Using Free Downloads for Building Email Circulation

Tips on offering free content found at SIPA

At the SIPA Conference last week, I had the opportunity to attend a session about the impact of eBooks, white papers and other media. This session on Topical Marketing discussed getting the most out of your content. It was led by Paul Michelman of the Harvard Business Review Group and Guy Cecala of Inside Mortgage Finance Publications, Inc.

Topical Marketing discussed ways of offering content to users through both free and paid models. The free aspect relates directly to our content marketing strategy; you release free content to entice visitors to become email subscribers, and potentially paying customers after they are acquainted with your work.

One paid model discussed is the pay-per-view method. This works especially well for companies that produce data charts or articles containing information found through extensive research. If you can offer insight in your market that others can’t, a pay-per-view model will help generate revenue and build upon your email list.

New product development

For many publishers, there are three possible dimensions for new products: print, web and mobile devices. Print is still relevant to many, but for how long? That answer depends on the audience the publication is directed towards and the content that is involved.

We all have seen the power of the web. The Internet’s depth is continually growing and will remain this way as search engines become smarter and more equip to point users to exactly what they are looking for.

Mobile devices will play a huge part in the future of online publishing. Smart phones are getting smarter and more interactive. Users like the freedom to browse the Internet, watch videos or read their favorite blog while on the go.

Recently Adobe announced that flash is becoming more popular with smart phones and predicts that a flash player will be in over 250 million smart phones by 2012.  That massive number will not include Apple products, but will bring more aesthetics to the phones carrying it.

Publishers who have a savvy audience and content that fits well in mobile devices should look into making apps within the next year.


Three states of being for publishers

Before an online publisher can focus on creating apps or free products, they must take a look at themselves as a publisher. During the session Paul and Guy referred to components that make up three states of being. These are the components that publishers should question themselves on to ensure they are putting the best foot forward.

These three states of being include:
-Being available: Being a multiplatform publisher achieves this goal.
-Being useful: Providing solutions to problems your audience faces will make you useful, and will make them coming back again and again.
-Being relevant: Have a connection to the content you produce, and make sure it’s a strong enough connection that your audience can feel it.

Building email circulation with free products

Whether you’re offering a free special report or a free app for the iPhone, you need to offer it in exchange for a visitor’s email address. This way you can maintain a relationship and offer them other products in the future that they might have interest in.

To learn 40 additional ways of building email circulation, join Don Nicholas tomorrow for our Building Email Circulation webinar at 12:30 pm EST. This presentation was given in Napa at our Mequoda Summit and it was a crowd favorite.


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