Can You Really Build a Business Giving Away Free Stuff?

When it comes to the most commonly heard business advice, “The money is in the list” ranks right up there in the number one spot.

Whether you’re a coach, an information product seller, a top-notch service provider, or you’re selling a line of skin-care products, growing your mailing list must be a priority.

There’s plenty of strategies to help you add a steady stream of emails to your list, too. A downloadable resource guide prominently offered in your blog sidebar is a proven tactic, as is a training webinar that potential clients can attend live (or even pre-recorded). You’ve likely heard of—and tried—other strategies as well.

And while all of these ideas will produce a trickle of new opt-ins, or maybe more depending on your website’s traffic numbers, they won’t bring in a tidal wave of sign ups. But there is one technique that will.

The Beauty of Massive Giveaway Events

Imagine what would happen to your mailing list if you suddenly had 40 or 50 or even more super successful business owners—all with big lists of their own—promoting YOUR opt-in gift? You’d open your autoresponder account in the morning and see hundreds of new email addresses each and every day. You could easily double or even triple your list in no time at all.

And you know what all those emails mean—more eyes on your products and services, and more money in your pocket.

Giveaway events like this work because a group of business owners in similar niches all work together to drive massive amounts of traffic to a single page. It’s a simple technique that’s worked time and again in nearly every niche, and it can just as easily work for you.

I recently participated in Christine Gallagher’s “She’s Got Clients Giveaway” and got a total of new 1258 opt-ins to my list during the 3 week promotion period. Bananas!

If you are a host or a participant like me, these giveaways are not only fun, but they bring in new contacts and open up your business to the other participants’ lists.

Organization is Key

Here’s the thing, though. In order to make this (or really, any list-building strategy) work for you, you have to get organized and make the process as smooth as possible for all involved. You’ll need an infrastructure in place that includes:

  • A great looking landing page to collect email addresses – any page will do, but I’ve found that a page dedicated to the opt-in works best, with no navigation items or other competing items.
  • A website server that can handle lots of traffic – this is especially true if you are the host and collecting emails prior to presenting others to the giveaway items; sometimes it could be as high as thousands of visitors at the same time.
  • A hidden page where the offers can be presented, and participants can click each link to claim the freebies that appeal to them – Once someone opts in to the host’s website, they are presented with the Giveaway Offers that contains a listing of freebies. This can be another dedicated page, just make sure it’s ‘hidden’ and not a menu item or searchable.
  • A mailing list provider to follow up with both participants and your fellow business owners – once someone opts in to your giveaway offering, you’ll need a way to deliver the item.
  • A group of friends and colleagues who will commit to giving away some top-notch prizes and who will follow-through on mailings – sometimes the host has criteria such as a specific type of gift, minimum list size, or a fee to participate. If you are offered to participate but your list size doesn’t qualify, don’t get discouraged! I keep a tidy list and remove unengaged subscribers every quarter, so my list may not be very large, but my open rates are really good and my peeps are engaged. So if you are a bit short on the criteria, see if there’s something else that can make up for it.

Your new subscribers will be added to your mailing list or newsletter list, or whatever your main list is. You can also add them to a nurture sequence to provide even more value that’s related to your giveaway item. My offering was a “networking and follow-up system” and my follow-up emails contained more free systems and productivity tips.  Also, don’t hit them up for a sale the day after they join… there’s no hurry and it looks a little, shall we say “thirsty.” lol

It may seem like a lot of work, but when you consider what it could mean for your business growth, the benefits of hosting a large-scale giveaway are clear.