Placing Profit Centers In Your Free Report
Free reports are hot items today among Internet marketers. Most of the very savvy ones have discovered just how valuable a free report can be and how it can serve to help build those all-important opt-in lists. Free reports do help to build opt-in lists, that’s true, but they can serve other purposes as well.
A good free report is something that your average, garden-variety Internet surfer actually seeks out all by himself. You never have to beg people into taking free stuff. When a surfer is looking for information on any given topic, the first thing they usually look for are free reports on the subject. People do pay for information but only after they have gotten the free information first and are looking for more specific and detailed information. One thing that you can absolutely count on, though, is that people will download and read free reports if they are interested in the topic of the report. That’s a given.
So, the next question is how do you get the most mileage out of a free report? After all, that ‘free’ report is only free to the people who download it. It sure isn’t free for you, the marketer. You have spent time, effort and energy writing it yourself or you have paid a ghostwriter to write it for you so you need to get something back, right? Yes, you do need to get something back and that’s what we are going to talk about.
The first, and maybe the most important thing you get, is the name and email address of the person who downloads your free report. That is usually the main object of producing a free report, after all, but you benefits don’t have to stop there. There are other ways to profit.
In a free report, you can strategically place advertisements for your affiliate products or even for your own products. Now… the free report cannot be a blatant advertisement… hat is just not acceptable but that doesn’t mean that you can’t place links to products or services that you will make a profit on, does it?
You do need to use good judgment and possibly some restraint in placing links to products and services that you can profit from. Remember that the people who have downloaded your free report didn’t expect nor want to get yet another advertisement. They intended to get information and information should stay the main focus in your free report.
You can add links to products and services that you make a profit on but only within the context of the information being supplied to the reader. For example: if within your report you are discussing the importance of providing a dog house for a dog, you can include a link to a dog house product that you will make a profit on. What you can’t do is expound on the virtues of the dog house that you will make a profit on. In other words…you can’t advertise it.
Another way that you can make your free report even more valuable to you is to sell advertising space in it to other Internet marketers.
Paid advertising needs to look like paid advertising, however. It should not be disguised to look as though it is a product that you are specifically recommending in your free report. It really isn’t surprising that people expect to see advertisements. It’s true. You really expect to see advertising, don’t you? Others expect to see it as well and it will not aggravate those who download a free report if the advertisements look exactly like what they are…advertisements.
The amount you can charge for advertising space in a free report varies with the report and the size of the circulation it will achieve. A long report can generate a larger advertising charge than a short report. A report that will be downloaded thousands of times can bear a larger advertising charge than one that will only be downloaded a few hundred times.
Advertisements can be shown as sponsorships. Example: “This free report is sponsored by” just above the advertiser’s logo. This kind of advertising is less annoying to a reader and puts the advertiser in a better light than just an advertisement.
Remember, however, to hold your advertisements down to a very reasonable number… even if you list them as sponsorships. Too many advertisements make a free report appear to be nothing more than a cheesy way to slip advertising in disguised as something other than what it is…and people really hate that.
There is even one more way in which you can profit from a free report. You can provide a capture method so that you can collect the names and email addresses of those who have not yet downloaded your free report.
You can give your free report a viral quality.
For example: You can use a quiz in your free report and have the answers posted on your website. Quizzes are by nature viral and those who download your free report will be more likely to pass them along to their friends if there is a quiz included.
Each visitor to your website is a potential customer or, at the very least, a potential member of your opt-in list. Another way to give your free report a viral quality is to include coupons that provide dollars off on a product or service that would be of great value to those who download the report as well as to their friends, family and coworkers. People love coupons!
Each of these techniques to add to your opt-in list or increase your potential for profit from a free report by selling advertising space or strategically placing links to products and services that you profit from or by giving your free report a viral quality is worth your time and effort to investigate and put into action. Free reports are only free to those who download them…they are supposed to make money for you.
Next post: Distributing Your Free Reports & Beyond. Until then see ya later…