The best way to take advantage of your opt-in mechanism is to offer a free product to your prospects, capturing their e-mail addresses in the process. Why is this important? Building up your e-mail list should be a very high priority for your small business blog, and there’s simply no better way to build yours than by offering valuable information that prospects of your business will find useful. Don’t let your white papers end up unnoticed. Supply value.
Deciding on offering a free information product is the first step in building up your e-mail list. There are still other things to think about, however, so don’t just rush in. Who are your ideal customers? What do they want or need to know that pertains to your business or industry? How will they find it? What other information should you include? Below, you will find the answers to these questions and more.
Why are these items important to have on my small business blog?
- Offering white papers, industry reports and newsletters are important first and foremost because they help build up your e-mail list. A large e-mail list full of hot prospects is one of the most valuable things you have going for your business as it is a group of people that are likely willing to listen to any of your future marketing messages
- These items are also important because they add credibility to your small business blog. They show you are willing to offer inside information, or information your prospects can’t find elsewhere. If written well, it will also add to your reputation as someone that knows what they are talking about
- The items can also become viral in nature. If your prospects approve of your offering and there are mechanisms within the product itself that enable your readers to share the information with others, it should bring back even more traffic to your site. This is good and bad. It’s good to share your information, but if these new readers don’t give you their e-mail address in return, you will not be able to market to them later. Weigh this decision carefully
How do I know which types of information products will work best for my business?
- One of the most important things you need to figure out is who your ideal clients are. Some people prefer short white papers, others may prefer to have a monthly or weekly newsletter to help them keep up with your content. Try out a few methods and see which work best for your blog
- Place a poll on your small business blog and let your prospects tell you what they want. Whatever they choose, it will likely resonate with future prospects, as well
- Look around the blogosphere and see what types of products work best as a whole, and those that seem to work best in your specific industry. There’s nothing wrong with copying some things, like formats, but make sure your information product offers something new and relevant to your business or industry
When should I offer these items on my small business blog?
- The short answer is as soon as possible. Optimally, you will want to have some form of information product to offer the day you launch your blog. In fact, you can use this information product as leverage while launching your site. A solid information product will gain you far more publicity than any single first post you can publish
- You may want to create new information products and release them just prior to launching a new product or service. Use the information product as background to the product and ultimately, as a sales piece or evidence that your company knows a little something about the topic
- Release smaller information products around important dates in your industry. If your industry holds multiple large conventions throughout the year, it would be wise to have some to give away at the convention or to point interested parties to during these gatherings
The main thing about information products is to use them in conjunction with one and even several of your other marketing initiatives. Alone, no marketing tool is all powerful, but combined together, they create powerful synergy that multiplies their value and return on investment. It’s the same reason we offer subscription services with built-in points so that our clients can choose several of our services each month to build a stronger brand over time. That’s what Prevail PR is all about, and we think it’s something your company should be about, too. As always, if you want some advice or just to talk, leave a comment or leave me an email at aaron[@]prevailpr.com.