Are you using ethical bribes to grow your business?
Free give-away offers (also known as ethical bribes) are a classic, time-tested method for building buzz and gaining valuable exposure that can lead to greater sales for your business.
What is an Ethical Bribe?
An ethical bribe is something you give away for free in exchange for a prospect’s name and contact information (usually just an email address, but you can request a phone number and additional information as well in exchange for the free give-away item.)
Benefits of Ethical Bribes
Ethical bribes can help you:
Build buzz, gain attention and generate more exposure for your business, your products and your services,
Give potential customers a taste or experience of your product(s) or service(s)
Qualify leads and develop a list of ideal prospects
Position you as a “welcome guest” instead of an “unwelcome pest” in the prospect’s mind.
Obtain permission to continue communicating with your ideal prospects.
Studies show that people don’t buy something until they have been exposed to it between 4 and 7 times and sometimes up to 10 times.
On the internet in particular, your prospects aren’t seeing you face to face or speaking with you directly. They probably don’t know who you are yet, so they aren’t likely to open their wallets and make a purchase when they first come across you.
Examples of Ideal Ethical Bribes
The ideal ethical bribe provides a taste or experience of your product or service, and/or educates your prospects about your business, so they can decide if you have something of value to offer them.
Depending on the nature of your business, an ethical bribe could be:
A coupon or gift certificate to induce prospects to try your product or service
A free report
An excerpt or sample chapter of a forthcoming book
A free consultation or session with you
Access to a free educational video
Ethical Bribes Help You Overcome Buyer Resistance
People love free items, so ethical bribes make it easy to overcome price resistance from potential customers and clients. Many people are happy to provide their contact information in exchange for something that is free.
Once you have their contact information, you have the beginnings of a “marketing funnel” that can become a valuable and profitable sales tool.
The better your ethical bribe – the more value it represents to your target customer – the greater your chances of growing a database of leads and qualified prospects.
If people are visiting your website but not providing their names and email addresses to obtain your give-away item(s), then you need to offer something different with a greater perceived value.
You won’t know if you need to offer a different ethical bribe until you have at least offered something.
Setting Up Your Follow-Up System
Before offering your ethical bribe, you must set up a follow-up system to deliver the freebie offer and continue communicating with your leads after they sign up to receive your freebie offer.
Your website should be designed to present your ethical bribe in an eye-catching and appealing way, with a prominent sign-up form and inviting, persuasive images and copy.
You should also subscribe an autoresponder email service, such as Constant Contact, Mail Chimp or Aweber, and set up this service to immediately deliver the freebie offer as well as a series of pre-written messages that will be delivered in a predetermined sequence over a period of time (a week, a month, or longer).
Ethical Bribe Action Steps
Here are the action steps you need to take to start growing your business through ethical bribes:
Decide on one or more free give-away items or services you will offer.
Design and write your online invitation to obtain your give-away item.
Subscribe to an autoresponder email service (I recommend Aweber and Constant Contact)
Create an opt-in form (lead-generating form) through your email service to obtain prospects’ names and email addresses.
Set up your autoresponder service to immediately confirm and deliver access to your ethical bribe after prospects fill in the opt-in form.
Yvonne Herbst owns and manages Herbst Marketing, a Northern Virginia website design and marketing agency that helps local businesses use the internet effectively to grow sales and revenue. Her PiedmontWomen.com blog showcases influential women and women entrepreneurs serving Culpeper, Fauquier, Rappahannock and Prince William Counties, Virginia.
Sign up for the Piedmont Women email list to receive free offers, free gift certificates and other give-away items from featured woman-owned businesses.
Many small business owners are scrambling to figure out how to use Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and other social media to market their business.
The problem is, social media engagement can distract you from the more important and essential marketing tasks of:
developing a website that works, and
using your website as a marketing tool to grow your email list.
A targeted email list is the least expensive and most effective way you can follow up with customers regularly. With a targeted email list, you can:
Announce your latest products and services;
Direct the people on your list to pages on your website where they can learn more about the features and benefits of what you do and what you sell;
Send people on your list to an online shop where they can buy more now;
Include links to downloadable coupons;
Send readers to an engaging web video link, where they can learn more about the benefits and features of a product or service you are selling.
The Easiest Way to Grow Your Email List: QR Codes
Print your custom qr code on your business cards
The problem is, getting people to sign up for your email list usually requires that they be in front of a computer.
QR codes solve that problem: Now you can print a QR code on a business card or brochure. When you hand it out to prospects and customer, simply ask them to scan the QR code with their smart phones, and they can be taken instantly to a web form where they can sign up for your email list on the spot.
If they don’t have a smart phone with a QR Code scanner already uploaded, you can let them use your own smart phone to access your email sign-up form.
Would you like to know how you can capture more leads and close more sales with less effort?
Grow Your Local Business with Internet Marketing
The internet is a fantastic marketing platform for local businesses — but you need to know the recipe for success to make it work for you.
Did You Know?
Today, 97% of all consumers use computers or mobile phones to find local businesses and research buying decisions. If you are the first business your best prospects find online, then you are ahead of the game.
The Internet Can Help You Capture More Leads and Close More Sales With Less Effort
Here’s a simple “recipe” that can help you attract more qualified leads online and close more sales with less effort.
1. Get a Website Designed With Sales In Mind
2. Make Sure Your Website and Business Information Show Up Fast Online
3. Create an Irresistible One-Time Offer Available Only To People Who Request It Online
4. Require Prospects to Provide Name, Phone and Email Address to Obtain and Redeem Your Offer
5. Follow Up Fast and Follow Up Regularly to Establish Trust and Cultivate Loyal Relationships
6. Position Yourself as the Top Local Expert
7. Deliver Social Proof That You Are the Best Choice for Your Products and Services
Step 1: Get a Website Designed With Sales in Mind
If you really want to capture more leads and close more sales with less effort, you need to start with a website that works.
Websites that work are designed in a specific way that will save you money, time and energy on advertising and marketing while funneling more qualified leads into your business.
If you would like immediate help to get a new website, or fix your underperforming website,