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Don’t you trust me?

Of course you don’t! Asking for an e-mail without incentive is like selling Happy Meals without a prize. Scratch that – it’s like selling a Happy Meal without the burger and fries. Information is currency. We aren’t naïve to the possibility of personal data being misused. Surrendering your e-mail address gives the recipient leverage over you.

Put some power back in your prospect’s fingertips. As Sales Guru Jeffery Gitomer says, “People don’t like to be sold – but they love to buy.” Offer a mutually beneficial deal the way free market economics intended!

I know that you, dear reader, are already building your clienteles trust by publishing useful content. Propositioning them follows naturally. Let’s suppose your most viewed entry covers the 6 steps to the perfect soufflé. We can use that information to build a product that readers will exchange e-mails for. Put yourself in their shoes for this exercise. After reading that great article on soufflés, do you think they’re primed for spatulas?

No.

Developing the product is simpler than you think. We know your reader must bake in front of an oven away from their office. I’d wager that they would love a mobile friendly checklist version of that article. Or, if they are using a laptop, a condensed PDF. These products cost virtually nothing to produce yet will populate your e-mail list. In simple terms, sending one valuable piece of content for free isn’t necessarily enough.

Successful online entrepreneurs make every step about their clientele. You would never be sold on a car based upon how the transaction benefited the sales associate. Focus on what your clientele will receive. And, no, subscribing to receive updates is generally not persuasive. However, there is an exception to this.

Whether we admit it or not, humans are status driven. In high school that meant sitting with an exclusive crowd. In the corporate world that exclusive crowd becomes executives and VIPs. One strategy is limiting content available to non-subscribers. Readers are then enticed to subscribe with the possibility of longer, premium content. This gives them a feeling of importance. For as we said, knowing something outsiders do not is a form of leverage.

There is a major caveat: Your content better be stellar!

Don’t get me wrong, any website without opt-in forms fares worse than those which do. But I personally guarantee that an incentive shaves off miles off your journey towards building reliable clientele.

Let’s Talk Content

If you haven’t heard the term “Content Marketing” you are way behind on the curve ball. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and read this PDF published by PulsePoint . It points out that content marketing budgets will double by the year 2017. What does this mean? It means, businesses are investing in not only high quality content for their website but high quality content to provide to their client for FREE.

As you know the first step consumers do when looking for a product or service is research. They are generally not in the buying mode BUT if you’ve got something of value that you’re offering for FREE, they usually deem their risk at giving up their email address fairly low. For lead generation, it’s invaluable. So while other incentives can be considered such as a FREE product, giving away good content (in the form of an e-book, white paper, how to guides), costs less than traditional marketing techniques. How much? Take a look at this article from Smart Bug Media. Worth the read.

Need Ideas?

Don’t hesitate to send me an email or give me a call and let’s discuss your business and what type of incentives are worth considering in order to to start filling your lead pipeline.