Email Marketing: Do Freebies Still Attract Good Quality Subscribers?


Most list building products tell you to build a squeeze page and offer potential subscribers a free product. You’re told that the free product has to be relevant to your target market and high perceived value. But does offering a freebie work the same way as switching on a light does to attract moths? And does it have the same kind of longevity?

The quick answer to this question is “it depends”.

If your market generally doesn’t offer free gifts – and there are still a lot of markets like that – then it could be that you start a new trend and get good quality subscribers.

In fact, one of those markets that doesn’t offer free gifts is the local business market. Everything from your local plumber through to most local shops. Yet they could (and probably should) get a short report written or simply devise a voucher that’s only available to subscribers.

Simple, effective, rarely done.

But if your market is bombarded with free gifts then it can be a different story.

My chosen market, internet marketing, is awash with free gifts. In fact if you had more time than money you could probably learn the whole business to quite a high standard simply by getting hold of free reports and applying what you’re taught.

The biggest problem with free reports in internet marketing – and quite a few others – is that they promise to be “no fluff” and then spend the first 10 pages or 10 minutes of the webinar or whatever waffling. Then pad the rest out so that there’s enough of a thud factor that the content appears valuable for anyone who works on the notion of never mind the quality, feel the width.

If that’s the case in your chosen market, you need to raise the free bar.

Or forget about giving freebies altogether!

There’s nothing that’s cast in tablets of stone saying that you have to give something away for free to attract subscribers.

Sometimes it can be a counter-productive route.

Back when mail order was in its hey day, free offers were often turned into self liquidating offers (ones that broke even) simply by charging for post and packing.

That can be done on the internet except rather than charging for postage you charge a nominal sum for the initial trial.

You could do the same with your email subscribers if your information is valuable enough.

And since your information needs to be valuable otherwise it won’t get read that might be a very good route.

If you choose that direction, I’d strongly suggest that you go down the route of less is more. Sending out an executive summary that takes less than two minutes to read or watch often has a higher value than a hour’s webinar that spends the first 15 minutes telling you how great the information is going to be, 30 to 40 minutes covering the real basics and then 15 to 30 minutes (notice how the hour has stretched!) pitching a product.

Time is probably one of the most valuable things we’ve got.

So aligning your email freebie with time saving could be the best offer your potential list will see in a very long time.

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