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News Flash: People love free stuff. 

I know this because I am a person. Free samples at the grocery store, free giveaways with purchase of Item X, heck, even those stupid punch cards that get you a free sandwich after you buy 10. Free stuff is awesome!

That’s why free downloads are such a great marketing tool for small businesses.

Not sure what I’m talking about? It’s like this, a free download is something you put up on your website behind a wall that only requires an email address to download. This could be anything from a resource guide or toolkit, to a video or podcast or even a self audit or FAQ worksheet.

Ok, so it isn’t technically free. But then again nothing really is – at least according to my high school econ teacher. An email, however, is a small price to pay for high quality, useful information. I know for a fact I have seen people do a whole heck of a lot more for a whole heck of a lot less.

Interesting that when I look around on different company’s websites I notice a lack of downloads in places that should be a slam-dunk no-brainer. Apparently these companies haven’t taken to learning what an easy and effective marketing tool downloads can be. 

Why Downloads?

Downloads are the ultimate tool for generating leads and growing your contacts list. Every single person who gives you their information obviously has some level of interest in your product or service. They could be very early on in the exploratory phase or maybe even ready to buy. 

This makes the leads generated by downloads far superior and much higher in quality than any other method. Your dusty old contact list might be full of people who can’t even remember why they signed up (or didn’t even know they did). And don’t get started on crappy, shady purchased contact lists. You might as well throw your money away.

People who give you their information for downloads are excellent names to add to your email newsletter list or even reach out to directly for a follow-up.

So, does getting high-quality leads sound like a good deal? It should. Despite what you may think, downloads are really pretty easy to produce and distribute.

How To Start?

Like I said, your downloads can be anything that potential clients or customers would find useful. A great place to start is your blog (your are blogging, right?)

Over the time that you’ve been blogging, you might start noticing that you talk about one subject a lot. You may talk about different elements or aspects of the same topic. Shabam! There’s your first download. Just round up the information, format it in a way that is easily digestible, make it look nice and let the world know about it.

Audits and FAQs are another great kind of download to work on. This one may take a little bit more work, but it will be worth it. Think of some answers to questions prospective and current customers ask about your product or service. This kind of piece is very strong for prospects nearing the buying phase. Audits or checklists can also give prospects a small taste of your service and can help bring them back if they are intrigued.

If you are in the business of visuals, collections of photos, recipes and the like are also solid inspirations for a download. 

Interested in learning more about downloads and other ways to grow you contacts list? Check out our workbook on Lead Magnets and Landing Pages

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