger and deeper. And since many (if not most) online marketers take the "desperate buyer" mantra as gospel, going for the "ready to buy right now" crowd is also the most competitive.

      Back in ancient times, they used to say that all roads led to Rome. They never said you could only take one of them ever.
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  • Profile picture of the author Greedy
    I vote combine both, give away a free chapter to get leads, and charge for premium version.
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