This guest post is by Amy of Harrisonamy.com.
We’ve seen recently how you can help pay the rent using your email list, so making sure that as many people as possible sign up is critical to increase your earning potential.
Most bloggers know that one way to encourage people to sign up to their blog is to offer an incentive. Some kind of free report, or ebook or other gift that is a tempting reward for a visitor to transform into a newsletter subscriber.
But having a gift isn’t enough. And what’s more, all free gifts are not created equal.
If you’re struggling to create your incentive, or your incentive doesn’t seem to be converting well, read this article. We’re going to look at how to quickly create an incentive that works as hard as possible to get you the right audience—and get them wanting your freebie.
Don’t give them what they need
It goes without saying that your freebie needs to be valuable to the customer, but giving too much can overwhelm them to the point that they can’t be bothered to sign up for it. Even if it’s something you know they desperately need.
For example, let’s say you run a blog that teaches people how to create a business from making homemade gifts. You know that people who come to your blog really need to know about how to sell their gifts, the best places to source materials, and a great-looking website to showcase their designs.
So you decide your incentive is going to be an auto-responder course over ten lessons, covering a different business foundation subject in each lesson.
Sounds great. Sounds useful. And it would be.
But it also sounds like a heck of a lot of work, which means you’re more likely to procrastinate over it. And it doesn’t take into account what most visitors want when they come to your site.
They want something quick that can potentially solve a problem there and then.
So don’t base your sign up incentive on what they need, base it on what they want.
Make it quick (to create and consume)
Valuable content that can be applied straight away is a very attractive offer for someone with limited time, but with a problem that you can solve.
Think about the kind of quick freebies you’ve signed up for in the past. Which ones have really stood out to you as being valuable?
It’s probably one that solved a specific problem there and then. So you might want to reconsider developing an in-depth product, report, or course for this kind of freebie.
What problem do you pick to solve?
With your visitors all having slightly different interests, and with you knowing so much about your chosen subject, how on Earth do you decide what problem to solve, and what kind of freebie to give away to encourage people to give you their details?
Well you might be surprised what “off the top of your head” knowledge you have that is valuable for your audience’s most common kind of problem.
To identify the perfect subject for your sign-up incentive , the first step is to write down the top five problems you see your audience having.
Ask yourself why your audience is coming to your site and what information are they looking to learn.
For example, if you teach social media marketing for small online businesses, your customers might be coming to you because they want to:
- get more clients
- build brand awareness
- improve customer loyalty
- increase viral marketing for the company
- learn more about social media for businesses.
Once you have your top five, pick the one problem that you feel 70-80% of your target market is having. Let’s say in this instance it is: “getting more clients.”
Now you ask: what are the most common questions or problems surrounding this problem in relation to your business?
For “getting more clients through social media,” the most common questions might be:
- How can you use social media to get clients?
- What are the most popular social media sites for businesses?
- How do I find my target market using social media?
- What is Twitter and can I convert customers with it?
- Is FaceBook advertising worth the investment?
Now you have five starting points for possible products, which are probably quite “basic” questions for you, but really useful to your customers.
For each of the above, you could create one of the following products for your sign-up incentive:
- 10 ways to attract clients through social media
- The top five social media sites for business (and how to use them for your business)
- 12 steps to simple market research using social media
- Understand how Twitter can add to your profits (in under 20 minutes)
- 7 ways to profit from Facebook advertising
The incentive doesn’t have to be a lengthy report. In fact, checklists, bullet points, simple steps, and quick how-to guides are very attractive for people who are interested in your subject area, but want a solution there and then.
If you create your incentive this way, you’re coming from the core problems your target market is probably always going to have, and you’re giving them a short, sweet fix that makes them more likely to sign up for your content.
That means they can become more familiar with your expertise, and are likely to remember and recommend your site because of the instant value they received in your newsletter incentive!
What about you? Have you experimented with sign up incentives? What have you found working for you? What has been your favorite sign-up incentive that you’ve registered for?
Amy is a copywriter for entrepreneurs and in addition to writing for clients, she coaches others to smash through their copy obstacles and get their message out to their audience. She provides free copywriting and content marketing advice on her website Harrisonamy.com