One of the first things that aspiring Internet marketers learn about is the sales funnel, the mechanism that let’s you transition prospects and customers from free resources to inexpensive front-end products and, ultimately, to higher priced back-end products.
The line that separates your free items from your paid products is called the free line and moving it further down your funnel—so you’re giving away more for free—could actually help you stay ahead of your competitors.
It’s a process.
As almost anyone who’s used the internet to research a product can attest, the online sales process begins with a free resource: an ebook, a special report, a helpful infographic, a cheat sheet or anything. It could even be a blog post aimed at providing helpful information while also collecting relevant data, such as your name and email address.
Free offers at the top of your sales funnel are very important because it’s only through this process of giving away a lot of useful, high-value information that a prospect will become convinced that you’re trustworthy and worth buying from.
Once trust has been established, it becomes much easier to sell them the higher priced back-end products, especially if your free content did its job in demonstrating the level of quality and value that you’re capable of delivering.
The free line in motion.
Picture your sales funnel. Now, imagine the line of demarcation that separates your free giveaway items from the items you’re selling. Then, think about what would happen if you moved your free line further down on your funnel. It would then result to more people receiving more valuable content from you for free.
It may be a little unsettling to think about it at first because the products you used to sell at a profit would now be given away for free. But some experts are predicting that this is one of the emerging techniques marketing companies increasingly use to outsell their competition.
This approach makes sense when you consider the big picture: if Company X has better resources and a well-built sales funnel that can deliver more and more value for free, then it’s just a matter of time until they can offer greater value to both their customers and their traffic-generating affiliates.
So, whichever company succeeds at offering the best free value at the front-end, while extracting the most value from higher priced products at the back-end, will win out over time.
Visitors expect your best—for free.
Ever since people started going online, they’ve been receiving information for free. It’s a huge component of web-based culture and one that’s not likely to change anytime soon. And it’s for this reason that your business must give away some of your best content in order to grab attention.
Since your content is what you’ll use to draw traffic, and traffic is driving your sales, it only makes sense to supply plenty of great free content to visitors.
Doing so can lead to a greater payoff for you with more links to your site, more traffic, improved credibility, greater exposure, and even more sales.
Of course, it has to be stellar content; just rehashing what others have already released won’t suffice. In fact, one of the reasons the free line is moving is because it’s becoming increasingly necessary to innovate ways to deliver value.
That means, it may not be too long before many of the products you currently sell are repositioned as more impressive lead magnets aimed at triggering higher priced sales.
Time to plan ahead.
It’s almost impossible to run a successful business online today without providing prospects and customers with a variety of free resources.
To stand apart from other businesses, you need to think about what you currently provide free of charge and then figure out how to take it to the next level. With some proper brainstorming, it shouldn’t take too long to identify a few must-have giveaways that your prospects and customers will rush to get.
If you’re not currently providing free content to prospects or you only have a couple pieces to distribute, then it’s time for you to begin aggressively growing this repository of high-value information. Over time, these efforts will pay off on the front-end while you work to develop and grow your back-end offers.
Play around with the possibilities. Be creative in your approach to create content as well as your methods of delivery.
Most importantly, you need to understand that to drive traffic, build credibility, and outpace your competitors, you’ll need to continuously innovate ways to over-deliver on content. Count on the free line shifting deeper into your funnel as you work to differentiate your business from others with both your content and the competitiveness of your back-end offers.
Building and growing an online business requires passion, focus, consistent efforts, and an awareness of—and responsiveness to—trends in the marketplace.
Moving the free line may not sound appealing at first, but if you market your business with free, high-value content and back it up with value-packed products, you may soon find yourself making more money and blowing away your competition.