Email List Building: Should You Always Offer A Freebie To Build Your Email List?

Do you always need to give away something for free to get people to join your email list? Perhaps not. We talk about that in this video, as well as a tactic you can use to get more BUYERS on your email list.

When it comes to email list building strategies, the most common thing people do is give away some free download (called a lead magnet) in exchange for the opt-in. But…

Do you always need to give away something for free to get people to join your email list?

Perhaps not.

As with most things, there are multiple tactics you can use. This video (originally recorded in 2014, but still quite relevant) spells out a strategy you can use to get more BUYERS on your email list.

It is all about perception. And perceived value.

If you need some help with some solid lead magnet ideas, click here. We’ve got ya covered.

What follows is mostly the transcript…


Yes, Giveaways Work To Build Your Email List

I know that when it comes to email list building, the most common tactic out there is to give something away. Whether it is a free eBook, a webinar, a video, or something else. And you say, “Here, get this free thing. Opt-in to my list and you’ll receive it”.

This is very, very common. I do it myself. But here’s the thing…

Do you need that? Or are you doing it because you see everybody doing it?

Now first of all, let’s talk about how well it works. Obviously, it does work because if it didn’t work, everybody wouldn’t be doing it.

You know, giving something away to somebody who is going to want it will get people on your list. The key there is “something that people are going to want”.

A lot of people get a little disabused here because they make something that they think is cool then throw it out there and very few people opt-in for it.

And usually, the reason there is simple…

You didn’t really nail it in terms of getting something that they truly want that stands out from the crowd.

So, the best way to go there is, really, to give them an immediate solution to a problem that they’ve got. Not to try to give them some big thing; some big theoretical 40 page free eBook and try to blow them away with size because that’s not really what people want these days.

We are full of information these days. We don’t necessarily need more information. But what we do lack sometimes, is an immediate, clear solution to what we want to solve. So if we provide that, people will opt-in for it.

Buyers Are More Valuable Than Freebie Seekers

Now let’s go back to this thing here… “Do you really need to give something away?” No, you don’t.

You need to give people a reason to get on to your list but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a freebie. In fact, there’s definitely an argument to be made in saying that if you train your subscribers to always expect something free to get into your list, then you are going to attract a group of people who are primarily seeking free things. And from a business perspective, that’s not necessarily a good thing.

From a business perspective it’s actually much, much better to have people on your list who have bought something.

So here is a way that you can go about doing that…

This thing that you were looking to give away… increase the value of it. Make it a really, really valuable thing. Solve a problem for them and then have it as a product to sell.

But here’s the thing. Here’s the bird’s eye view…

If you have small, low-end, front-end type products, people can buy those and then they get on to your list as buyers. And then once they bought something (even if it’s just a buck) they are a much better qualified person from a business perspective than somebody who has opted-in for a freebie.

Building A Buyer List Without Selling Anything (A List Building Tactic)

Now you might be asking yourself, “What if I have a hard time selling this thing?”

So, here’s a way to go that may very well work for you…

Have a product out there. Assign it a price. Then what you do is you can go and partner with other people and email other people that have lists that have preferably buyers list in and of themselves and say, “Hey, I’d like to offer this thing that I usually sell for $30 (or what have you) and I’d like to offer this to your audience for free. Here’s a coupon code”.

And basically, you build up the relationship with them and you say, “Here, I’d like to offer this, it’s totally your call but if you want to do that here’s a coupon code and you can get it for $0 rather than $30 (or whatever you’re charging for it)”.

They go in and enter the coupon code and they get the thing. But here’s the thing… they automatically raised the value of that thing you are giving them because they see clearly that it usually has a price tag associated with it but they just got it for free.

It’s a different mindset.

You could, also – depending on the type of list and the types of people you partner with, you can actually get buyers on to your list even though they haven’t bought anything specifically from you. Okay?

So you’ve got to think outside the box a little bit. Think a little bit long term. It isn’t all about “Here’s my eBook, please opt-in” and then, what? That’s what most bloggers are doing.

You’ve got to think a little bit more strategically. And preferably, you want to think about ways you can get qualified prospects, people who have bought things before, people who are looking to solve particular problems and get those people on to your list.

Not every email subscriber is equal, quite frankly. Sometimes, people are there just to “take” from you, and that’s it. And I love those people, except that I have a business to run and I’ve got to make money so I keep doing all these and support my family. And you’re probably on the same boat.

So at the end of the day, business does have to take place. And you’ve got to look out for that, as well.


OK, so here’s the summary of this email list building strategy…

Get a big jumpstart on thinking up lead magnets that convert like crazy.

Most blogs have a conversion rate to email of maybe 1%. By having strong lead magnets – in the right locations – you can bump that up to 5-6% or higher. I’ve gotten double-digit conversion rates on blog posts… and 50+% conversion rates on squeeze pages. It all starts with the lead magnet.

You can create paid products and set them up in your online shopping cart. Assign prices to them and they will be available as actual products to buy.

Then, set up a coupon code in your cart to mark that price down to zero.

Then, you can partner with other people in your niche to give your product away to their subscribers. You give them the coupon code.

This maintains the perceived value. It makes the other blogger look good because they just hooked up their audience with free access to a paid product.

But, you’re building your email list. And the people you’re getting onto your list will be a cut above the typical person who opts in for yet another PDF freebie.

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