Your website is your chance at delivering a powerful first impression. If you’ve been playing your cards right, you have landing pages set up that are driving traffic into your website that offer something for free.
The reason why we stand so strongly behind “the power of free” is because simply… it works.
Entrepreneur.com  agrees:
If you think it won’t work with your product, consider Debbie Fields . When nobody came into her first store in Palo Alto, Calif., she put her product on a tray and walked around the mall handing out free samples. What happened? You’ve heard of Mrs. Field’s , I assume — more than 30 years later, they’ve got nearly 400 stores.
We just had a client report that they released two “freemiums” in the last three weeks. Together, these two freemiums have already resulted in 6200 new email subscribers.
To put more emphasis on the fact that they’ve done their job with SEO, they’re reporting that they have five pre-existing ebooks that have only been downloaded a combined total of 2100 times. The difference? These two new ones have search engine optimized landing pages and the other five do not.
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What’s in an email list?
Not that often, but often enough, we’re asked why an email list is so important and why we don’t spend more of our time optimizing landing pages for paid products and PPC rather than free products and organic SEO.
Here’s why: driving traffic into a paid product is either black or white. Either a person buys or they don’t. If they don’t, they’re gone and you say farewell, maybe forever.
However, when you’re giving something away, you can have a conversion rate of 30-60% simply because the product is free.
Obtaining an email address means that you will have plenty of opportunities in the future to sell a product, while the alternative—paying for PPC traffic to a paid product—only gives you one shot. And you’re paying for it whether the person buys or not.
How are you doing converting visitors into email subscribers?
Most publishers we’ve studied are only implementing one basic email capture on their website. They use a box on their homepage that says “Sign up for our email newsletter” or “Stay updated”. Thus, they are only seeing a 0.1 to 0.2% conversion rate.
Find out your site-wide and landing page conversion rates:
Divide the total number of new email subscribers you acquired via your website in one month by the total number of unique visitors you received in that month. This will give you your site-wide conversion rate.
If your landing pages are up, you can discover those conversion rates by setting up goals in your analytics program to see exactly how many people hit your landing pages vs. how many hit the thank you page after submitting their email address.
I can tell you with 100% certainty that your landing pages will get a better conversion rate than a vague box on your homepage that asks for an email address. Nobody wakes up in the morning and says “I need more email newsletters!”
Your website and email newsletter are the free products in your Digital Media Pyramid . Call it Karma, but it’s OK to give away things for free. If you’re delivering something valuable, your subscribers will trust you enough to buy something from you in the future and move further up your product pyramid into more expensive products.