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Thread: Build Your Mailing List With A FREE Book Offer (And Get Advertisers To Pay For It)

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    Default Build Your Mailing List With A FREE Book Offer (And Get Advertisers To Pay For It)

    (I posted this thread on another marketing forum I'm a part of and I wanted to share it with you too!)

    A few months back I requested the free copy of Ryan Levesque's new book Ask. It was absolutely free and I didn't even have to pay the shipping. He's obviously building up his list.

    Well, the book finally came in the mail yesterday and I couldn't help but noticed there were ads included in the package (I tried attaching the photo here, but it keeps giving me an error, I then included the link and it said the file was too big... ugh! There is a picture on my blog).

    I thought to myself, what a genius! He gave away a free book with free shipping, and helped cover his costs by including other advertisers in the package.

    Reminds me of Valpak or other shared co-op advertising. Get your own advertising out for free while others pay for it. Cha-Ching

    I thought it was a clever way to build up his list by offering something absolutely free, even shipping, and having other advertisers covering his costs.

    Also, I wonder if he did research about which advertisers to include with the book (or, maybe it was Barnes and Noble's doing, since they're the ones who shipped it).

    Obviously, we can all relate to food. So I wonder if a majority of his prospects are interested in photography (which seems like everyone and their mother is a pro photographer these days with their fancy smart phones) and wine (I'm not an alcohol drinker... but I do realize I'm an odd ball).

    Your thoughts?
    David Hunter | Duke of Marketing | Retired Real Estate Agent
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    www.TheSaviorsMinistry.org

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    Sorry about the image. I assume this is the one you wanted. I clicked the button to include an image and chose the URL option. Maybe I'm not bound by the same file size limits. I forget how it's set up.

    ASK-Book-w-Ads.jpg

    Looking at the ads, I think they might be from Barnes & Noble. The bottom ad in the image is a coupon from Barnes & Noble and the top ad is for a series of books Barnes & Noble carries. I bet they included the ads and not the author. It's been awhile since I bought a book from one of their stores, but they always added things like that to your bag at the register.

    I think it's more interesting though to assume the author placed the ads. Thinking as the person who might receive a free book with ads from the author, I would likely look at the ads. Since they arrived inside a package I would check to see if they were something connected with the book. I doubt I would buy something but I'd see the ad.

    Thinking as the author of the book, it could be an opportunity to do several things. If the author is well enough known he or she could probably sell advertising and recoup the costs of the book or even make some money. I would think the more related to the book in the question or the author, the better the ads would perform. In the image there are coupons for wine and for salted fudge and peanut cookie. Maybe B&N is using some data that shows people interested in the book would be interested in wine and fudge. Otherwise the ad/coupon is pretty random.

    I think it is a good opportunity for the author to include information about other books, products, services he or she also sells. I suppose it's not that different from including a page in the back of the book listing the author's other books. I suppose it wouldn't be that different from including extras with a free ebook either.

    It makes sense Someone is clearly interested in a book so why not include ads/coupons for similar products. The only risk I see is turning someone away because you included advertising in a place they didn't expect it, but I think that's unlikely to happen.
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    That's the one, thanks!! I tried the link too, but it was still too big.

    Yeah, I noticed they were from Barnes and Noble. Some of the promo codes even have "barnes" in them. So you think B&N included them? Do you think the author gets a piece of the pie or it is all B&N's doing? I was searching around and couldn't find anything about adding coupons to the package.

    That's what originally got me thinking, was the author had them placed in the package since the book and shipping were both free.

    Someone's definitely thinking about their marketing!

    Love the idea about the author including other products/services he sells. I see a lot of authors include that stuff inside their books, but never as stand-alone inserts with their books. I'd definitely look through it, whether I was interested in buying or not.

    Like you said, I guess if the ads are similar to the product, then it wouldn't turn anyone away. I'm sure the advertisers get some new business out of it!
    David Hunter | Duke of Marketing | Retired Real Estate Agent
    www.DukeOfMarketing.com
    www.TheSaviorsMinistry.org

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