“Create a lead magnet”, they said.
“Drive some traffic to it and give the lead magnet away for free in exchange for their email address”, they said.
“Do that to build a list of email subscribers. Those subscribers will eventually start buying your products and once you’ve got a big list, you’ll be set!” they said.
Were they wrong?
Lead magnets work amazingly well.
When done right it’s like having your dog or cat RUN to you when you shake the treat container. If you’ve created something they want, they will flock to it.
Heck, we even took it further and created a compelling quiz that then offered the quiz results for free in exchange for their email address and that was getting us .30 cent leads!
The only problem was that it worked great for the purpose it was intended for…
Getting the lead.
But what about getting the sale?
Generally, you’ll get a fraction of your leads to buy on Day 1 and with consistent email followup a portion of the rest will buy over the next 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, 1 year, 2 years (I’ve seen some leads buy after 3 years!) and a portion will stay on your list but never buy. They just enjoy hearing from you I guess!
List building is a good longer-term strategy and works just fine if you’ve got enough funds to cover the advertising spend and are solvent enough to wait 30, 60, 90 days or longer to breakeven.
But if you’re just getting started with a brand new digital product or have only made a few sales so far, you may not want to wait that long to find out how many people will actually buy your digital product.
That’s why I over the last few years I started testing Direct-To-Sale Campaigns…
…and started building a list of customers rather than just a list of people who were interested in the topic of the lead magnet (or just wanted the freebie).
What were some of the results of this test?
For example, by using the Direct-To-Sale approach a client who had previously built a list of over 5,000 athletes and had only sold a handful of digital products (under 30 customers total… that’s only 0.6% of the list!) was able to…
1) Start breaking-even on Day 1 (meaning if he spent $100 on a given day he’d make that back that same day instead of waiting to recover that investment over 90 days or longer)
2) Get an influx of new customers that he solicited feedback from to continue improving his offer to then start making a profit on the front end.
3) Build a list of over 11,633+ customers (not leads) in a little over 3 years.
Why I think Direct-To-Sale campaigns work well.
In any audience there are two segments.
The Buy Now-ers: those with a problem who are ready to act right now. The pain or cost of not having solved the problem yet is high and they are ready to do something about it (i.e. buy a solution!).
The Buy Laters: Those with a problem who are not yet ready to take action on a solution but are interested in the topic. They are in “research” mode and are not quite ready to buy anything yet.
The Direct-To-Sale campaign is tailored for the “Buy Now-ers” and therefore gives that segment an opportunity to do what they want right away without having to jump through any hoops (i.e. opt-in for a lead magnet).
What do you need to make a Direct-To-Sale campaign work for you?
1) A quality digital product your audience wants (ideally in the $20-$99 range).
2) A good ad or set of ads.
3) A good landing page for your digital product.
Once you’ve got a Direct-To-Sale campaign working for you where you are at least breaking even on the front-end, you can set up a more traditional list building campaign tailored to the “Buy Laters”.
P.S. Here’s something I’m doing that may be helpful when you’re ready…
Don’t know how to write a good ad?
When I need to make sales of my digital product, this is the ad I use…
Check it out –>