December 19th, 2009 by Bob Bly
It?s a business revolution: marketing with free content instead of sales pitches.
Except this ?revolution? has been going on for decades.
And here are some content marketing tricks I?ve found to be particularly effective:
1–Giving your free report an attractive or compelling title helps boost response rates when offering it as a premium.
Example: During the Clinton years, the American Spectator offered a special report ?Inside the Clinton White House? as a free gift to new subscribers.
2–Since so many marketers offer free reports, you may stand out by offering free content in other media; e.g., audio CDs, videos, software, online tools.
Here?s a way to quickly and easily create an effective information premium: promote a paid teleconference to your list and record it. Then duplicate it on audio CD and offer that as a bonus.
If you charged $79 for the teleconference, you can legitimately say the CD has a value of $79.That?s important, because the higher the perceived value of the free bonus, the greater the demand.
3–If you use free special reports as information premiums, put a price in the upper right corner of the front cover of each report.
Then set up a reports page on your Web site where visitors can purchase the reports for that price.
That way, when you give them away as free bonuses and specify the value, you can legitimately say: ?This report sells for $29 on our web site, but reply today and it?s yours free.?
4–Here?s a gimmick that works well: instead of using an 8 ? by 11-inch page size, make your report digest size (5 ? by 8 ?-inch page size).
Let?s say the report is tips about leadership. Print the title on the front cover in reverse ? white letters on a black background ? and call it ?The Little Black Book of Leadership Secrets.?
Reason: Both ?secrets? and ?little black book? create an aura of importance and exclusivity that makes people want the booklet.
5–If you are creating the free booklet to build your image as a thought leader in your industry, consider publishing it as a small paperback book.
Then, when you offer it free in your marketing, you can position your company as ?The Folks Who ?Wrote the Book?? on Topic X.
6– I?ve found that anything having to do with making money works well as a free information bonus.
For instance, a newsletter published as part of its subscription an annual salary survey of the industry it covered. When we offered reprints of last year?s salary survey to new subscribers, orders for new subscriptions increased 25%.
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