No matter what I told you, or you heard from John Saddington at Savvy, or you read online somewhere. . . take “write an e-book” for your email optin off your list of things to do.
The truth is no one has e-book on their Christmas List. No one.
Are you sure?
But don’t think that means you shouldn’t be list building. Driving traffic to a list you own is very important. Imagine the few months before Facebook became big. . . there were people who had amassed quite a following on MySpace. Thousands of friends who commented on their posts and followed their advice. And then –poof– they were all gone.
When MySpace effectively died, a lot of people learned a lesson. If you don’t move your fans to your list, they’ll one day disappear.
Now Facebook’s value is starting to falter and fewer are using Twitter as a resource. With the advent of TheFancy.com and CraftGawker, even Pinterest is facing competition. Don’t get me wrong, all of these places are great except they’re not yours. That community belongs to someone else.
So you need to move them to a property you own, and the most effective way yet it so move them to an email list.
Then how do you get them on your email list?
That was your next question I bet. People don’t just randomly sign up for an email lists They need a reason and it’s not a reason to just get on the list. No one has “email subscription” on their Christmas Wishlist either.
People like getting something of value. They’re willing to opt-in to an email list if it has value to them. And most of the time people want immediate value. That’s why people say “write an e-book”. But that’s just wrong.
The e-book is not the answer
If you march into this task trying to write an e-book, you start with “you” in mind and not your customer. And that’s just bass ackwards.
Instead, think through what your audience wants and needs. If they want and need a coupon calculator, have them opt-in to get that. Don’t try to turn a coupon calculator into an e-book. If you think your audience would love some inspirational quotes to hang on their wall, make a printable .pdf poster and have them opt-in to get that. Don’t force them to read the quotes in an e-book.
If your audience wants a saving money checklist, have them opt-in to get that. Don’t make it a 13 chapter read if they just want the checklist.
BUT if you think they could use 7 concrete reasons why they shouldn’t do x, y or z . . . then by all means create an e-book. But don’t make the e-book the goal, just be happy if that’s the solution.
Just to get you thinking, here’s a bunch of things you could create for your customers (other than an e-book):
- create an ecourse. . .
- use Kunaki to send an audio cd. . .
- host a teleseminar. . .
- write a manual. . .
- offer a downloadable mp3. . .
- design a nice pdf. . .
- create a printable. . .
- do a giveaway. . .
- jot down some eNotes. . .
- offer 1 on 1 consulting. . .
- provide a homestudy course. . .
- proctor a membership site. . .
- invite personal mentoring. . .
- pack and send a thumbdrive. . .
- design a poster . . .
- mail them a dvd. . .
- show them it’s easy with a mini guide. . .
- compile technical information in a special report . . .
- update them with a bulletin. . .
- tease with an informational pamphlet . . .
- help them organize with a checklist or comparison chart. . .
- wow them with a handy excel calculator. . . .
- OR WRITE AN EBOOK!
That’s not your job
It’s not your job to cram a square peg into a round hole. It’s your job to find the shape of your customers’ void and fill that with the perfect solution.