You probably have a free download that you offer your site visitors. But many people don’t know that you can use certain techniques to turn something you give away for free into a cash machine that will bring you passive income for a long time to come.
If you don’t have a free download yet, read this next section.
Why you should have a free download
A free download can be any electronic item — PDF, video, audio, Word document (or Google Doc), etc.
In fact, what you offer doesn’t even have to be a download — it could be a course that you deliver via a series of autoresponder emails that you set up in your email service. Or it could be a set of videos that reside on your website that you make available by giving new subscribers the links.
But it’s usually a downloadable file, so it’s commonly called a free download.
The reason for having one is to encourage your visitors to sign up for your email list. Your free download should be enticing and valuable enough that people really want it and are willing to give you their email address for it.
Once you have their email address, you have permission to send them your newsletter and/or promotional emails. In this way, you ensure that you can develop a relationship with them and turn them into readers, fans, and customers.
6 tips for turning your free download into a cash machine
The secret is simply to structure your free download to make offers, without being too salesy. All of these ideas are easy to implement, so read on!
- Offer a discount. In your download, you can offer a discount to one of your product. You would do this by creating a discount code in your shopping cart and providing the code in your free download. You can describe the product or give some tip contained in the product to show people the value of the product. People are more likely to buy if you explain why you are offering the discount. So you can say, “Because you are a new subscriber, I’m offering you a discount on this product”
- Invite people to contact you for a free consultation. A simple invitation can be effective if you offer free consultations. Include this invitation one or more times in the download. At the end of the consultation, you can offer a product or service.
- Include a short bonus informational product. Add content that they aren’t expecting, zipped with the free download. Then include lots of information about your products & services in the bonus. Because it’s a bonus, people don’t mind reading the marketing sections.
- Set up an autoresponder with offers. Be sure to have an autoresponder with more info, discounts and offers. (See my blog post explaining autoresponders if you need a refresher.) Think of the email that delivers your free download as just the first of several. Continue to offer content and partner that content with offers. For example, I use a series of autoresponders that contain tips from some of my e-books on presenting and PowerPoint. After the tip, I say which e-book each tip comes from and offer a 15% or 20% discount code.
- Use the confirmation page to offer a discount. When people subscribe and confirm their subscription, they go to a web page that you can usually customize. Put a discount offer there for a low-priced item. Again, mention that this is a special offer for new subscribers. Just this tip can bring you in a steady stream of income.
- Seed your free download with client stories. Include names of clients (with their permission, of course) and stories about results your clients got. This is a key technique for selling without seeming salesy. Be sure to have your contact information nearby.
How about you?
Do you have a free download? If not, why not?
If you do have one, what has worked to help you turn your download into cash? Leave a comment and share your best ideas with others!