The whole month of April we will be talking about list building, and one of the first things you need is a free offer! We will discuss the purpose of a free offer, what you can use as one, and what you need to deliver it.

First Things First, Free Offer

The purpose of a free offer is to give something of value away for free in exchange for a name and an email address. This may help establish you as an expert in the field you are in as your offer can highlight what you specialize in and are good at. On the other hand, you can help your client build a free offer to grow their own list. A free offer used to build a list begins your relationship with leads, allowing them to see you as an expert. The end goal is for them to become clients.

Problem Solver

There is a non-exhaustive list of things you could use to create your free offer but here are a handful of options. You could also use Google to search for other ways to make a free offer. You could make:

  • checklist
  • how-to guide
  • E-Series or email series
  • audio
  • video
  • printable
  • motivational quote or a set of quotes in image form
  • eBook (the most common), a white paper, or some sort of free download you can turn into a PDF

I have one client who has a set of about five prayers you can pray over your prodigal child, which are sent by email one at a time. I have a guide to let someone know if they are ready to hire a virtual assistant and, in the past, I’ve done checklists and printables. Your free offer should provide value to the person you want to download it, and that does not necessarily mean monetary value, but something that will help solve their problem. Just as an example, maybe someone is overwhelmed in their kitchen, and you create something to help them keep their kitchen clean. As a virtual assistant you could give tips about how to hire a VA to someone who is overwhelmed in their business. You want to solve the problem with your free offer.

It’s All in the Delivery

We covered delivery last week with going over necessary pieces for list building. One of the pieces we covered that  you need is some sort of email marketing software, preferably with automation that will deliver your offer no matter what time of day it is. People can come to your website, put in their name and email address, and immediately receive an email delivering the download or showing where to retrieve it.

You need a place to host your offer. It could be:

  • your website.
  • a private link in Google Drive.
  • a service like Amazon S3 where only people with the link can download.

Even though your offer is free, you don’t want it to be publicly accessible because leads are essentially paying for it by providing their name and email address. It’s a good practice to have a disclaimer on the form they will be providing information on that they will receive future emails from you. Each email should have the option to unsubscribe as well and most likely your email service or software will manage this automatically.

Don’t worry if someone unsubscribes! It’s ok because they are not your ideal client, and you don’t want a large collection of people that are not engaging. A VA client of mine had me delete those who didn’t open emails as she is paying for each subscriber. It’s common to pay for each one, and even a free software may allow so many subscribers before you have to start paying. She had about 2000 subscribers and the number of active engagers was less than the inactive. She was paying for them to be in her email software but not getting a return on her investment. I recommend you clean your email list regularly as well. If you don’t have a free offer, I recommend you create one soon!


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