It's always nice to receive a compliment and recently I've had a couple of lovely emails from visitors.
They were commenting about how much I seem to ‘give away' on my blog and how I'm not desperately forcing them to join my mailing list or ‘like' my Facebook page.
It does seem these days that wherever you go on the web, everyone seems to want you to ‘opt-in'.
Don't get me wrong, I think in the right circumstances, it's important to give people an opportunity to continue the dialogue, but one of the biggest mistakes I see a lot of marketers making is overestimating how much value they put on their content.
Now, I'm not saying that what you're putting on your site isn't valuable, but you really should ask yourself, just how valuable is it really?
Marketers do have a tendency to immediately want some sort of ‘payment' from their visitors, whether that's monetary or something other (such as a ‘like' or an email address), in exchange for whatever it is they're offering, a product, a download or perhaps just a piece of content.
This does nothing to add value (perceived or real) to your product, and it also locks a lot of your prospects out.
In short, you blow any chance you had at a conversion simply by overvaluing your content.
Getting the Right Information from Prospects
So what do I mean by overvaluing your content?
Basically, it means that you are giving your prospects little choice other than to sign-up to your mailing list.
I'm sure you know what I mean, but let me give you a quick example: The viewer gets to the website and if they aren't immediately greeted by a pop-up asking them to log in or register to view the content, one or two pages in, the pop-up is sure to make an appearance.
This is poor marketing technique because you're asking the lead to give away far too much up front.
Unless you've provided them with the best two pages of content in their entire lives, it's just too much too soon when you start asking for their email address.
A lead isn't just going to give you their email address anymore – those days are long gone.
People are much smarter than a few years ago and understand that the second they give out their email address, you and a bunch of other people are going to start pestering them with deals and offers.
That's why so many people have two and three email accounts, one goes straight to them and the other goes straight to the garbage.
Guess which email address you're getting if you overvalue your content?
How to Properly Value Your Content
In order to get the real email address from them, you are going to want to follow the 90/10 rule of content locking.
This simply means that 90% of all your content should be free-truly free, not even asking them to like you on Facebook.
Of course, depending on the level and quality of information that you're giving out, this number is extremely flexible right down to 50-50, but for the most part, 90% is a fair number.
If you're not sure about how unique your content is, do a quick Google search and find out if the information you are providing is out there for free.
If so, that's exactly where your leads are bouncing to since they aren't locked out over there. So unless your content is truly unavailable elsewhere, don't lock your prospects out of it since you're essentially rolling out the red carpet for your competition.
The other 10%? That's where you killer information goes.
Of course, that information is only going to be as delicious to a viewer as the other 90% of the free content builds it up to be, so that's where your sales funnel should be pointing to.
Once you have them into that 10% range where they give you their email address, provide them with all the valuable white papers and eBooks you want as they're now a conversion.