There’s a long running debate as to which type of lead magnet is best for business; a free one, or a cheap paid-for product.

There are those who insist that you give away something for free to build a large email list of potential customers, and there are those who prefer to only grow an email list with people who have purchased products.

I currently give away free lead magnets because they are good for building big lists, but I am seriously considering swapping it to only using cheap paid-for products to grow my list.

The reason for this is that when a person buys a cheap product from you at the beginning, you are starting a relationship with a ‘buyer’.

And as we know, it is easier to sell something new to a previous customer who was happy with their purchase than it is to try and convince someone new to buy something from you.

When a person buys that first product from you, they have made a ‘positive buying decision’ which means that any doubts and resistance they may have for buying has been removed.

They chose to go through the whole process of getting the card out of their wallet/purse or signing in to PayPal to make a purchase.

When you grow a list of buyers, you are starting off with a greater chance of selling your other products.

They have already made the decision to buy, and now they are going to go through your product and make a further opinion based on the quality of the purchase. 

If they like what they have bought, then it is highly likely that they will buy from you again because they like, know, and trust you and your products.

If they don’t like what they have bought from you then they may not buy from you again, and this is why you should deliver a product that is far more valuable to them than the price they paid you for it.

If the product you sold was $10… give them a value of at least $100

Give them a product that will knock their socks off.

When that initial product leaves a huge positive impression on them, they are more likely to be happy with your other products… even if they are more expensive and deliver less value.

You cannot underestimate the power of a ‘happy customer’. 

Free lead magnets are great, but they can attract a lot of people who are simply ‘curious’ about your ‘freebie’ and not really intending on spending money with you. 

What someone considers to be a ‘potential customer’ is very often nothing more than a ‘tyre-kicker’, as they are called in the industry.

They were never interested in buying, and probably never will be.

Growing an email list of several thousand names can sound like a brilliant and potentially ‘profitable’ achievement, but if 80%+ of those people are not interested in what you have to sell, then they are nothing more than a waste of your time and money.

Now… if you do build an email full of ‘non-customers’ who do still open and read your emails, then yes, you may be able to eventually ‘warm’ some of them to your products, but it might be more beneficial to charge people to run adverts and sponsored content in your emails in a similar way to NewsMax do.

They send out emails informing readers of breaking news and what the latest stories are on the website, and each email they send out – which can be several per day – have sponsored content in them making NewsMax money.

That is a great business model for those who are willing to build a huge email list by giving away free content.

For those who are planning on creating and selling their own products – like a subscription based newsletter or membership program –  and other people’s products for an affiliate commission, using a cheap paid-for product probably would be the best option as your lead magnet because you are building a list of ‘buyers’ instead of a list of curious ‘tyre kickers’.

When you have a list of people who have already bought a cheap product from you, there’s a greater chance that they will subscribe to your monthly newsletter or membership. 

Offer it at the right price and promise to over deliver on the value, and you should see a decent amount of people signing up.

If you found this newsletter useful in any way, please share and leave a comment.

Until next time.

Have a great day.


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