March 2, 2009
Once upon a time, in the dark ages of Internet marketing (only about 10 years ago in Internet years), all an online business owner had to do was stick an email opt-in form on her site and request visitors to join her list. Simple, wasn’t it?
Then, the legion of spammers began to grow and started to make marketing by email more difficult. So, then to encourage someone to opt into your list, you had to give something away, typically a very short assessment, checklist or special report.
As more and more online business owners implemented this strategy, website visitors started to become more skeptical. The giveaway then had to be more substantial, like a free ebook or transcript or recording, to get a visitor to part with his contact information.
And, today, the free bar is raised yet again. Ongoing difficulties with spammers and email marketing has caused online business owners to almost give away the store, it seems at times, to interest visitors in parting with their name and email address. If you’ve been in business awhile, you probably have some valuable content that you can easily add to enhance your giveaway. If you’re newer in business, the first pieces of content you create should be used as your free giveway rather than creating them in hopes of selling them. Remember, your primary call to action on your website or blog should always be to grow your list and a great giveaway does just that.
How can you be more competitive in a landscape full of marketers with free client-capturing devices? Here are 5 secrets to moving the free line with your website giveaway:
- Content Rich. If your giveaway isn’t chock full of useful content that helps solve some immediate problems of your target market, you shouldn’t waste your time. Sure, your client-capturing device needs to have info in it about you and your products/services and an upsell to purchase from you. However, if your giveaway is nothing but an extended infomercial about how wonderful you are and why the reader should buy from you, you won’t create a trustworthy relationship with your reader. Visitors conduct Internet searches because they’re seeking free info to help them solve their problems. If they get valuable and credible content from you that they can immediately begin to use, they are much more likely to pay attention to what else you have to say and begin to like and trust you, which, of course, leads to their eventual purchase from you.
- Multiple Offerings. A lone ebook, recording, or checklist is no longer enough. Now, multiple offerings in your free giveaway are necessary to lure the visitors onto your list. Creating some type of kit or package that includes three or so items, like a free ebook or report, an audio file, a video, etc. all focused on a similar topic is now what is required as an effective client-capturing device. Your graphical representation of this giveaway needs to reflect that you are offering multiple items in the giveaway, as well.
- Monetary Value. Because you’re including valuable content in your giveaway, you need to determine the monetary value of this content. Determine a reasonable price in line with your other offerings, and don’t do what so many other marketers do by creating ridiculously inflated prices for their free information. Place a value on each piece of info that you provide in your client-capturing device, and then a total price on the entire giveaway.
- Sales Page Required. Just like a fee-based product, the free giveaway also now needs its on sales page to let the visitor know why the giveaway is useful and wonderful and how their lives will change (or problems will be solved) by requesting the giveaway. I don’t think it has to follow the long sales letter format (the one that seems to go on forever and ever) but follows a shorter, more succinct sales page that clearly outlines the benefits and features of your offering to the visitor.
- Audio and Video Help. Almost everyone to whom I’ve spoken agrees that their opt-in rates have increased when they add audio to the giveaway sales page, and have skyrocketed when video is added. Typically all the audio or video does is welcome the visitor to the page, run through why the visitor would want to get the giveaway, and then walk the visitor through the process of requesting the information. The audio and video component is simply a smart marketing strategy because it lets the visitor know that they’re dealing with a real, live, human being and if they can now see you in video, it hastens their feeling of connection to you.
Email marketing continues to be a viable marketing strategy. However, in order to convince savvy Internet searchers that they should do business with you, you need to up the ante and create more offerings and greater content in your website giveaway. Follow these 5 secrets to enhance your offerings and watch your list grow!
Internet Marketing Strategist & Boomer Biz Coach Donna Gunter helps baby boomers create profitable online retirement businesses that they love by demystifying the tools & strategies needed to market and grow their businesses online. To claim your FR*EE gift, TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, visit her site at OnlineBizU.com. Ask Donna an Internet Marketing question at AskDonnaGunter.com