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Email Jiu-Jitsu: Turn Freebie Seekers Into Buyers

Volume 1 Issue 3 - December 6, 2011

This issue of the Six Secrets Newsletter has got me excited. Today's article takes the persuasion psychology we talk about here and applies it to answering a real-world dilemma...

...how to turn a list of freebie seekers into customers.

One of the most powerful forces behind the success I have had as a marketer has been the support and advice I get from other successful (MORE successful) marketers. My personal community has members from nearly every continent and we come together at a private members-only forum.

A member of the group recently asked an email marketing related question. That started my brain turning. The article in this issue is based on the response I posted to the question (a response which earned me some very positive public feedback from people I really respect!)

Even if you don't have this specific problem in your online business, this is still a MUST READ ARTICLE!

Following the logic of how and when to apply specific persuasion tactics will help you to see new ways to put them to work in your own business.

Want more targeted advice?

If you have a marketing challenge in your business that you would like some similar feedback on, send me an email or leave a comment on the website. We'll post the feedback in a future newsletter.

Andrew Seltz, Publisher and EditorShare your thoughts on this issue. Leave a comment at the bottom of the page.

To your success,

Andrew Seltz

Publisher & Editor
Six Secrets Newsletter

 


Turn Freebie Seekers Into Customers With a Little Psychology

by Andrew Seltz

Would you like to know how to turn freebie-seekers into buyers using what they already believe to change their minds?

"What's your best technique for converting freebie seekers into buyers? Part of me wonders if these are people who aren't too serious, so maybe they'll take free stuff but won't invest in other things..."

This question was posted on a message board at a members-only discussion forum that I am an active member of. It came from a frustrated fellow marketer who had built up a mailing list of prospects using a free giveaway as an incentive for subscribing.

A lively discussion followed. Many people jumped in with their own stories of frustration with freebie seekers. Some advocated dumping unresponsive freebie seekers from the mailing list altogether. Others said to just keep mailing them as usual because email is cheap. The consensus seemed to be that a list of freebie seekers was not very useful or valuable because they would never become good customers.

That just didn't sit well with me!

I could understand the logic behind their arguments, but I felt that nobody was really addressing the underlying issue of how to take a cool lead and turn them into a hot prospect. This process doesn't happen by accident and blaming the subscriber for poor marketing won't fix the problem.

This was an ideal opportunity to put the sales psychology I write about here to practical use. So, I decided to jump into the conversation.

The responses to my comments blew me away.

"Wow!" - The Forum Founder  
"This was and awesome post, Andrew. Definately 'stickie' material." - Steve D.

"I'll have to apply this to my email sequence." - Ash R.

Multiple people even advocated that I should be named 'Member of the Month' again (it's currently a one-time honor and I already had my turn back in September 2007.)

The rest of this article is based on the post I wrote that triggered such a positive response...

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Turning Cool Leads into Hot Prospects

I've mentioned before that I spent a chunk of my life doing in-home sales for a home improvement company. That company was pretty high-priced for the market. I learned a couple things doing that work that might be helpful.

First, nobody who sets an appointment with a home improvement company to come to their house for a free estimate expects to be signing a contract at the end of that visit. They certainly never plan to spend $32,000 with someone they just met...

...what normal person would EVER do anything like that?

But this exact thing happens every single day of the week. In my time, I walked away from people's homes with contracts worth thousands of dollars (my first year I sold $246,062 worth of new business.)

Twice, in my short time as a salesman, I walked out with over $30,000 in contracts from one home. And, I was NOT the best salesman in the office by a wide margin (although, I did get to be pretty darn good at it by the end.)

So, how in the world do you get a homeowner who started off wanting nothing more than a free estimate to sign contracts a few hours after meeting you for the first time?

For starters, you MUST have a process.

In the company I worked for, we had a very well defined sequence to follow on every single sales presentation. It started by selling yourself. Then you moved on to assess the need/opportunity and the real emotionally charged desire that was driving the person to make a decision.

This carried on all the way through getting small tie-down agreements and finally asking for and closing the sale.

It is a psychological journey that leads an interested person through the internal process of making a decision and believing that it is reasonable to do so.

Every sales organization on the planet has something like this and you need to map out something similar for freebie seeking email subscribers.

You won't have much luck trying to flip a person from a freebie mindset to a buyer mindset by just sending them a few offers. You have to get them to reject their current mindset (freebie hunting is good) and adopt a new one that says 'buying is better'.

So, What Kind Of System Do You Need To Build?

Before you can begin planning your conversion system, you need to understand the internal beliefs of your prospects when you first encounter them. When you get a freebie seeker on your list, what is their current belief system about where they are and what they are doing?

Obviously they harbor some fantasy related to whatever you are selling. If they didn't, there would be nothing to motivate them to even bother signing up for your freebie.

In the 'make money' world, that means being the boss, owning your own business, striking it rich, etc. But, they don't believe in the dream strongly enough to invest in it financially...

...or do they?

One of your first tasks of persuasion is to re-frame what they are currently doing so that you can attach a monetary value to it.

So, the first part of your sales process might be to find a way to convince your subscriber that his time is the MOST precious thing he possesses - the only thing he can't buy more of in this world. Find a way to place a dollar figure on that time (and make sure it is very high) and get him to agree that his time is really valuable to him. He MUST actively agree before you move on.

Once he agrees that his time has value, you must start totaling up the time/opportunity costs of scrounging around the Internet and piling up free stuff that is mostly junk - like a digital version of people on one of those TV shows who live in a garbage pit of a house stuffed full of junk they never use...

...But deep down, they know this is not the way to get what they really want.

Now, Everyone starts by surfing around and grabbing freebies - it's only natural - right? Heck, we all did it. (Make sure to absolve his guilt over his earlier choices - make it normal and understandable - the process is called normalization.) But the smart people, the special ones who don't just dream but ACT on their dreams, realize that the keys to success are not laying at the bottom of the giveaway pile. And you know that he is a smart person because...

...He found you and started listening.

You have to re-enforce the idea that his action of reading your messages and listening to you is PROOF that he is a smart person who is looking to rise above the garbage and start taking real action to build his dream. And, smart people don't waste valuable time digging through freebie piles looking for magic beans.

He's already made a decision to walk away from all that when he signed up for your list. The student is ready and the teacher has now appeared.

Now that your prospect believes that freebie seeking is actually the most expensive way to find what he is looking for and that he has made a choice to seek a new path by joining your list and reading your emails, it is time to make an offer.

Your first offer needs to be for something that will produce an immediate and positive result.

This is where you anchor the new beliefs.

If you can get your prospect to buy something, take action on it, and experience an immediate benefit, you'll have a convert. And, nobody is more faithful and zealous than a convert! Praise his success. Celebrate like crazy and re-enforce the wisdom of his new belief system and the choices he has made in alignment with it. Then...

...$ell him $omething el$e!

How Do You Implement A System Like This?

Getting your freebie seeker through this mental and emotional journey is the tricky bit. There is no one right way to do it - your market and personal communications strengths will dictate the best approach.

Video is a powerful way to move people through a process like this. You can layer your message with visual and auditory subtext that help your prospects experience the message. You might be able to get someone through the entire internal journey in one video. Or, you might need a few messages to complete the process.

But, because of the power that video has to engage people's emotions, it can give you a lot of leverage to shift a prospects mindset. If you are not on one of Frank Kern's lists, I recommend you join one. He is brilliant at producing these kinds of videos.

You could also do a webinar (or series of webinars) to step people through (and bond them to you along the way.)

And, a well written email sequence can do the same thing.

Tie-Down Tactics and Sequencing Tricks

Here are a few related bonus ideas for you to keep in mind as you plan your system (if, that is, you decide to try and convert some freebie seekers to the truth.)

The most powerful way to persuade someone is to let them make up their own mind (with ample encouragement from you - of course!) After all, I think this is the best way to get the job done. And, I've never met another marketer (except knuckle-dragging neanderthal idiots) who didn't agree. But, you have to make up your own mind about what's right for you. I'm just saying that a lot of smart people (some even smarter than me) think it's the best way.

You also need to get prospects to make (or feel they have made) choices along the way. If you don't believe that, well, then you should just stop reading this right now because I don't want to waste any more of your time...

...still here...

...I had a feeling you would agree with me. After all, you were smart enough to realize you needed to find a better system than the one you were using before - that's why you joined the Six Secrets Newsletter in the first place. Finding better ways to do business online is the whole point.

You can get small agreements like this throughout any email, video, or webinar. It is easy in a webinar because you can simply ask a tie-down question and wait for people to respond in the message box (and as others see the responses it will provide social proof that re-enforce the rightness of the decision!)

A sequencing tactic you can use is to define critical decision points in your persuasion process that can be measured (meaning you can tie a specific action to the decision.) Then, create multiple messages for each stage and keep sending them until the prospect makes a decision that moves him to the next level.

You might have a video message that focuses on getting the prospect to accept that he has been wasting valuable time and is ready to start investing more in building his dream. Maybe the next decision level is to define his goals and you have a goal setting video that ends with a product pitch. You frame signing up for this new video as a choice to 'get serious and quit freebie seeking.'

Now, when someone signs up for the level 2 video, you take them off your freebie list and shift your message as you groom them to start making purchases and taking action.

For everyone who doesn't sign-up for the level 2 video, you keep sending them content that hammers on the same theme - your time is valuable and you are wasting it chasing freebies. No matter what the content of the message is, you re-enforce this core idea and offer them a chance to sign-up for the level 2 video.

I've also seen similar things done with multi-part messages and sales letters. At the bottom of each section you put a link that says something like "I'd like to learn the secret to getting X...". Each time the prospect clicks the link and moves on, you know they've made a small commitment and you can turn up the heat a little in the next section because you know they are interested.

Working this way also gives you a way to identify the weak parts of your process because you can watch your conversion rates as people move through the system.

Conclusion

Study your market. Find out their current beliefs and desires. Create a freebie that will entice them onto your list and then plan a specific strategy for moving them from freebie seeker to buyer.

Implement, test, and revise until you are getting the results you want.

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