Creating Compelling List-Building Offers

So, you’ve decided you’re going to start building a list. You’re finally going to do it…but…the you realize you’ve got to answer the BIG QUESTION.

And that’s…what are you going to give away in order to get someone to sign up to your list?

What you are going to trade someone for their name and email address?
Your name and email address are YOURS, and like your prospects, you likely protect both diligently. So it follows that you’ve got to give people something in exchange for their name and email address that is of value to them.

They’ll be much less likely to just give you their info in order to receive random information from you, or without a promise of any information at all. We call the thing you are offering in exchange for the name and email address an “Ethical Bribe”.

So let’s discuss what you’ll offer as your Ethical Bribe.

It’s got to be compelling enough to get someone to fill out the form. So as an example, let’s think about info-products related to golf.

There are a lot of people selling golf ebooks. Their products teach you how to score better, lower your handicap, hit a longer drive, or putt more accurately. In other words, their product is a bunch of golf tips.

And then they create free opt-in offers that promise “golf tips”.

I have a problem with this type of an offer, and here’s why.

In this case, the product and the opt-in are both a bunch of “golf tips”, and so the free offer is most likely an incomplete subset of the product’s promise.

So once your reader gets his golf tips, he’s going to typically believe one or two things:

There wasn’t a lot of “meat” in this information. These tips didn’t help me, and if this stuff didn’t help, why should I expect that the full product will be any better?

Or. . .

Wow, those tips were great. My golf game is better than ever. I guess I don’t need that paid stuff.

But, what you really want the person to think is:

The stuff I got for free was great, so the rest of the stuff I can buy must be better!

But that’s not going to happen as much as you might want, unless you carefully craft your promise and your content.

I prefer a different approach.

I recommend that your offer be built around one of these ideas:
1) Offer something that your reader can use beyond your product’s service. For example, if you’re offering an ebook on how to attract and meet people using an online dating service, then a good offer is free advice for your first live date.
2) Offer something that your client can use concurrent with using your product. For example, Rent-A-Coder (a website that connects website owners with skilled techie people) offers a free ebook on how to hire programming contractors. Brilliant! That makes it easier (and removes some fear, uncertainty, and doubt) when using their service to hire subcontractors.
3) Offer something that demonstrates and emphasizes the need for your product. An example of that would be a mini-course on how article marketing is a great way to generate traffic. You’d give that away for an opt-in on your website where you sell an ebook about how to write those articles.
Now, if you MUST send out some “tips”, make it a specific offer for a finite number of tips that accomplish a certain task. Let’s go back to the golf example, and let’s assume your ebook is all about driving the ball further and straighter.

Your autoresponder “ethical bribe” might read something like this:

“Discover my three secrets for how to recover out of the rough *and* get back in the middle of the fairway.”

The point here is that the reader’s expectations are that he’ll learn one specific technique, and this technique will serve as a good example of the quality of the rest of your product. In other words, you’ve got a darn good chance of exceeding his expectations without having to give away your whole product.

See the difference?

The point really is this: you’ve got to make an offer compelling enough to get someone to actually want what you have to offer. If you can do that, you’re well on your way to building your list, and then making money from your list.

If you haven’t yet read the Making List Money ebook, go get it now. It’s in the Coaching Club under “This month’s Moneymaker”. And this Thursday at Noon PST, 3pm EST, we’re having our next weekly webinar. It’s a hands-on, getting-it-done demonstration of how to add an opt-in form to your website.

And we’re going to do this installation for one of our lucky coaching club members. If you’d like to have me set up your list, go volunteer in the coaching club now. Log in to the coaching club ( and find the Ask Mark form on the home page. Give me your name, email address, and phone number, along with your website’s URL and a short description of what your site is about. Include the autoresponder system you use (Aweber, 1shopping cart, Constant Contact), too.

I’ll select one lucky member as the lucky volunteer, and you’ll get your list built and put onto your website the right way.

And definiately make sure you register for this week’s call whether you are volunteering or not.

Login to the Coaching Club to volunteer,

We’ll see you on Thursday at 12 Noon PST.

To Your Success,

–Mark Widawer

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