Today, I’m going to give you not one, but three powerful tools…

And, it’s more urgent than ever that you figure out how to use them — in your business, or in your clients’.

Why?

Because the “free information” bribe is dying.

That is, the appeal of a “free report,” “white paper,” “ebook,” or even “email course” is waning.  Fast.

I’ve got a hunch it’s related to the rise of the new “streaming economy.”  With always-on access to information, we no longer feel the need to own or possess information.  We want to be able to get it when we want it.  But the drive to have a hard drive full of information just doesn’t have the same appeal.

Note 1: The most obvious parallels?  Entertainment.  Right now I’m listening to music via Spotify, and it’s rare I buy CDs or even downloads, even from my favorite artists.  I have subscriptions to Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video, watch all of them regularly, and seldom buy movies.  (Any wonder why I created BTMSinsiders as a streaming video site, rather than putting out more DVD or even downloadable training?)

Note 2: I did a Video Friday about this trend a couple weeks back, about Re-Moving the Free Line.  It’s highly recommended.  As-is the book I recommended in that video, The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly.

There are some notable exceptions to the death of the “free information” bribe.  Real, physical books, such as my Copywriter’s Guide to Getting Paid, are valued, even in their digital form.  They have a certain je ne sais quoi.

However, in general, marketers across the board are finding it more and more difficult to move the needle simply by offering free information.

But, there are additional lead generation “bribes” that are increasing in use, as marketers are discovering their appeal to prospects.

Here they are, how to use them, and why they’re so powerful…

Using a quiz or questionnaire as a lead generation tool…

I still remember when Perry Marshall published the first edition of his book on Facebook advertising.

He was already the world’s most-quoted expert on Google AdWords, and Facebook was, at the time, at best an also-ran advertising platform.

But Perry saw the potential, as he did with AdWords.

That said, Perry also knew you couldn’t “peel and stick” your most successful advertising campaigns from AdWords into Facebook.

Facebook was, by its nature, different.

And, in fact, many advertisers were asking themselves, “Is Facebook for me?”

Perry decided to answer it — with a customized answer for YOU.

He created a whole site dedicated to answering the question, in fact, in a simple 10-question questionnaire.

It was aptly named: “Is Facebook for me?”

And once you got your score, telling you if Facebook would be a good place for your company to advertise, Perry offered specific training to help you get started and make the most of the platform.  All you had to do was enter your name and email address…

While this hasn’t been the focus of Perry’s attention recently, it was a very effective and timely use of a questionnaire in getting attention — and leads.

More recently, Ryan Levesque burst on the scene with his Ask Method, which is all about how to use quizzes and questionnaires to first learn about your market, then create entire funnels that generate massive flows of new leads and direct them to the perfect offer and messaging for them, based on their quiz results.

Why does this work?

Well, we’re endlessly fascinated with learning about ourselves.  Self-evaluations and personality tests are devastatingly attractive to our egos.

There’s a natural pull to them.

And they set up the perfect next step of acting on what you’ve learned.

Done right, a quiz or questionnaire that will help you learn more about yourself is highly-effective.

Checklists are also incredibly effective…

What if I were to offer you a list of the 20 points, in order, every long sales letter you write MUST cover?

Or the 5 things you must do before you launch your next Facebook ad campaign?

Or the 3 things to include in every video you publish to YouTube, to maximize its chance of going viral?

Offering these as a simple 1-page checklist makes them highly-attractive.

Why?  Because they’re something we want to keep, not stream.  They’re something we want to have at our disposal, next time we need them.  They’re a useful TOOL, not just more mental stuff to try to remember.

They don’t come with the obligation to read.  They come with the possibility and opportunity for use.

This carries a much higher perceived value-cost ratio.  We can believe, as we enter our contact information to get them, that we’re going to get full use out of them, even as we’d question whether we’d ever get around to reading a 50-page white paper that, at its heart, is actually packed with a ton more value.

If you can simplify your core promise into a simple checklist, consider testing it as a lead generation bribe.

Finally, if the offer is right, go for the consultation…

This is actually pretty close to the quiz or questionnaire, but it’s delivered live instead of with tech.

If you have a high-ticket offer (such as consulting or copywriting, or other high-end products), consider whether or not a consultation call would be your best lead generation offer.

There was a brief period when I was selling IT training that I actually left the marketing department for sales.  It was all about commissions.  The owner of the company didn’t want to pay commissions or royalties to a marketing staff member (no matter how much moolah I could show I was making him).  But he was happy to pay a sales commission.

So I plied my direct marketing skills in sales.

I set up a landing page, and linked to it from the product pages for our high-end corporate training solutions.  My landing page offered a free training consultation.

It was to discuss which training solution might be a best fit for your staff.

And I turned on an almost instant flow of high-value leads.

They loved talking to me, because I could help find the best-fit training solution for their needs.  It was easy for them to say yes, even though they knew it would probably lead to future marketing and selling follow-up.

Because I was offering a high-value consultation, I got most of the best leads that were browsing our website.  ($30,000 sales became a regular occurrence.)

Today, if I were doing that, I’d include an application, and an online calendar or scheduling tool.  It would be even easier.  (The lessons we learn too late!)

In fact, I know of people who are charging coaches, consultants, and others thousands of dollars to help them package their offer and set up a “free consultation” system like this — and everybody is happy because this works so dang well.

Depending on positioning, you could also have a staff member do these initial calls, and either close the sale or set up an easy close with you on the next call.

There are all sorts of possibility!

The important thing: it’s time to think different…

I’ve actually spent a ton of time this week developing some of this magic behind the scenes.  It’s not quite time to unveil it.  But assuming I didn’t screw it up, I have a pretty powerful lead generation tool in the works — that also delivers a pile of immediate value to those who use it.

Get creative.  Consider how these may apply to your business, to your next customer acquisition effort.

And get moving.  Because there’s people like me in every market who are implementing these things now — and if you wait, it may be too late!

Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr

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