Whether you’ve already created a product or you plan to in the future, the question is always there (should I sell it or give it away?)
The obvious answer to the inexperienced marketer is “sell it.” But, an experienced marketer will tell you a free report, or any kind of product for that matter, can earn you MUCH more money in the long run, and possibly even short term as well, than a product you sell.
Obviously there are situations when selling a product will benefit you more than giving it away. For instance, if you already have a large list, promoting a free product to that list isn’t going to help you at all, so you may want to charge for a product that is sent out to your list for extra profit. But in most cases a free report will do you more good, as you’ll be building that list and you can give those who are currently on your list something of value for absolutely free, not even an opt-in.
How I do it
Before I go any further, I want to make one thing very clear. Although your ultimate goal is to obviously make a whole bunch of money your reports/products MUST be useful and do exactly as you claim!
This whole system succeeds for me because I’m able to help people and they respect me for it. I get the occasional a**hole who opts into my list then gets made when I send him emails, but over I’ve been able to gain respect by helping.
Promote something in every email and you’ll fail. Offer crappy products and you’ll fail!
1. So far I’ve written 3 free reports. I required opt-in (name and email) through a nice looking squeeze page in order to download each of them, or all of them when opting in through this blog (above.) These are all quality reports, where I really provide some excellent info! That will probably be the hardest part for most inexperienced marketers, but it can still be done… I almost guarantee there is something you can offer for free that people will want to have. The reports I’ve written are:
2. I collected resources for everything people need in order to successfully implement every single thing I mention in the reports (templates, services etc.) These are all honest recommendations and links are included within each report, but those resources with affiliate programs include my affiliate link.
3. I started a Coaching Forum where I charge VERY cheap rates ($24/month) for unlimited Question and Answers. They ask, I answer, it’s that simple. I answer every single question that is asked. This has done VERY well because people want help, but don’t want to pay $1,000 or more for 1-on-1 coaching.
3. With my autoresponder, I set up an automatic email at day two, for each of the reports (1 email for the 3 report package I offer from this blog) where I offer my personal help implementing the techniques. So, if someone opted into the $5 Mini-Site Formula, the email headline is something like “[firstname], Need my personal help with the Formula?” Of course this is taking them to my Coaching Forum where they get my personal help for $24/month.
4. Once they’ve received the auto email inviting them to my forum, they go into my inactive subscriber database, which is easily run my my autoresponder, GetResponse. Now approx. every 6 days I send them an email, but I’m not promoting a product every time, like so many others do. The simple system I use works like this:
Email 1 – send them to a free, informative blog post or other resource.
Email 2 (6 days later) – send them to a free, informative blog post or other resource, once again.
Email 3 (6 days after email 2) – send them to a product/service I’ve personally tried and recommend then I always try to work out some kind of discount or special. If I haven’t came across one I like, I simply don’t promote anything and start the cycle over.
That’s it. From time to time I’ll send out an email before the 6 day mark or even longer, depending on what’s going on, but I try my best to stick to that and it’s worked very well for me. If you arrived here from my last email, you know I just send an email yesterday that happens from time to time if I find something I really want to share with you, like the article directory list I shared yesterday.
How I get Subscribers
Obviously none of this would be possible without a list, right? Well, you may be relieved it wasn’t that hard… I don’t think so anyway.
After creating by reports I outsourced a professional squeeze page design for each report. I then wrote the “copy” and just stated exactly what they get etc. Obviously you want to have a little hype in there, but don’t misrepresent your product.
I did several things to build subscribers, but none were extremely hard to do:
1. Write and submit articles related to each report sending them to the squeeze page in the signature of the article.
3. I registered and participated in related forums. Since my reports are all targeting fellow Internet Marketers, I participated at the Warrior Forum etc. and included (and still do) links to my squeeze pages in my signature.
4. I announced them on my blog. OK, you may be thinking “great, what if I don’t have a blog as established as yours?” Don’t worry about it. Believe it or not, I’ve received a majority of my opt-ins from #1-#3. This blog does bring in opt-ins everyday, but the techniques above do as well.
Using basically that overall technique, I’ve been able to build a list of 7,000+ opt-ins, which many experienced email marketers would say is very little, but I’ve been able to leverage it into literally thousands of dollars every month in recurring and one-time payments!
My last promotion alone, for FirePow, brought in $1,500/month in recurring commissions. My coaching forum brings in a similar amount each and every month. I also have several other products that bring in recurring commissions each and every month, just from one email and we’re not even counting one-time promotions or ebooks etc.!
It’s very powerful, those who take this post seriously can and will transform their business and start making serious cash online!