$90,000 A Month From A Free Ebook?
A brief history of name squeezes, opt ins, ebook incentives
and other intriguing stuff related to how much you bank this
The secret story behind $90,000 a month from a free ebook
By Marlon Sanders
When you're just starting your online business, here is the
one key to your success:
With all the high tech and marketing wizardry on the Internet,
the basics have been, are and always will be -- basic!
Step one: Get people onto your list using a FREE or highly
Step two: Get 'em to make purchase #1 from you.
Step three: Get 'em to make purchase #2.
Step four: Go for big ticket sales or recurring monthly
billing. You could move this step up to three or even two
in some cases.
In the field of Internet marketing , step one has just
gotten pummeled over time in terms of what it takes to do it.
Here are the stages opt-ins have gone through:
Stage one: The free report or newsletter
Originally, you could offer a free report or newsletter and
get people to join to your email list.
Jonathan Mizel coined and TRADEMARKED the term Name Squeeze.
He was smarter than me. I've originated and innovated many
things in this business but never had the smarts to trademark
Then, later on, people deny what you did. If you trademark,
you got the PROOF. Mizel? He's a smart man.
Oh, other people CLAIM they invented the Squeeze Page. Ask
them whose coaching club they were IN. And WHO owns the
Yeah, ask them that. Watch them dance.
Stage two: The ebook
Later, Terry Dean popularized the free ebook in exchange for
the opt in. The problem became that everyone started offering
low quality, crappy private label rights ebooks for the opt in.
(Not that all plr ebooks are low quality.)
So people stopped opting in for those because they figured the
value was equal to the information -- worth less than nothing.
Some people went to offering a BUNCH of plr. OK. If one piece
of crap doesn't get your attention, I'll throw in a whole bunch
Again, I don't want to be overly critical of reprint rights or
plr. I'm just explaining the history and psychology of what
has gone done.
Stage three: The seven day ecourse
About the same time, Ken Evoy of Site Sell fame started the
whole 7-day ecourse craze. That became watered down into
7-day pitches and low quality information. Plus, the delayed
nature of the gratification didn't make it the ideal system
from the outset.
All of these incentives for opt ins were initially effective
but lost their punch as everyone and their dog jumped on the
Thus, Marlon's rule of the band wagon:
When everyone else jumps ON the band wagon, the results will
diminish. That doesn't mean jumping on the band wagon is
always bad. For example, some would call video on the Internet
a band wagon.
That's more like a here-to-stay thing. Not a band wagon. Kinda
like TV vs. radio. You couldn't really call TV a "bandwagon"
although in the early days I'm sure some did.
Anyway, usually, when everyone starts doing something, the
effectiveness goes down. Often, way down.
Kinda like sales letters.
When you see so many, the bar is raised as to what it takes to
create a sales letter that works. You can't use the same formula
I used years ago. You have to adapt and improve.
Everyone says you can be lazy in niches. And it's sort of true.
But you know what? I often see the BEST sales letters and
marketing being done in niches. I can't explain why. But that's
what I observe.
Stage four: The 50-page report
Rich Schefren wisely came out with a free report that was 50 or
so pages for his first launch. I don't know if he was the first
person to do a lead generator like this.
But his certainly hit big. He repeated his formula with "The
Attention Doctrine" manuscript. I think Rich has added in Stomper-
type videos to his mix.
Scott Boulch pioneered his List Virus software and method where you
pay affiliates .50 to $1.00 per download of the free report. This
is typically in the context of a big product launch.
Stage five: The case study videos
Stompernet innovated by putting out extensive in-depth case study
videos to get opt ins. Some of them are an hour long. I think they
may have added in videos.
You will notice things went from simple free reports to sequences
of very elaborate videos and PDF's. If you're competing in the
Internet marketing niche, and doing big product launches, this is
what it takes.
In most other niches, you can be 10X lazier. Although like I say,
sometimes the sophistication of what people do in niches is far
beyond what you might expect.
So where does that leave YOU?
How do you get people on YOUR list so you can move on with the
1. Test and try different things.
What's old can be new again. I know of one marketer just killing
it with a free ebook offer. Others have gone to offering free
video downloads. Others have gone to a free members site
2. Whatever you use as your opt-in incentive, you have to sell
Don't assume people will want it because it's free.
There is no shortage of free information on the Internet today.
So sell your offer.
3. Watch your opt ins live!
This is a great idea I picked up today from Jason "video guru"
Moffatt. He keeps his aweber open live and watches opt ins as they
come in. That's just to keep opt ins on his mind.
I love that idea.
What you pay attention to grows.
What you don't, withers.
So now back to my grabber. I love that term. I guess Gary Halbert
started it way back when by calling the dollar bill at the top of a
direct mail letter a "grabber." More recently, terminology was
picked up in an outstanding book called Neuromarketing by Renvoise
My grabber to get you to read this article was the $90,000 a month
from an ebook.
So I have a new friend/consultant. I paid him for an hour of his
time 'cause he's an Adwords guru and "old school" marketer, which I
Anway, he's killing it on Adwords with a front-end opt-in incentive
of a free ebook. Yeah, that's it.
A free ebook.
Terry Dean would smile and feel vindicated. Personally, I was
So what's his secret formula?
Step one: Offer incentive -- free ebook
Step two: Get email address
Step three: Send emails
Step four: Ask for money
How's that for back to the basics?
The one thing he does is builds a little more credibility for his
free ebook vs. what you normally see. Frankly, the campaign in terms
of execution is underwhelming.
The graphics are kinda ugly. The content is nothing revolutionary.
There isn't a real USP that screams at you.
It's just the basics very well executed.
But WHAT you offer doesn't matter.
Could be videos. Could be a printed book. Matt Bacak is using the
free CD. Could be a free membership. Could be about ANYTHING that
lights a fire under your customers and gets their tail end off the
sofa, as I think John Carlton would say in a little more spicy
So my new friend gets 22% to 30% opt ins on the front end. I'm not
really sure the exact numbers. He changes the story a bit from
Doesn't really matter. And he's in a niche vs. competing in the
fast-paced life of intensely competitive, superstar Internet
marketing "guru" launches.
My numbers right now are around 15% at my current name squeeze:
That's the page I'm using as my opt in from a Google Adwords
I'm still an Adwords hack to tell the truth. But I'm learning slowly
I've never been super fast out of the gate. I'm more of a keep at
it and keep learning type.
Do you know what your numbers are on your opt-in page? Or if you
have a sales letter with an opt in somewhere within the page, do you
know your numbers?
Do you track them?
Have you tried a different incentive lately?
My new objective is 25% opt ins. If you get 1000 clicks from Google
organic or paid search and you get 250 opt ins, then convert a decent
amount of those into customers (2% to 10%), you have something you
can make bank with.
It's all numbers.
My friend spends $1.00 a click. 25% opt in. So out of 1,000 clicks
that's $1,000 spent and 250 opt ins. 10% buy at around $40.00.
That is $1,000. So basically he breaks even on the front end or
first sale and makes money on the back end or follow up sales.
That's pretty much the formula that makes any business successful.
Now, most people only get 5% to 15% opt-ins from Adwords from what I
hear. Like I said, to date my best is 15%. And converting 10% of
opt-ins is a challenge. 2% to 5% would probably be average,
although I haven't looked at the numbers lately.
Conversions depend on the offer -- what is the price and what do you
get for your money?
You test and try different things.
Oh, I'm NOT telling you WHO my friend is or what his business is.
Why? 'Cause I don't want people copying my friends ads and trying
to destroy his business.
The point of this article is: If you aren't getting enough people
into your marketing funnel, increase the attractiveness of your
If you compete in the arena of Internet, using flanking and
guerrilla moves to avoid the need for Stomper style content videos
to generate leads.
If you're unfamiliar with flanking and guerrilla moves, you really
need to get my Red Factor training. I can't even remember if it's
still available or not. I think we took the offer off the market.
Oh well. You snooze, you lose.
I hope this article has given you insight. To reiterate, there's
a simple formula that works online. It IS the basis of what I first
wrote about years ago in "The Amazing Formula." And it still works
today and will always work.
Step one: Generate a lead by offering a very attractive low cost
or free offer
Step two: Follow up
Step three: Ask for money
Step four: Build customer relationships and provide good service
Step four: Ask for money again and again
Step five: Treat your customers well. They are the goose that lays
the golden egg
Step six: Smell the roses. None of us are here long enough.
Marlon Sanders is the author of "The Info Product Dashboard."
If you want to create your own info products, go to:
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