We think that the trend for offering free e-books on websites as a marketing device is well and truly on the wane. But we’re still seeing a lot of new businesses do it and we’re occasionally asked if we think it’s a good idea.
So we want to put this one to bed once and for all: e-books suck big time and here’s why:
They Sound Dodgy
Even the very name, free e-book, sounds old fashioned and some how shady.
The image of the free e-book has been tarnished, irreconcilably in our opinion, by the sorts of companies that offer titles along the lines of get-rich-quick-quick/find-the-millionaire-within/secrets-of-the-wealthy, you know the sort of thing. We say don’t sully your brand with such tawdry associations. Stay classy people.
They Are Inconvenient
Asking for personal details before a book can be downloaded is a very clunky way of providing information to your customers or potential customers. Not to mention the fact that when they do finally download the book they either have to read in on screen or print it out.
No One Actually Reads Them
Let’s be honest, when was the last time you read a free e-book that you downloaded?
Oh, And They’re Not Free
There is always something you have to give in return for the magic download link. Whether it be an email address our your full life story, the businesses that offer e-books want something from you in return so that they can sell you other stuff in the future. How about just give them the information for free in a blog article or in a series of social media posts? Show the world that you are knowledgable, generous and decent – they are traits that people love.
So, there you have it. Forget about the free e-book and offer something truly valuable, convenient and catch-free. Fire up your blog, stoke your social media channels and create great, genuinely useful content that’s completely free. You’ll gain trust and kudos, your brand will be enhanced and you may even win some more customers.