Free is no longer good enough – only personal relationships rule
“Watch my free seminar”, “Free whitepaper”, “Free anything”: We are getting inundated with free anything. Now that it is free, it is no longer setting companies apart like it used to, does it?
Free has become the norm and thus is no longer pulling in customers like you and I to spent money elsewhere on their web sites or any other offers for that matter. Worse, now I may get the impression that free means it may be too cheap for me paying attention to it.
How likely are you even open anything that says “free” anywhere anymore? One last thing that truly separates companies and people who present offers to you is the level of personal relationship that they create with and for you. Only when you know or at least recognize the sender will you ponder opening the mail or click on the web site links.
All of it can lead to click-to-open-angst, aka information overload. Folks who do not overload you and actually provide value should get your support. But how do you spot them?
Here are a few things to look out for when you peruse your inbox or web:
- Where everybody knows your name. They know your name and use it with a personal message. No mass mails with no one, or the opposite (everybody), under the sun in the “To” address line.
- Free means free. There is no hook at the end of the message that automatically signs you up for anything else – especially when it is not free.
- The message or content truly provides you with value. Best are the folks who almost shame you into wanting to buy something because there is so much value.
- You frequently hear from them. No one time here-is-my-stuff-and-please-buy-it lines. Jeff Goins is an awesome writer and he offers great content that he delivers frequently.
- You do not get too much info or mail from them either. Send me more than 5 posts etc per day and I will go out of my way to unfriend you or put you into the spam mail category.
- “Every breath you take”: there is no stalking. Two or three mails with the same call to action just packaged differently still sends you towards the junk mail folder.
- They have been around long enough to have a great web presence. No Gmail e-mail addresses, web sites with old and dated (heaven forbid incorrect) material.
- There is congruence in all the material that hits your computer screen wherever you look. Color schemes, font, culture, overall presentation, and delivery of service and product are impeccably saying the same thing: We have got it together! That would be Gitomer, the sales guru for you.
- They have great reviews. Look for feedback on the web. It is easy to come by. Any rating lower than 95% is most likely not worth your time no matter what it is.
- Others know them. They are well known enough such that bloggers and other early adopters have picked up on them and posted material about them. When Seth Godin tells me about an offer, don’t you pay attention? I do, and you should too.
Do not succumb to the frustration about having way too much free stuck hit your deck. Look for material and people that appear truly sincere in the stuff they provide to you. It needs to make everyone better off. Once you find a gem like that, reward them with your clicks and heaven forbid even an order.