5 Tips on Shared Content Vs. Paid Offers

How to strike a balance between free and paid contentSuccessful email marketing is a balancing act between shared content vs. paid offers. You share content that shows your readers that you know what you’re talking about, and you balance that with offers for paid products that allow you to earn a living. Let’s talk about how you can find the right balance, and come up with a successful email marketing strategy.

I wish there were an easy, fail-safe formula I could share that would tell you exactly when to send free content, when to make an offer, and when to combine the two. But the truth is that there’s no such formula.

While I’ve developed some rough guidelines that work for me in my niche, they may not work for you. Plus, things change over time. You’ll use a very different system now, than you will a few years down the road. Circumstances change, readers change, and what they expect from your business also will change.

The question, then, is where do you start and what do you do to find your own balance between free content and paid offers?

Here are 5 tips balancing shared content vs. paid offers:

1-The first thing you need to realize is this: you’ve set a lot of expectations by what you’re currently doing. If you’re currently sharing mostly “free” shared content, then that’s what your readers expect. So, if you want to change reader expectations, you have to do it gradually. Add a few offers here and there. Don’t push too hard.

2-Give your readers time to adjust, and slowly get them used to the idea of seeing offers. Point out the benefits to them. Yes, your main goal may be to make money, but, tell your readers how your handpicking and evaluating products and services saves them time and effort. And, gradually, over time, get them used to seeing more and more offers.

3-If you’re starting out with building a new list from scratch, start making offers from day one. Mix them up with helpful free content, but don’t be afraid to make a sale from the beginning. Then start experimenting and paying attention to your stats. Try mixing more promo emails in with your shared content ones, or combine a helpful tip with an offer for a related product. Again, you want to strike a balance between sharing free content and making money.

4-Sometimes sending fewer promo emails makes more sense, because it helps grow your list, and helps keep readers from unsubscribing. But you won’t know until you try.

5-The key:  Use analytics to track your click through rates, unsubscribes, and sales.

And that’s how you strike a balance between shared content vs. paid offers!