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- E-Commerce & How to Make Money Online
The Real Value of Free Giveaways
The Real Value of Free Giveaways
It seems that everyone is clamouring for your attention on the internet these days. Businesses everywhere are offering free reports, free e-books, free newsletters and free downloads to try and keep you as a customer – or even as a potential customer.
Trust is a huge issue in the internet marketplace, and many webpreneurs have realised that they must begin to build a relationship with as many potential customers as they can before they can hope to sell something to them.
Even the most impressive and professional looking sites can be scams underneath, and even some of the testimonials splashed across home pages the world over – complete with photos – can be little more than hot air.
It’s the job of the webpreneur to break through all the special effects, smoke and mirrors to prove to their potential customers that they are who they say they are, and they can be trusted to supply the goods they are promoting in a timely and professional manner.
This is where the freebie really comes into its own. Many surfers will happily enter their name and email address in order to receive a free report or free information that will benefit them in some way. Everyone likes to get something for nothing – and in this case there could well be a lot in it for you as well.
Why give something away via email when you could just make it available on your site?
There are several reasons for this. Firstly it increases the perceived value of the product. The fact that you physically have to request for it to be emailed to you implies that it’s something a bit special.
Secondly and most importantly it allows the webpreneur to start building a mailing list by using the double opt in method that takes away the risks of any accusations of spam. Once the customer has sent a request to receive the information, you send them an email asking them to confirm they have indeed asked to receive it. As soon as you get a confirmation back from them, you can then send them the freebie.
You will need an auto responder to handle this on an automated basis for you, and the fee you will pay is more than worth it for the service you receive, especially when your email list climbs into three or four figures and higher. An automated response service also means that if someone requests the information at half past three in the morning when you are safely tucked up in bed, they won’t have to wait until you wake up to get the details they’re after.
You have two options available to you when it comes to delivering the free product to your customer. You can send it as an attachment, although some people are rightfully wary of opening these as they can contain harmful viruses.
Perhaps the easiest way is to provide them with a link that takes them to a hidden download page on your website. They can then download the product directly from there.
Why build an email list?
You have probably heard many an internet marketer saying that “the money is in the list”, and they say it for a reason. Many of the top webpreneurs have built up lists of thousands of people, and they know that if they email this list with a recommendation for one of their own products – or someone else’s product that they will receive a commission on – they can expect to receive a healthy response and a healthy income from that one mailing alone.
People are far more likely to buy from people they know and trust than from someone completely unknown to them. This applies to individuals, small businesses, web based businesses and big corporations. It’s why we buy brand name products instead of taking a chance on something we’ve never seen or heard of before.
Sending an email out to your list every week is one way of keeping yourself firmly in the minds of your customers. Even if all the people you mail to have never bought anything from you before, so long as you gave away a product of real value that has helped them in some way, and you continue to give good value through your email missives, you are building a relationship of trust with them. And when you have something to offer them, you can expect a better take up rate than if you were to offer your product to a group of people who have never heard of you before.
Should you find a product to sell – or create your own?
Strictly speaking either way is fine, but each method has its own advantages.
For the newbie webpreneur looking to get started as soon as possible, it’s probably better to find an existing freebie you can pass on to other people. Many free e-books and downloads have a copyright notice on them which states the product can be passed freely on to others, so long as the author’s details remain intact and no price is charged. Check the products you come across to make sure you can pass them on without any come back.
Any internet search for free downloads, free e-books or free reports should bring up thousands of potential sources of freebies for you to use. Make sure you select one or more that have some relevance to your business and your own products – and read through all of them before offering them to your customers. If they are old and full of dead links or outdated information they are as good as worthless – and not a very good advertisement for you and your business.
Creating your own product from scratch has the disadvantage of needing to devote some time to producing it – but apart from that the advantages of this method are huge. For starters you can put your name and website address on it, plus a message giving readers permission to distribute the product themselves, provided no money changes hands for doing so. Many webmasters are looking for new products to send to their own customer base, and by allowing them to send yours you can reach a whole new marketplace for no extra effort.
Secondly you can insert links in the text that refer to other products or websites you have an interest in. Even if you have your own range of products to promote, it’s always worthwhile looking for other items that complement your own range in order to become an affiliate for them. You may sell an excellent range of internet marketing products, but you don’t yet run a monthly paid newsletter. If you find someone that does and they are willing to pay you a finder’s fee for any clients you refer to them, and you can then insert the affiliate link they give you into your free e-book.
With a few select links to products or sites such as this, whether they are yours or not, your free e-book can end up making you a nice income. What’s more, over time it will gradually distribute itself over the web, finding more and more people as others take it and distribute it for you.
There’s nothing better than free advertising, and so long as your e-book contains valuable information and is useful to people, it is likely to be something they will keep and refer to again and again.
All of which keeps your name, website and product range firmly in people’s minds for a very long time – and for all the right reasons.
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