Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Free Give-Away Really Works for List Building

When we launched C4Depot in 2013, we had good success building "likes" on our Facebook page by offering some free software tools. After a few months, we had approximately 3,000 "likes", but after the initial splash, the new likes died down.

Concurrently, we installed two opt-in forms on our web page; one was called "Opt-in Pop" which is a pop-up window with an opt-in form which launches automatically when someone lands on your site. We also had an opt-in squeeze form which comes standard with our WPeStore shopping cart module. Between those two squeeze forms it was a slow build to get confirmed opt-ins, and took the entire year to get 2,000 confirmed registrants using the squeeze forms. This was largely due to two reasons: 1) we spent most of the year focused on generating paid-for products, and 2)  a squeeze form requires someone to not only register on your site, but to also confirm their registration via e-mail.   This extra step of confirming a registration is probably the cause of attrition. Nevertheless, a real e-mail address is far more valuable than a Facebook "like" for future marketing.

Every time we would launch a new product to our less than 2,000 list members, we would see a spike in sales for that 24 hour period.  This was really great, but developing paid-for products is very time consuming and sometimes it would take two months to create a new product. There had to be a better way to make money than just developing new products and launching them to a small audience.

Spending your valuable time producing free give-aways to generate traffic is a difficult mental and emotional hurdle to make.  My temptation was to always attach a string to the free give-away in hopes of making a sale.  My associate, Kyle, on the other hand, had a clearer vision of the passive income model and after repeated conversations, finally convinced me to focus more on traffic rather than launching paid products.

To that end, we created a free download page which can only be accessed using a password which you receive when you confirm your registration to our site. We then publicized this page along with a follow-up broadcast with a video featuring our best new free give-away product. We launched the broadcast on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and to our own list.  The page and video for the give-away area here: C4Depot Back Room. Amazingly, for the first time, we got reTweeted by several people and we saw an immediate spike in confirmed opt-ins on our site; eighty new members for one give-away to be exact.

Since the quality to your list is always high considering your list only consists of people who voluntarily agreed to join your page, it is safe to say that your online revenue is a function of the quantity of subscribers to your list.    Therefore, to state the obvious once again, it is more important to build your list than it is to have new things to sell.  Think of it this way: what is more difficult; to produce a new product or to present an old product to a new person?  I think the answer is obvious.  For this reason, building traffic by giving away valuable free content may be counterintuitive and difficult on an emotional level, but it is the model for generating traffic, building your list and generating passive income online.