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P.S. Incidentally, when you subscribe to Joe's Ezine you'll also get my BONUS report entitled "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Widgets But Were Afraid to Ask". This report is valued at $47, but is yours for free as a thank you for subscribing.
See? Now freebie has some value. Since your customer has (hopefully) already decided they want what you have to offer, freebie comes across as a true extra. That's value. And that's how you turn a larger percentage of your prospects into paying customers.
Using freebie as bait up-front for something that's already free is not smart business. When you do this you're instantly decreasing your chances for making sales. This is because that powerful word "free" will automatically attract people with a "freebie" mentality. You may get big numbers of prospects but they'll be predisposed not to buy from you. You trigger that mindset when you dangle freebie in front of their noses right off bat.
Once people get into that freebie mindset it's difficult, if not impossible, to get them out of it. They will sign up to get freebie and then keep waiting for more freebies. When they see that they're not going to get any more they'll move on. If they do end up buying from somebody it probably won't be you.
YOUR BONUS IS A SAMPLE OF YOUR LARGER PRODUCT
Another key to using freebies is to make sure that what you are offering is a sample of something larger. If you offer a free email course, for example, it should be designed to draw your prospect into one of your affiliate programs, or to sell them something through a referral, or else to pitch your ebook or some other product you have rights to sell.
In similar fashion, if you offer a free report then report could be a sample of your work, again to sell your ebook or other product.
Offering a free ezine is one of most popular and best ways to get out a sample of your work, provided you have original content. Then you can package up your original content with a few extras into a larger package like an ebook and offer it for sale.
If you don't have original material, then you'll need to be patient and use your ezine as a way of establishing and building trust with a list of subscribers/prospects. This can take quite a while. But it's well worth it in long run, especially if you enjoy publishing an ezine.
Whichever type of bonus you do decide to use, just make sure that it's a sample designed to lead toward something larger - sale of an actual product.
And don't try to sell huge $500 marketing course first. Start out by selling something inexpensive. The $20 - $50 range is what most marketers look at for first sale. After that you can sell bigger ones through follow-ups leading to "backend" sales. Oftentimes really big sales don't come for a long time, unless you have a well-established name and reputation.
Veteran educator and freelance writer Bruce Carlson would like to help YOU improve your online copywriting and marketing. Sign up for his Dynamic Copywriter newsletter at http://www.dynamic-copywriting.com