When creating your opt-in form to begin email marketing, you should always ask yourself a simple question: why would anyone be willing to give you their email address? What are you going to offer them in return? And how is your list going to give them value in exchange for that personal information?
Often the best answer to these questions is: with an incentive (or ‘bribe’ as it’s often referred to). Here we will look at some options for things you can give away for free that will make your mailing list into a great opportunity for your readers.
Free reports are usually short reads that are about 5-20 pages long and that will share a specific tip, expose or insight. These should offer clear value to your readership whether that means saving them money or helping them to get into better shape. What’s more, you should emphasize that the report is ‘exclusive’ to your readers as this will increase excitement.
For non-fiction authors ebooks tend to be introductory guides to a subject and provide great value as a freebie. Often they will be around 20-100 pages long and include graphics and formatting that would normally cost money. They’re great incentives but do take a little more time on your behalf.
Host some videos on a server somewhere and provide access to that server in exchange for your readers’ e-mails. Videos offer a fantastic way to really engage with your audience and make your business seem very professional and capable.
An eCourse is a series of e-mails providing instruction and training on a certain subject. These are very effective because it means the e-mails become the incentive in themselves – and that way you know that your readers will have their eyes perpetually trained on their inboxes.
You can offer a free app or another ‘tool’ to your members, or even give them access to a web-app that runs in the browser in exchange for their e-mails.
A Resource List
A comprehensive list of resources offers great value and it’s very easy, cheap and quick for you to create.
These are just some options for incentives and freebies to offer readers in exchange for their email address. There are many more but always ask yourself when choosing whether the incentive is a) inviting enough and b) going to help you sell books in the long run.