Sep 06 2013

Value for Free: What to Give to Get Peoples’ Email Addresses

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Your blog’s email subscribers are the life and blood of your online business. Your blog is, quite rightfully, judged by the number of subscribers it has. There are many ways to get more email subscribers. One of the most important one of them is giving away something in exchange of peoples’ email IDs. But the question is – what should you be giving?

In this article I’ll take a look at some of the common incentives bloggers give to get more email subscribers and how you can use them to your advantage.

1. Ebooks

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Image courtesyAdam Radosavljevic of Depositphotos.com

Most bloggers give away e-books in exchange of peoples’ emails.
Ebooks cost next to nothing to produce, except for time – of course. They are easy to build and in case you run into any problem, hundreds of tutorials are available online which teach you how to write, format, and upload your ebook.

For a professional look you should set up an auto responder. By this I mean you should set up a system that will immediately deliver the ebook into the recipient’s inbox as soon as he enters his email address. Of course it is much better than waking in the morning and sending the ebook manually to the people who have subscribed during the night.

If you use Aweber, then this video by Blog Tyrant should be a nice help. Also, this article again by Blog Tyrant is an informative resource containing detailed information on all aspects of writing an ebook.

2. Series of articles

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Image courtesy – Tina Jeans of Depositphotos.com

Some marketers are of the opinion that instead of giving an ebook you should give a series of articles as an incentive for peoples’ email addresses.
The advantage of this approach is that your blog will receive traffic as many number of times as a user clicks on the links in your emails. Your stats will show peaks which will impress prospective advertisement clients and also because of this increased traffic your blog will improve its SEO.

And if you choose to deliver these articles one by one for over a period of two weeks or so you will be able to retain the subscribers longer than those who may have unsubscribed just after downloading the ebook.

The downside is that, unlike an ebook, these articles require an internet connection to read. Also, an ebook is easy to circulate around as email attachments which cannot be done with these articles. And lastly some people like the sound of “book” in ebook. I mean an ebook is usually assumed to contain better and more detailed stuff than a collection of articles, so your subscribers may prefer an ebook over articles.

Nevertheless many top notch blogs have used this article incentive approach and have seen results with it. Copyblogger is just one such example.

3. Video course

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Image courtesy – Lurii Vlasenko of Depositphotos.com

Have you seen Scream 4?
After surviving several murderous attempts, Sidney Prescott decides to write a book about her experiences.
The book becomes a bestseller but a series of murders begin again in the same old fashion. In the end it turns out that the murderess was killing people just to become famous. The plan was to injure herself in the end and become the lone survivor of the killings. And she was filming all the murders. The following quote of that murderess is not verbatim. I write this from memory: “Nowadays people don’t read anything Sidney. With you the world read what happened but with us the world will see it.”

Although it’s not true that no one reads anything nowadays, a growing number of people prefer to get their information through videos. Blame YouTube. Reading requires more mental attention than a video. This is good for the brain, but since most people are lazy, their mind tells them to choose the easier alternative.

Also, a video does a better job of creating that personal bond with your readers. The medium allows you to show your face and the ups and downs of your voice as you talk about your topic.

Here is how Firepole Marketing is doing it (though Danny Iny is using slides instead of his face).

4. Webinar

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Image courtesy – Iqoncept of Depositphotos.com

What is a webinar? Simply speaking: when one or more persons do a live video chat so that it can be viewed and heard by the public, then it is called a webinar.
It’s not necessary to show your faces really. Most bloggers use images, graphs and charts to be displayed on the screen.

This is a nice way to collect email addresses. What you can do is convince an authority in your field to do a video chat with you. Then announce to the world the time and topic of the webinar. Just as tickets are sold for a theatre performance, start selling tickets (can be the access password or the secret link) for the webinar and instead of asking for money ask for peoples’ email IDs.

You can also add a pinch of salt by saying something like the authority will answer users’ questions in the last 15 minutes.

Conclusion: In the end I’d say different methods work for different people and there is no one right way of gaining more email subscribers. Also, what has worked for an A-list blogger will not necessarily work for you. Trial and error, trying and testing is the only method to know which method will prove best for you.

Drop in a comment below if you know of any other good incentive that I have missed.

About the Author: Laxman Papineni is an experienced business development guy, Entrepreneur and presently co-founder at Sponsored Giveaways – a marketplace that connects potential advertisers with targeted bloggers to promote products trough giveaways. Bloggers make money and advertisers build buzz. You can catch him on Facebook or Twitter

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Comments and Discussions
  • sunpietro, 06 September 2013

    you have to remember that email address is protected by the EU privacy policy.

  • Rob, 06 September 2013

    Sometimes you will get more sucess if the product you are offering is small and easy to digest. No one really wants to read through a 160 page ebook, unless they are very keen. I once spent week writing an eBook, which on about 20 people signed up for. Now I create small products and have seen better results.

    Rob

  • Michael Meininger, 06 September 2013

    also…
    Whitepapers,
    Infographics,
    Creative Items(PSDs, brushes, icons, etc)

  • Amy from Two Phone Numbers, 07 September 2013

    I agree with the statement with your statement that “video does a better job of creating that personal bond with your readers.” Nice post. ;)

  • Robert Davis, 11 September 2013

    It works!

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