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Give Me Your Email & I’ll Give You My Free Stupid eBook

Aren’t you tired of seeing opt in offers for free eBooks, white papers or reports on how to do things? Go to any online marketing consultant’s website and you’ll find at least a few articles on lead generation. They talk about how the money is in the list and they advise that you “give something away for free,” in order to build your list.

But is this really the most profitable lead generation strategy for your business? What if you end up with a list full of people who input their email address JUST to get the free product? In marketing terminology, we call these people “freebee seekers.” They’re everywhere, and many of them will NEVER buy anything from you or even read the information you send them by email.

Okay, big deal right? At least you have the email and you have a chance at earning their business. After all, email marketing is a numbers game right? Maybe it is, but there are some other numbers to consider other than your opt in rate and the size of your email list…

Cheap Opt in Offers Might Be Ruining Your Email Marketing

Did you know that email service providers are now marketing email senders as spammers if they have a low open rate? Think about what this means if more than 50% of your email marketing list is comprised of freebee seekers. You could be building a bunch of false hope with that 20% opt in rate you’ve got on your website, AND you could be inadvertently putting yourself on the “America’s Most Wanted Spammers” list.

Email deliverability is a serious problem for online marketers these days. Why make it harder on yourself by cramming your list with a bunch of leads that will only hurt your open rate? I suppose that it might be good for the ego to see a 20% conversion rate on your opt in page and dozens of new subscribers added to your email list every day.

But EGO doesn’t help fill your company bank account with money. In most cases, it’s your worst enemy. You might make just as many conversions from an email list a quarter the size of the one you have now.  You’d also be less likely to have low open rates, which would result in higher deliverability and less spam complaints.

But before we talk about how to increase the quality of your email leads, let’s look at another way that cheap opt in offers can limit your success.

Free Opt in Offers Might be Ruining Your Marketing Metrics

If you have high conversion rate for your opt in offers, it could create a LOW conversion rate for your email marketing sales. Just think about it, if more than half of the customers on your list are freebee seekers who never read your emails, your conversion rates will be lower. Not to mention that you’re likely to attract a lot of cheap customers who will buy once, only to “better deal” you once someone cheaper comes along.

This could create lower “Value Per Customer” metrics, lower profit margins and lower metrics for referrals and repeat business. In marketing, the way that you attract customers often determines the way they evaluate your service. If they discovered you through a cheap opt in offer, what kind of relationship have you built with them from the start? I challenge you to check out your opt in offer and to ask yourself if you could actually get your customers to pay for it.

Are the emails you’re sending out to your list valuable enough to where you could charge your customers a subscription fee? If you could charge money for your opt in offer, you’re doing better than most marketers out there. Maybe you don’t need to change anything. But if you have doubts about the value of your opt in offer, you might want to reconsider what it really means to give something away.

Free might be an attractive word in marketing, but these days, asking for someone’s email isn’t exactly offering something for free. You’re ask for  the right to invade their inbox, so make sure you give something that’s so valuable,  you could easily charge a monthly fee for it. Your opt in offer is a product, and it deserves the same attention as the products which you charge money for.

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