It’s a magic word: ‘FREE’.
If you wave it about all sorts of things can happen. If you are looking for ways to encourage people to subscribe to your email marketing lists then giving them something for signing up has a certain attraction to it.
You do not want to give too much away of course. Every email address costs you something to obtain and the first thing to work out is whether giving stuff away is, on balance, profitable.
Here are some options for gifts:
This is an excellent way of keeping subscribers as well as gaining new ones. Subscribers will associate your products with the expertise you display in the e-newsletter and you can emphasise your products and those areas where you are strong.
The downside is that if you promise to publish monthly then this is what people will expect. Fail to deliver and they might wonder if you are dependable. Further, content can be difficult to source regularly.
You can publish a précis of your e-newsletter on your website, with an explanation, near to a subscribe button, pointing out what customers have to do to see the full issue.
2. Free Report
This has to be something substantial and obviously on a subject that will interest your target group. We might well be looking at something up to 20,000 or 30,000 words so there’s a significant cost implication. However, it is probable that such a large product will not be printed off, so if anyone wants to pass it on it will be in its original form with your subscribing method attached.
3. An Episodic Tutorial
This is similar to the free report, although probably with more content. The main difference is that it is published over a period of time. This encourages subscribers to stay on your list and has the added bonus of them expecting your emails. They will become familiar with your ‘From’ address.
4. Restricted Pages
You can publish both the free report and the e-newsletter on a members’ only page on your website. Subscribe, and they get full access. Casual visitors will just get a taster.
There could be other material, including interviews with people of note in your field or other magazine style content.
5. Software Specific to Your Product
Whatever you sell, there must be an opening for software where you can include your logo. If software is your main product you can use customers to try out beta editions with the promise of price reductions on the full product.
The trick in give-aways to those who subscribe to your email marketing list is to ensure that it has some relevance not only to your product but to the demographic of customer you are targeting.
The fact that your free gift might be given away by your customers is not something to be wary of. These ‘down-the-line’ readers will only have to subscribe to get it earlier. This will extend your catchment, possibly to those areas that were otherwise inaccessible to you.