Every visitor is a subscriber.
Well, almost. It is you who have to clear up the small issue of making them realize it.
In every part of our lives, we trade. We trade values, time, money, commodities, etc. with others, in exchange for something.
So is anything free, in a society of traders? Yes – air.
To a visitor, their email-ID can still be considered as ‘payment’ for a free gift that you offer.
Read on to see how to take advantage of that fact, and how to make free gifts work for you to get more subscribers.
On June 5th this year, it was National Donut day.
The IHOP store on 14th street, Manhattan, had a long, crowded line outside it. They were waiting for free flapjacks.
The people presume it is free. Is it?
What could they be thinking, as they pursue this offer?
Whatever thoughts they may be thinking, I’m pretty sure they’re similar to why any online reader would want to click to receive your free gifts. Some such thoughts could be –
When paying for something, the money that’s given away represents hours of work. Hours of effort. Hours of toil. All to attain that desired product.
But when free, that desired product needn’t require days or months of work to be put in. It is only a quick grasp away. It is only an email-ID away.
But they do. Thing is, they’d rather give away calories, petrol, time or an email-ID, than money. If the offer is worth this hidden exchange, it can seem like it costs nothing.
Spending money could involve a thorough cost-benefit analysis of the item. But when it’s free, the costs can seem drastically reduced. Which leaves out only the cost of tolerating its cons, if any.
The benefits, however, can seem amplified next to such small costs.
When deciding on a giveaway, keep this in mind: there is a dearth of free things that are truly valuable. There is also a great thirst for the same. With your free gifts, you can capitalize on that thirst, just by effectively quenching it.
You’ve realized free gifts generate interest and build a devoted readership.
But what giveaways could quench a reader’s thirst, and leave them yearning for more?
The answer depends on the type of content, and the kind of business you have.
But generally, here are ones that are being consumed voraciously –
If a downloadable, high-resolution infographic is attractive, an informative video must be – and is – the Venus de Milo of gifts.
To be more effective, give away a series of videos. It can ensure that your subscribers find it worth submitting their email-IDs to you.
Your full-fledged, specific knowledge on a subject can be highly sought after. Webinars let people access that knowledge from you.
As a free option, Google Hangouts can help host a small webinar for less than 10 people. Paid tools include Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro, hosting 25 people for 45$ a month, or GoToWebinar, which supports 100 people for 79$ per month.
Because of their short, technical, meticulous nature, e-courses are in widespread demand.
You can tailor them to be very audience-specific, as it is delivered by email. Also, e-courses can ensure the reader gets used to opening your emails.
Your market is yours for a reason. They look to you to inform, correct and aid them with your content.
So do just that. Tackle a very relevant, or prevalent, issue that your target audience might face. And have the solution be downloadable.
The layers of a good cake can be like an inviting journey.
One bite will just not do.
What if the process of gifting people was layered too? Would it leave people hungry for more?
With a potential increase in conversion rate of 110%, it seems they do.
How is that achieved?
By providing them value, incentives, and reminders about what you have to offer. Here are the basic steps –
Step 1 – Announce, give part I of your gift
On your website, or elsewhere, display your customized call-to-action box, offering your free gift. Any gift from the selection above could also do.
Most importantly, include that you are going to give away another free gift. Say that you are giving it away as a bonus gift the next week, or on a specified date, on your website.
Also inform them that it is a limited offer.
Step 2 – Giving part II of your gift
On your website, deliver the bonus gift and remind them that it is a limited offer.
Reveal your schedule for upcoming gifts. This will habituate them to consistently frequent your website.
Announce that after giving away those gifts, the date for the next gift is not going to be revealed.
Step 3 – Persist
Keep reminding your visitors that the next date for the gift won’t be told.
But if they do miss it, share it with them anyway.
Step 4 – Ask
Ask for their email IDs in exchange of regular and significant updates, notifications, and gifts.
Free gifts can’t afford to be interchangeable. Neither in content, nor in presentation.
Make it such that it is characteristically from you. Give them a motive to come back specifically to you.
And not just any blogger with a freebie and a smiling face.
Impersonal content that is solely data, might work for some form of gifts. Like an infographic, or a pdf version of your article, etc.
But a downloadable case study that isn’t personalized? That’s a branding opportunity that went unused.
One way to personalize gifts is to find out which social media your audience mostly clicks on your links from. Evaluate your audience on that social media platform. Then, provide giveaway that you think would be useful to that audience.
Also, make your introductions interesting. If your ebook, pdf, or any written piece has a cover, make sure it has your signature style.
You may even consider a brief introductory page, where you thank them for downloading it, and do a short, relevant write-up for your readers.
Echo your brand in your gift. Have the fonts, color schemes, and design of the content reflect the style of your website. It’ll remind them of where and from whom the gift is from.
Testimonials in the opt-in box
The proof of the pudding is said to be in the eating.
How can you prove your gift is good enough to warrant subscription, without just handing it over?
Place a testimonial on your opt-in form.
Your opt-in form is the gateway between acquiring a subscriber, or not. At this point, all you have offered is your best sales copy. And possibly a picture. This mostly works.
But a testimonial pushes it further as it –
A testimonial can be very convincing for all those reasons. Additionally, it can also represent your attempt to be honest about the feedback you are getting.
I hope these tips help you think about giveaways, by using means that can convert. Generosity can be an investment. Giving away free gifts may seem like handing over work for nothing. But it is one of the most effective means to attract, and preserve subscribers.
How do you, as a reader or blogger, think free gifts help build your subscriber list? What gift would you give your email-ID for? Let us know in the comments section.
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