Reason: the depression in open rates caused when free triggers spam filters is more than offset by the list in response the word produces.
Q: What is a cost-effective way of getting people outside of your current database onto your content landing page, other than social and Web advertising?
There are at least a dozen tactics for driving traffic to any Web page including content landing pages.
One technique I have repeatedly used with success is postcards driving clicks to a personalized URLs; a recent campaign generated a 20:1 ROI.
Advertising free content offers in e-newsletters is another effective way to drive traffic to a landing page.
I ran an ad in the Target Marketing daily e-newsletter offering a free marketing e-book. In just one week, we had over a hundred content downloads at a cost of around ten dollars a lead.
Where can you find good e-zines in which to advertise? Go to the leading print magazine serving your market. These days the vast majority of magazines have supplemental e-newsletters, either daily or weekly. You will get the best ROI with those.
Rental email lists can also work for promoting free content offers. But sending an email marketing message to a rented list rarely works for direct selling.
Q: What is the most effective way to select a topic to build an information product around? What market research technique should one use?
Be an active participant in your niche markets, and you will know without having to do any market research what the hot buttons are. If you are not an active participant, ask someone who is this question: "What's keeping your prospects up nights with worry?"
Q: Do you have tips for decreasing the drop-off rate on the content landing page and getting people to actually fill out and submit the form?
Bob Bly is a freelance copywriter who has written copy for more than 100 clients including IBM, AT&T, Praxair, Intuit, Forbes, and Ingersoll-Rand. McGraw-Hill calls Bob “America’s top copywriter” and he is the author of 90 books, including “The Copywriter's Handbook.” Find him online at www.bly.com or call (973) 263-0562.