The concept of “Moving the Free Line” by Eben Pagan would have to be one of the most overused phrases of all time in internet marketing.
The idea behind this concept is that most sales funnels work like this:
- Give away a free report
- Upsell them to the eBook / DVD / home study course / group coaching / personal coaching / physical seminar / done-for-you services
If people like the info in your free report, then they will be much more likely to buy your other products etc.
Where the Free Line stops…
The Free Line is where stuff stops being free and your prospects need to purchase something (so it starts costing them money).
Instead of just giving away the report. some marketers give away the report and the eBook so they can promote the DVD or membership site offer.
Or as Dan Kennedy does, give away the report and the eBook and then only charge shipping and handling (about $7) to cover the cost of mailing the DVD. Then they will promote the home study course directly.
The whole idea behind “Moving the Free Line” is that prospects will supposedly think, “If I’m getting all this for free, imagine what I’ll get when I invest money!”
But there are three huge problems with moving the free line.
If you give away most of your secrets in blog posts and free reports, your visitors will piece together what they have and try to get the same info without paying. To fight this, I tend to use my “overflow” content as my free content… I create articles, chapters, and videos that don’t fit into any of my existing products or membership sites and give those away for free, but to promote paid content by adding a call-to-action at the end.
Making your information free automatically devalues the content. When you have more free info out there, your information is worth a lot less.
When you get into physical products, you’re taking a big risk and introducing overhead into your business. Only run a shipping-only DVD offer once you’re building multiple lists giving away reports and eBooks.
Eliminate physical products
I have pretty much eliminated physical products from my businesses and have moved to secure membership sites. These days everyone has a decent internet connection to watch streaming video. People want instant access to information after payment and shipping physical DVD’s after purchase is certainly not instant! You also need to handle stock etc with physical products which is another problem in itself.
- Always pitch at the end of your free content.
- Your guest posting articles should point back to a lead capture page.
- Emails should directly promote offers at the end (remember how I said to blend content and sales?)
- When you host interviews, seminars, or webinars, plan for the end… know what offer you’ll be promoting.
- Install a popup on your blog to capture leads.
- Offer your new subscribers a one-time-offer between the time they subscribe and the time you allow them to download their free gift.
- If possible, only sell digital info products.