I can’t emphasise enough how powerful a marketing tool email is for small businesses: not only is it cheap and fast, email marketing offers in-depth opportunities to target messages to the right people at the right time and bring in serious business. But, before you can get your message in to your target audiences’ inboxes, you need their email addresses, and these days, as people are increasingly bombarded with spam, they are more protective of their email addresses and unlikely to exchange them for something unless it’s going to add value to them. One of the best ways to get people to sign up for your email lists is to offer freebies. Everyone loves a freebie, after all, but only if it’s relevant to them. So, before you start giving stuff away, willy-nilly, think carefully about WHO you are trying to attract and WHAT would be attractive to them. With a little thought and preparation, list-building with freebies is as easy as A-B-C!
A – Ask what people want
Ask yourself what problems, frustrations or difficulties your target audience experiences. Think long and hard about your ideal client and list all the issues they might have. Better still, ask them! Find out what your target audience struggles with by inviting comments on your blog, having conversations, asking questions in social media posts and creating online surveys. Document all these “pain points”, it’s incredibly valuable data!
B – Be helpful
Once you know what problems your target audience is experiencing, create freebies that will address these problems: people WILL sign up for something that will make their lives easier! A fabulous freebie is one that is relevant, useful and usable. For online content, think how-to guides, top-tips, check-lists, tracker-sheets, cheat-sheets and e-books. Keep it brief and easy to download and print, keep the content simple and keep it clear.
C – Circulate
There’s little point in doing all the hard work, creating a brilliant freebie that will benefit your audience and showcase your unique talents and knowledge…if no one knows about it. So put it out there: include the sign-up on your social media platforms, on your website, in your blog, and make sure that the call to action is clear. Tell your readers what they need to do (“click here and enter details”), and make your sign-up box stand out! Make it easy for people to share it too by having social share on your blog and website. Don’t just sit back and hope that people will start signing up in droves for your freebie, because they won’t. If you want to make it work, you’ll need to market it like mad. OK… I know I said it was as easy as A-B-C, but there’s a D I’d like to add here too…
D – Don’t forget to be generous!
I understand that giving stuff away for free might feel uncomfortable; after all, you’ve worked hard to gain this experience, produce this material, create this product etc., and it’s all valuable stuff. But giving away some good stuff is one sure-fire way to show your target audience what they can expect from you and your business. Of course there will be a sizeable helping of sign-ups who’ll take the free material and never be heard from again, and that’s fine, because there will be people who’ll buy from you because they love what they’ve seen from you in their inbox. So start purposefully and create carefully; give generously and let the best of your business shine through. You’ll soon see the results as you build those lists and reap the rewards of your fabulous freebies!
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