Carrot on a stick If you have an e-zine or autoresponder or other list to communicate with your prospects, you will need to entice your website visitors to sign up for it. (And if you don’t have a list, hurry up and start one!)

These days, people are not that anxious to sign up to receive what they might perceive as “commercial email.” Inboxes are overflowing and the novelty of receiving email has long ago worn off (probably back in 1998, if not before!).

So, how do you convince your visitors to sign up for your list? Simple – give them something valuable. What you offer is up to you, the main thing is that it should be something your ideal client would want to have, and won’t cost you a fortune to provide.

The best thing to use is information. This is something that you have in abundance, and your potential client is likely looking for. Also, it can be very low-cost for you to provide, but of high value to your visitors.

This is also a good way to “show your stuff” in a format that your visitor is excited to receive, and to include your sales message and call-to-action at the end.

You can offer your information giveaway in the format of a PDF “report” or “whitepaper”, or as an audio or video download, the link delivered via a “Thank you” message automatically sent by your mailing list service upon subscription. You could also set up a multi-part autoresponder which sends out a piece of the information over a period of time (every day for 5 days, for instance), if your mailing list service includes the capability to use multiple autoresponders.

Another option is to deliver your information in a physical form – a bound paper report, CD, or DVD. The advantage of sending a physical item is that you can then request a mailing address in addition to an email address. The disadvantage is cost, and possibly distribution (since you or someone you hire will need to print mailing labels and ship out the products).

No matter what format you choose, make sure you give it an exciting title that speaks directly to what your clients want. An example (for a fictional nutritionist):


Why You Should Eat Your Vegetables


5 Vegetables That Will Boost Your Immunity and Give You Tons of Energy


Loose 20 Pounds in 1 Month by Eating These 3 Vegetables Once a Week

I’m not a copy-writer, but I’m sure you get the idea. The key is to know what the hot-button issue is for your clients and make the answer look simple.

Once you have your bonus and its distribution set up, be sure to update your website with references to your bonus next to a prominent sign-up form. You will want your sign-up form available on every page of your website and possibly on a squeeze page visible before the visitor would reach your homepage.

Web Action Steps

  • If you don’t have a mailing list service, get one (preferably one that supports multiple autoresponders)
  • Put together something you can give away as a bonus to your visitors – make sure it has an enticing title – write your report or record your audio/video
  • Decide how you want to deliver your bonus:
    - As a single-file download
    - As a multi-file download via an autoresponder series
    - As a physical product by postal mail
  • Set up your distribution system for your bonus and link it to your email list sign-up.
  • Update your website to include copy promising your fantastic giveaway
  • Add a line to your business card and email signature advertising your giveaway

Building your subscriber list with a giveaway is an easy-to implement technique. If you need help putting together an online list-building system and offering a sign-up bonus, contact me today for assistance.