Jul 19, 2017
On the podcast this month we've been talking all about product launches. We covered the big picture overview of how to launch a product and how to work with affiliates to help sell your product.
Today is my favorite episode yet. We are going to be talking about how to create a free opt-in offer that leads to the sale of your product. So let's jump in!
This comes under many names - a freebie, freemium, lead magnet, opt-in offer, etc. But they are all essentially the same thing. It's an awesome piece of content that you giveaway for free. Your readers sign up for it with their email address.
It's an amazing way to grow your audience but it also provides incredible value for your readers. My readers are always thanking me for the awesome free content I give away!
Grows your email list
This one is obvious. This is usually the #1 reason why people giveaway an opt-in in offer. They want to build up and grow their email list. This is great, but if you combine it with an email sequence and a product in mind, it can really push the needle!
Nurtures cold subscribers before selling to them
A free opt-in gets people onto your email list. And it also nurtures them from cold subscribers into raving fans. Throughout your free opt-in offer and a subsequent email sequence, these new readers really get to know you and build that trust.
Great to share on guest posts
A free opt-in offer gives you something extremely valuable to share on other people's blogs as guest posts. You COULD be a guest poster on someone's blog and share your product. But you probably won't get very many sales.
Those readers don't know you from Adam, they don't trust you, they don't yet love you. But GIVE them something awesome for FREE and they get to know you.
Affiliates can share very easily
This is usually my #1 reason for creating a free opt-in. My own readers know me pretty well by now and know if they want a product I come out with. But my affiliates audiences don't know me. Creating an awesome free offer that is easy for your affiliates to share, helps you gain a new audience to sell to AND your affiliates can sell more easily.
Easy to push really hard and then do the actual selling over email
It's so easy to push a free offer insanely!! You can share it on your blog, Facebook live, all over Instagram, in your emails, guest posts, etc. No one gets tired of hearing about a great free product!
So you can push this really hard without feeling like you are selling! And then you can nurture them through an email sequence where you sell hard.
This is by far our most popular free offer. It's a mini-eCourse called Finding Joy in Your Home. This has become my main free offer for my blog and eventually leads to a sell of our academy, My Homemaking Mentor.
This works well because MHM is our most expensive item. So giving them a full course as a FREEBIE works well. Plus, the academy is video based. So giving them a free PDF wouldn't be nearly as effective as a free video series so they can get used to me on video and how I teach.
This is a freebie that we launched at the beginning of this year. It's a card set that is designed to be used over 14 days. It has a scripture and a prayer topic on each card. These were super popular!
They lead to a marriage bundle of resources and are the perfect lead in to more printable products!
The meat of this freebie was an in depth PDF that I put together that was essentially a mini training manual. I wanted to include a video component however, so I took that training and turned it into a video. So the reader has the choice of reading it or listening to it. It also includes a few bonus printables. This was our free opt-in for the 2016 homemaking conference.
Here are some other freebie ideas
The free opt-in doesn't have to be big, long, or complicated! Just make sure that it is related (the same subject and the same teaching medium (i.e. video, audio, book, printable, etc). as the product you want to sell.
If your product is a simple file (one PDF, an eBook, etc.)
ConvertKit - Email Service Provider
Our email service provider is ConvertKit and they make it SUPER easy to deliver a simple file. We use this to deliver all our single file freebies like a printable pack or PDF.
ConvertKit is the #1 email service provider that we use and recommend (after trying out several others). You can try them out here.
If your email service provider doesn't offer an easy way to deliver simple products, then I highly recommend Amazon s3. You can easily upload files and then grab a link to share.
And the beautiful thing: You ONLY pay for how many times people download the file. So you can have 100 products store in there, but you only pay every time someone actually downloads that file. And it's a few cents per download so it's not bad! We have dozens of products hosted in there and we pay a few dollars a month (but this isn't our MAIN storage mind you).
If you use Leadpages for your landing pages, they also offer simple lead magnet deliver. I used Leadpages for about 2 years and like them for what they do: very simple landing pages.
But we have since moved all of our landing pages to ClickFunnels and have been very happy. We've been with ClickFunnels for over a year now. If you want to try it out, you can get a 14 day free trial.
DO NOT JUST UPLOAD TO YOUR BLOG
PLEASE do not just upload simple files to your blog. It's very easy to do but it's NOT what you want to do. For 1) Every single time someone downloads that file from the link on your blog, it takes bandwidth. This can significantly slow down your blog or even crash it! Plus, if you use too much it will cost hundreds of dollars a month to up that bandwidth amount. And 2) Those links are all public and searchable. So someone could just search in google and find that link without having to sign up.
Even though it takes a bit more work, please find another way to deliver your simple files.
Delivering Courses & Training:
This is where things get a little more complicated. If you want to deliver a freebie that isn't just a simple file to download, you need something more advanced.
What we use: Kajabi
We have been using Kajabi for about a year and a half now and it's the VERY best solution we have ever been able to find. I am in love with Kajabi!
Kajabi is a system that allows you to create a website to deliver all your free and paid content. We really needed a place where our customers could log in and access everything they've ever purchased from us - all in one spot!
Kajabi gives us that plus everything we need. It IS expensive, but if you want to develop a library of resources like we have, then I highly recommend it. You can check it out here.
Our Work at Home Life is built here on Kajabi and you can see how we use it with our other business, Homemaking Ministr
Teachable is another popular option. It does not have all the bells and whistles that Kajabi does so it doesn't work for us and I do not like it as much as Kajabi.
However, it has a lower barrier to entry because you can start off cheaper. They have a limited FREE plan where you pay per sale you make and a basic plan that starts at $39 a month.
For the long run, I prefer Kajabi. But if you don't have the funds and want to just try something out, you can always start with Teachable and then change over later. It's not that big of deal!
Thinkific is another popular one but I don't know very much about it beyond that I know some people use it. But they also offer a limited FREE plan. So if you are tight on funds, this is another one to try out!
Plugins for Wordpress
If you run a Wordpress website, there are some plugins you can purchase that can allow you to turn your website into a membership site so people can log in to view the courses or videos.
I will warn you though: We've tried many of these in the past trying to come up with a good solution and it IS a lot of work! If I were starting over today, I would head straight to New Kajabi, Teachable, or Thinkific. I think there is very little reason to host it on your own website.
BUT if you want to explore that option, here are a few we've tried in the past:
Now that you've got your free opt-in and you are sharing it with your readers, what now?
Set up an email sequence
Now you want to set up an email sequence. You start out with a "welcome" email. Then over the course of a week or two (or three) you deliver great content and casually mention that you've got a new product coming. The entire time your goal is to provide more valuable content for your readers.
Then when your product goes on sale: Email them like crazy! Again, make sure your focus is on helping your audience and providing more value. But nows your time to make a strong case for your new product.
If you have a standard 7-8 day sales week, then I suggest emailing them 2-3 times during that week. And then 2-3 times on that final day! Trust me: I know that seems like a lot of emails but it works!
In the next episode we are going to share all about launch week of your product! Now that your product is created and you've got an email list ready from your free optin, what do you do during launch week? Episode #5 will cover all that and more!
NOTE: We do all of our email sequences in ConvertKit, it's one of the main reasons we switch to it from ConvertKit (as well as the ability to do advanced tagging.
Here's a preview of setting up an email sequence in ConvertKit, they make it so easy!
Download our FREE Product Launch Checklist!
I know this is a TON of information! So I distilled it all down into a handy printable product launch checklist for you. All you have to do is fill it out for you next product launch and you are well on your way to a successful launch.
To download the FREE checklist, simply sign up here and download right away!