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Business Consulting For The 21st Century Via A Holistic & Intelligent Approach

Free sells (but does it lead to more sales?)

Consumed => “How Much Money Do You Make?” by David Meerman Scott on EContent Mag.

http://www.econtentmag.com/Articles/Column/After-Thought/How-Much-Money-Do-You-Make-75774.htm

Actually, this is about half right. As a matter of fact I had read a similar article in the last couple weeks. Unfortunately, I don’t recall the publication/website. That article started with the same idea—when offer a download, make it easy, make it free. The difference was the other article cited an example/client that in the end kept the barrier up. Why? Because after testing both strategies it was only the wall-up method that resulted in actual conversions. Whether it’s ten times or one hundred times more, no-wall isn’t a plus if it doesn’t produce the desired results.

Moi? I’d be willing to test a hybrid of sorts. First, split the content into two or three parts. Make the first part free and easy. It might be possible to ask for an email that you will use to let them know when part 2 and 3 are available. I’d make that optional for part 1 into part 2. When part 2 becomes available—or maybe there’s a special link at the end of part 1—I’d raise the bar and require an email. Then come part 3 ask for first name or some other small but helpful tidbit.

Naturally, this is just a start. It all comes down to testing and measuring results. What works for one audience and brand might not be what works for another. And what worded for you yesterday might not be what works for you tomorrow. There are no absolutes. Counting total downloads helps but it’s just one metric that should be considered when defining, measuring and analyzing success.

BTW, I’m not a David Meerman  Scott hater—not at all. I actually found many of his ideas in his “Marketing Lessons of the Grateful Dead” to be interesting and helpful. In that context, his recommendation here is disappointing.

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