I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for those “Free Book: Just pay the postage” promotions.
I almost never turn them down.
However, I noticed I almost never do anything afterwards either. And that’s a big problem for the people giving those books away. It means they have a mooch on their hands. The worst kind.
I don’t know these peoples’ numbers, but with advertising costs these days, I suspect these “Free books” are losing them money. They’re hoping to cash in on the back-end by converting yours-truly into a longstanding customer. Why do I keep turning cold? And how can this harm your brand?
Before I explain, I want to be clear:
I am not saying the “Free Book” offer doesn’t work
As you can see from the picture above, I’ve accepted these offers from the likes of Perry Marshall, Doberman Dan, Anik Silva and Russell Brunson. These people are SMART marketers. And they wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t delivering a profit.
But when does the profit come?
This question is crucial if you lack their deep pockets.
Because the “Free Book” offer does have one MAMMOTH weakness.
It slows down consumption
And consumption is – in my opinion – the most important factor you need to build a brand.
Not fancy logos…Not a snazzy new website…Getting people to use your product, get a result, and keep coming back for more. It’s one of the big reasons why brands like Colgate are so tough to topple.
You use a tube of toothpaste, without fail, almost immediately. You use it up fast. So you’re thrown into the habit of consuming and buying.
The brand becomes so concrete, it’s almost impossible for new competitors to chisel their way in.
Compare this to Anik Silva’s book…
Now I’ve nothing against Anik Silva. I think he’s charming as hell, and I loved his Facebook ads.
But his free book took 3 weeks to arrive.
I’d gone from hot prospect, to lukewarm, to outright forgetting I’d even ordered. Then you have the added time it takes to consume the product. A 200-page book might take me 3-4 hours.
And it’s not like I’m asking around for reading material. My reading pile is an untameable beast, always stacking up with new books. I read 2 or 3 books a week, and I still have trouble staying ahead.
What happens if you never get around to reading the free book? Or you only read part of it? Well…
- You don’t get any result
- You don’t connect the brand with a positive change
- You don’t come back for more
…and sooner or later, you turn stone cold.
Thankfully, there is a cheaper way. And it’s simpler too.
If you’re building a brand on a shoestring, you need to speed up consumption.
The first place you should look is your ‘lead-magnet.’ How are you getting people onto your email list? In our agency’s tests, we usually find the best lead magnets are:
- Rapid to consume (ideally under 15 minutes)
- Immediately actionable
- And solve one problem fast
If you’re giving away a bloated, complicated lead magnet – like an 8-hour course, or a 200-page book – you are slowing down consumption. People are less likely to accept your future offers, because they haven’t implemented – and seen a result from – the first.
Show them how to do one simple thing which makes a big difference instead. And show them how to do this fast, so they say: “Yes! That was terrific. What else have you got?”
I’d love to take the credit for this…
…But I discovered it from Sean d’Souza (who is one of only a few “gurus” I follow). If you have 2 minutes, you should watch this video now:
It’ll save you months of trouble down the line 🙂