An irresistible bribe. Something offered as an exchange too good to pass up and exactly what you need for new subscribers according to Jon Morrow. Offering something free when a person subscribes is so common as to be expected and that is why you need the irresistible bribe. What makes for irresistible is often subject to interpretation so I decided to do some sampling and came up with 3 sites offering examples of an irresistible bribe. First, a little background on how email newsletter opt-ins work.
Email Newsletter Opt-In’s
Before you sigh and say that email is dead consider this from a recent post at Copyblogger on email marketing,
Attention alone will get you nowhere. That’s the secret that so many successful email marketers have learned. Keeping your prospect’s attention is where the hard work comes in…In a 2012 survey performed by ExactTarget, 91% of respondents said they checked their email daily, and 77% claimed that email was their preferred channel for “permission-based promotional messages.”
Email is still going strong and an important component to any blog. When you have a blog, you should have a way for people to subscribe via email (or RSS but we are just talking about email subscriptions here). When they subscribe you then fulfill your promise and send them regular emails with your awesome content. This is how it should be however as more people have gotten wind of content marketing, there has been a super-saturation of options. To help stand out, blogs offer a free download in exchange for signing up for a subscription. Once again, everyone is doing it and some like Ian Lurie find most of the opt-in practices just plain annoying. Well you don’t have to be annoying or get lost in the shuffle when you have an irresistible bribe. Here are three examples that get at the heart of an irresistible bribe.
Jon Morrow’s Headline Hacks
One of the worst ways you can torture yourself as a writer is to believe everything you do has to be original.
Jon Morrow expounded upon the art of the irresistible bribe in one of his most recent webinars on blogging. Jon Morrow is best known for being the associate editor of Copyblogger (what could be more irresistible than a free 20 part internet marketing email course). Morrow’s started his own website and offers a free download of Headline Hacks, a 55 page PDF packed with immediately applicable well, you guessed it, headline hacks. Morrow places headlines into different sections depending on the type of or theme covered (for example Threat Headlines) and provides a list of templates. You then use these templates combined with specifics to your post. Morrow does more than just provide the headlines, he provides explanation, examples, and a framework to begin using them to generate ongoing ideas for your blog. Considering that some people will take just as long to write a headline or to find ideas to write about as to write a post, these hacks are invaluable. If you are first starting your blog these hacks provide leverage to get you going. If you have been writing your blog for awhile these could provide you with new inspiration.
Some Threat Headline examples: 10 Warning Signs That You Chose the Wrong Blog Topic, Warning: These Over-The-Counter Medications Can Kill Your Dog, The Shocking Truth about Twitter.
John Jantsch’s 7 Essential Stages
Marketing is a system, and to effectively operate this system you must assemble and integrate each of the important parts into something that looks like the whole.
John Jantsch is known for Duck Tape Marketing book and website where he offers 7 Essential Stages of a Total Online Presence a 44 page ebook for newsletter signup. Jantsch covers the seven essentials as follows: content platform, organic SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, online advertising, mobile, and analytics/conversion. That is a ton of information for any ebook to cover but Jantsch does it well by offering concrete insights and resources to use for each stage. What makes it irresistible? The foundation it provides for each stage mentioned. Granted, the downloadable PDF is partially designed to guide readers towards Jantsch’s larger Total Online Presence Program. However, there are enough valuable take-aways to make it stand on it’s own and worth getting and using many of the practices.
Michael Hyatt’s Life Plan
The secret to staying on top of your priorities is to schedule regular times for review and reflection.
Michael Hyatt is known for his most recent book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World and his website on intentional leadership. Newsletter opt-in gets you a 94 page PDF called Creating Your Personal Life Plan. What makes it irresistible? Hyatt starts with his own story and then walks you through different aspects of an intentional life. Throughout there is a copy of the workbook with his own entries. This same workbook is offered at the end of the book for you to write your own plan. Taking the steps outline and using the workbook is always helpful as a tool for reflection or for ironing out some of the rough parts that have suffered from inattention.
Each example offers a different angle on what an irresistible bribe is based on their audience. There are some that might offer more practical hands-on solutions such as Headline Hacks, those that are in-between such as Jantsch’s 7 Essential Stages, and those that offer higher end goals and inspiration such as with Hyatt’s Life Plan. The take-away is to gear towards a specific audience that you want or already have. What will they want most? If you were them what would make you want the download?
Bonus, David Meerman Scott’s Downloads without Opt-In
A bonus link to David Meerman Scott’s free ebooks. Many people give away their ebooks and want you to freely share them provided you leave them intact. When you do you spread their message, links, and ideas. It is a good tactic to try when you create your own download opt-in.
Don’t forget to spread the post via your favorite social media platform! (hint, hint, see the floating links on the left?)