Free Email Marketing…?

There are many different ways of getting clients. Some are very effective…some can set you up for failure in subtle ways.

Here’s question I received today:

“I have come across an offline biz model whereby you approached offline biz owners that have a pg1 google position but do not capture site visitors email etc, and offer to set them up with an effective list capture/opt-in system (inc. free giveaway, autoresponders et al). This allows them/us to build a relationship with people in the market to buy at some point, so hopefully some can be turned into paying clients. Apparently, this works best with higher value goods & services.

“Do you consider this to be a viable biz model?”

My answer:

Follow up marketing is incredibly powerful and will often bring the highest return for effort of any strategy you can implement.

In fact I cover email marketing for retail businesses or businesses that have a lot of foot traffic in the product From Offline Store Front To Online Gold. We also have a whole pile of resources and threads on email marketing in the Gold Members section of

This video might give you some insights…

Most businesses don’t understand that it is very expensive to attract new clients but costs very little to follow up with prospects and customers they already have…especially by email…and especially using an automated email autoresponder system.

My first recommendation would be don’t do it free.

Clients who don’t pay you are likely to be problematic. You haven’t forced them to establish the value of your service in their minds by charging them a substantial fee upfront.

They will tend to undervalue your service and they have no real commitment to making any strategy you implement really work. When they’re paying you they have a whole lot invested and they’re far more likely to get you and their staff behind anything you do.

Also if you charge upfront for doing something you’re getting paid and that’s the whole point of doing this gig in the first place.

Many people think “free” is attractive to businesses but often it’s more of a red flag to a business owner (as it is to you if you think about it).

When someone offers you something free or really cheap your first question is “What’s wrong with it?” That’s NOT what you want your prospects and clients to be thinking about your service.

The opposite is also true. When someone is charging a premium fee your immediate reaction is usually “he must be good…look at the fees he’s charging…I wonder what’s so special about his service?”

Charge a substantial fee upfront before you do any work on anything. That would be my first rule of charging.

The other problem with providing an email marketing solution free is that email marketing is complicated and takes a lot of work to do well.

You need to create a good incentive for people to join a list (maybe a lead generating report and some kind of compelling email series).

And if the list is going to have any size you’ll also want to use a premium autoresponder service like Aweber.

So there’s a really substantial cost in money and labor in doing email marketing well. It’s just not something you want to be doing free.

Another big mistake many marketers make when they first start serving brick and mortar businesses is focusing too heavily on what service THEY will be providing.

By trying to sell a specific service you’re putting your service first instead of the needs and
wants of the person you’re communicating with.

If you really want to be charging premium fees you need to focus on getting to know the business and its owner, what’s important to them, what problems they need solved.

Then you customize a solution around that.

That will help to build trust and rapport and it ensures that you’re actually delivering a service that is highly likely to get some results based on real knowledge of the unique ins and outs of that business.

Making that first contact with a business can be awkward but in my opinion offering a free service is probably not the best way of doing it.

There are multiple strategies you could be using in the Offline Gold product Get Clients Now.