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Do you tell people in advance which books they’ll receive for free?

Offering free books as part of newsletter drip campaigns is popular and an often recommended marketing tactic for authors. A common question is do you actually tell the readers which books they’ll receive for free. There are a few reasons for this.

  1. Readers might wait to get the book for free rather than purchasing it.
  2. Readers may not sign up if they’ve already purchased the book.
  3. Readers may prefer a different book.

This is the case no matter what kind of lead magnet you’re putting together. As a virtual assistant, I help many entrepreneurs put their free offers into their newsletter opt-in process. They may have a how to video series or PDF about learning a particular skill. What if readers want something different? That’s something you’ll have to learn and determine through following your analytics and metrics.

Sometimes you may give away a book someone has already purchased. It is up to you to determine how you handle this. This is the “box of cereal problem”. You purchase a box of cereal last week. The next week the store puts it on sale. You can’t go back to the store and demand a discount; you didn’t purchase the cereal while it is on sale. It’s up to you how to you wish to reimburse your reader, usually by offering a different book for free. You also don’t have to–again, they may have purchased the book prior to your using it for free.

What if readers prefer a different book? Again, like the cereal it’s up to you how to determine the resolution. You could offer a different book, or if you’re fairly generous with your list, tell them to wait for the next giveaway. It’s up to you.

Personally I would always announce up front what book(s) the reader receives for free. This way the reader can make an informed decision about whether to opt-in or not.

Interested about other ways to improve your newsletter? Check out my book Perfect Author Newsletters.