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Monday, June 16, 2008

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Do Free List-Building Giveaways Work?

One of the biggest complaints that we hear from novice Internet
marketers is that they can't compete with others in their niche
because they "have no list."

One of the solutions frequently offered is to suggest that they
stop whining, and start building a list. Somewhat more productive
advice is to suggest that they join one of the free list-building
giveaways as a starting point.

Naturally, that brings us to the question of "are free
list-building giveaways" worth the trouble?"

Do they work? Do they produce quality subscribers?

My personal answer is, "It depends." If you do it the way that
90% of people entering those free giveaways do it, then I think
that you're hurting yourself more than you're helping.

I DO offer free items in select free giveaways. Just one of my
several autoresponder accounts with is
rapidly approaching a verifiable 200,000 subscribers. Many of
these subscribers did join my list(s) as a result of free

So, why did I answer with "it depends" then? First of all, you
need to realize that contributing a gift during one of these free
giveaways is just the first step in a long relationship-building
process. Far too many people blow it right from the start. They
offer a free "gift" in these events that they'd be insulted if
someone offered to them. They violated "Rule #1".

Whatever you offer in one of these free giveaways, or any gift
that you offer to your customers for that matter, should be
something nice enough that you COULD sell it if you chose to.

Starting a relationship off by offering someone JUNK, as a bribe
to get them onto your list, leaves them with a bad first
impression of doing business with you. Offering an ANCIENT
product that you have resale rights to (along with 10,000
others), or that you purchased on Ebay for 99 cents, is plain

To give you an idea of the quality of gift that I think that you
should offer, the most recent one that I contributed was a free
ebook entitled, " How To Keep Digital Product Thieves From
Robbing You Blind." I wrote this ebook from scratch, consulting
with several computer security and website experts in the
process, and then GAVE it away as an subscriber bonus. That was
an ebook that I researched, wrote, collaborated on, and had some
nice graphics designed for... all so that I could give it away.

The second thing to consider is the quality of the giveaway

You need to get involved in events where the organizers cares
enough to really monitor the quality of the gifts contributed.

You do not want to be associated with a free list-building
giveaway that "feels desperate or amateurish."

You also need to make sure that the organizer of the giveaway
REQUIRES joint venture partners (gift contributors) to all
promote the event. Ideally, those who are discovered not
promoting the event, usually by the fact that they have made NO
referrals, should be purged from the database of those eligible
to receive subscribers fairly early in the giveaway's timeline.

I've witnessed countless free giveaways where the majority of
contributors merely contributed an outdated product and then did
absolutely NO promotion. They planned on getting a free ride. A
promotion with lot of people doing that can, at best, have only
mediocre results.

Participating in free list-building giveaways CAN jump-start your
list-building. I know numerous online marketers who've built
lists into the thousands... and even tens of thousands with most
of their early list members being from free giveaways. It does
work. It can build you a targeted, responsive list if you offer
the right gifts, and if you select the right giveaways. If you
join the wrong ones, contribute JUNK, and then wait for others to
do all of the work, you're in for a big disappointment. In these
type of events you do get exactly what you give.

Willie Crawford has been teaching list-building and website
traffic generation since late-1996. His ebook, ""How I Boosted
My Ezine Sign-Up Rate By 5200 MORE Subscribers Per Month -
Virtually Overnight - And You Can Too," considered a classic
by many, is availalbe at: