If you pay attention to the e-mails you get from information marketers, you notice that, in addition to selling you their content, they are also giving a lot of their content away!
You should do the same. Why?
Because if all you are doing is selling, your prospects will stop reading your e-mails.
But if you offer a combination of both free and paid content, they will stay interested and keep reading.
They will also appreciate the free stuff you give them, and pay back your generosity by ordering more from you.
What can you give away for free? Links that let your readers watch a video online free. Or listen to an audio MP3 file. Invitations to attend free webinars. Free special reports and e-books.
The important question, however, is: What content do you give away free vs. what content do you charge for?
Many experts say that you should give away your best information! Their logic is as follows: if readers don’t think your free stuff is great, they’re not going to order your paid products.
The contrary school says that if you give away your best stuff, then your readers have what they need, and there’s no reason to get (and pay for) additional content from you.
So…what do you give away for free and what do you charge for?
My rule of thumb, given to me by Internet marketing consultant Wendy Montes de Oca, is as follow: Your free content tells your readers what to do. Your paid content tells them how to do it.
For example, in a recent e-mail to you, I revealed the 5 best ways to promote yourself as a freelance copywriter.
I told what the 5 methods were. But in the limited space of an e-mail, I could not possibly tell how to do each.
However, I do sell information products that teach how to do each method in great detail. And those I offer to my readers at a reasonable price.
Now, you don’t always have to stick with Wendy’s rule about giving away only what-to-do information. There are exceptions.
Internet marketing guru Terry Dean says, “You can also tell people how to solve a minor problem when you’re selling the solution to a bigger problem.”
He adds: “At times I do give the how-to away, especially when it leaves them wanting more, like when you give people how to do step one and now they need to know how to do steps two, three, and four.”
Bob Bly is the author of “World’s Best Copywriting Secrets” and has written copy for more than 100 companies including IBM, Boardroom, Medical Economics and AT&T. He is the author of more than 75 books and a columnist for Target Marketing, Early To Rise and The Writer. McGraw-Hill calls him “America’s top copywriter”.