The Free Sample Mentality

The Free Sample Mentality

(You all know how this free sample stuff works…at the store they give you free samples and then, if you like it, they ask if you want to buy some, and they have a little cooler right there, so that they can hand you a box of the stuff to buy on the way out).

I’ll never forget when I was living on a shoestring 15 years ago, and my friend Tawana took me and some friends to Sam’s Club after church. I insisted that I was too hungry to go without stopping for lunch first. The only problem was, I had no lunch money.
“Look”, I told her, “let me go home first and eat”.

“Nah,,,you won’t need to buy anything”.

Now, this girl was bold. Because when I got to Sam’s club, I saw her leave us, the group, with our carts, and go back FIVE TIMES to the hot wings sample counter to get all of us free samples. I’m not kidding.

Then, she proceeded to bring me a tray of seafood puff pastries that were just about the most heavenly hors d’ourves I had ever eaten.  After I squealed in delight, I kid you not, she very disarmingly crooned another plate of this stuff from the sample guy. “Yea, my friend says these are the best she’s ever eaten, and she hasn’t had lunch yet…” Then she asked for a box of them, and we walked away with some samples and some boxes of them which we put in our carts.

I think you know what happened next. In between bites of six different appetizers now turned entrees (due to the volume of plates I was juggling), I informed her, under my breath, that there was NO WAY I could buy those appetizers she’d just placed in my shopping cart. She just dimpled, nodded, and continued her round of sample schmoozing.

And on the way out of Sam’s club, she deposited five boxes of various frozen foods into a stray cooler.

No way would she ever buy… she was far too good at fringing the fields.


In case you don’t know it yet, “fringing the fields” is an Old Testament term used to describe the Almighty’s righteous welfare system. Landowners were commanded to leave the corners of their fields unharvested so that the poor could discreetly come and pick some of the harvest, without disturbing the peace of the owner or trespassing on the field. It would be today’s equivalent of a homeless person reaching up and snapping off an apple from a tree overhanging the sidewalk.

And it was expected. When you give away free information, you can expect that there are going to be people who snatch up your free information in the hopes of getting a real education. You can’t be sure that all of your customers are going to buy, just because you gift them with free samples. Many will, because it’s going to be far more convenient to have your latest tutorial on their hard drive, than to pour over 100 free emails every week.

But a lot of very new marketers won’t be able to afford anything. Or, they believe that if they just dig long enough, they will find their information for free, somewhere on the internet. And, they probably will. They will be a nomad, going from free sample to free sample, looking for a snippet here and there. Will it be enough to get them a lucrative online business? Maybe, if they don’t starve while searching.

Some prospects don’t have a choice; I always tell people, if you can’t afford a real internet marketing education, don’t waste your time getting free “information samples”. Get a job at McDonalds, and save up to buy at least one comprehensive, internet marketing training course.

Am I recommending mine? Not necessarily. You need to find a program or system that meets your needs.

That you can afford.

And that you can trust.


Make every page a lead magnet (not, and backpedal)

Do you see this reader? This is a piece of “humble pie”. It’s what great marketers eat when they have to withdraw, analyze, and admit…um…that  didn’t work so well.

“Make every page a lead magnet” is what the guy over at lead pages advised his readers to do. I have to admit, I ate this guy’s material up like corn on the cob at first. His product was excellent (and no, I’m not pitching him, because I don’t do affiliate marketing). But his website was well put together, and I personally thought his whole sales funnel was par excellant ( or however the french would croon about it). I liked it, okay? It resonnated with me. He had his ducks in a row. So I figured, “this guy must know” and I followed his advice.

Here’s what I have concluded…making every page a lead magnet may work in some cases…but when you are an internet marketer, it can be disastrous, in my experience. Here’s why;

As an internet marketer, you know that you are constantly looking for great information== the best of the best. . .truth distilled and concentrated into an  elixir that will bring you the kind of intense success that you need in this machivellian field called internet marketing. I’m just getting real with my collegues here about what we all want…we ALL want to dominate.

And so what happens is, if you are pitching to other internet marketers, they see this “sign up” thing at the bottom of every page, and it gets kind of old, because, as a fellow marketer, they see what you are doing, and they get turned off by it.

Now, I instantly saw how fruitless this would be, but I wasn’t ready to quit this guy’s advice…not yet. So what I did instead was this.  I made every page a lead magnet for every topic under ths sun, to avoid repetition.

And now, that actually did work for me, because I am a writing machine, I mean, I love to write, it’s natural. But if you aren’t a natural writer, then that won’t work for you.

Maybe a better solution to all of this would be, put a lead magnet on, say, every fourth post. And for goodness sakes, do make your post more than a paragraph!

Here it is, guys…if people like what you are writing about, the truth really is, they will find your product. If you write wonderfully they will scout all over  your pages looking for it..”How does this person make their money? Their writing is great!”.

So put a few lead magnets on your site….make them ocassional, and vary them, but don’t kill yourself making tons of whitepages and downloads. And be sure to put a “products” page up.

Make every page a lead magnet

That was the advice I got from one of my consultants (yes, it’s really true…internet marketing consultants also hire…internet marketing consultants to help them help others). Anyway, this guy was adamant that I needed to make every single page a lead magnet.  I really fought that advice because I had seen it done wrong. Way wrong.

Here’s how most people to it. Page title, blah blah recycled content, (never meaty, always dull and not more than a paragraph). Which brings me to this point…placing a lead magnet on a page is only good advice if that particular post is worth placing a lead magnet on. Not all are.

I think it’s a good idea to have some pages that don’t hit you up for a cash product, but it’s acceptable to have free info signups in between your product pitches. That’s what lead magnets are: quality info which you give in exchange for your visitors contact information. The idea is, you will get their email address, send them your newsletter, pdf file, special report or other lead magnet, along with an invitation to check out your product…again.

But this gets old, if you just sound like a parrot, begging them to buy this time since they didn’t last time, etcetera, ad nauseam. No, what you want to do, instead, is to demonstrate knowledge. For example, if you sell auto body parts online, you could offer a free PDF of a tuneup checklist. And at the end of the checklist, offer a  link to an online promo code which they can use to get a discount off of their next tuneup. See how that works? The offer is related to what they are interested in, and so is the information.  The point here is, relevancy.  You must provide a lead magnet which is something informative and useful and which has an incentive for them to buy your product.

If you would like to learn more about lead magnets, check out my free tutorial

Defining your Goals.

Reader. Before you do anything else this morning, sit down with your Creator and decide what it is that you really want.

Be specific.

Now, ask yourself. How is each task I have scheduled impacting these goals?

Before you check your stats, post an article, or comment on a forum, before you upload content, determine how much weight each of these tasks is lending to your overall goal.

For example, if you are spending all day clicking the “like” button, posting articles, and commenting on forums, how are each of these actions bringing your goal into view

Is your goal big enough? If your goal is just to get traffic, ask yourself…what if I get traffic, but no one buys?

Or, what if everyone signs up for my ebook, but I never hear from them again?

If your traffic and your lead magnet responses result in sales, that’s great. But if they don’t, why are you relying on them?

No, a better goal is to have a time-tested sales funnel that makes you money. It’s all right here

How To Write a Better Newsletter.

How to Write a Newsletter

Well, it’s been over five years since I began this blog, and one thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of other bloggers don’t have a newsletter.

The theory on Newsletters runs two ways.

The first theory is, that newsletters don’t really work.  I can see why a lot of people think that, especially when you consider that most “news” letters are nothing more than thinly-veiled marketing pitches.

I’m sure you all have seen them…you sign up for them, and you get about two lines of text saying something like…

“Are you ready to take your marketing to the next level? If so, click here”.

Ok, to be fair, there might be a little bit more than that…but not much.

And what do you find when you click over to their blog (assuming you have the time or interest after that dazzzzling snippet of “neeeeewwwwz” letter…yah.)

Why, you get to read four paragraph of nothing but pure pitch!

This is NoT what a newsletter was meant to be!

No  a  newsletter is supposed to be so much more than that…

Which leads me to my next theory:

Newsletter are an expected component of most blogs, and when done correctly, can bring you massive traffic.

Yes, now that theory is true. Assuming you follow the second part, “when done correctly”.

You want your newsletters to be  one fifth pitch, and four fifth pure, amazing content.

That’s it. That’s the big “secret” (love that high response marketing term :P)

Actually, there are quite a few things you can do to make a great newsletter, but how about starting with that tip first? If you do, you’ll be head and shoulders above the competition.

And when you’re ready, grab my  three part series, How to Write a better newsletter.

Here’s to writing “real news” letters… that convert!