| | Re: I need some advice
I would recommend free if Melissa needed to prove that she had the knowledge ... i.e. in a cold call kind of a way.
But these people want what she has already.
So this is a low-level, cheap opt-in ... they've already expressed interest in the 'free' - so now she needs to determine who is actually a client - that is, who is willing to pay for stuff.
As I said, I've created a LOT of these kinds of series for clients over the last four years. And I've tested both free and paid (as well as various price points). Free is great if you just want more numbers on your database.
I'm the perfect case in point - I offered a book I wrote as a free download to a certain group of people. More than 100 of them took me up on it. I spent the next two years providing these people with information and marketing to them via various methods - and not one of them bought anything at any price range - they just wanted something for free.
Meanwhile, of the people who bought the book, who paid for it at whichever price point, around 80% went on to buy something else from the exact same information and marketing.
I repeated similar tests with other products also. They were worthwhile in that they told me this ... free information is, by definition, 'free'. It has no value.
I also disagree with it not costing you anything to distribute or maintain.
For entrepreneurs like Melissa (and a lot of other people on here) - the number one cost is TIME. Writing a course (even if it's only 10 pages) - takes time away from you and from your family. On average, a page takes an hour to write (when you factor in research, thinking time, writing time, editing time). That's 10 hours she's not with her kids. Or working on something else.
That's 10 hours she absolutely deserves money for. And 10 pages of her hard-earned knowledge that she also deserves money for.
"But there is merit in giving away something free as a strategy."
Hmmm ... you've said that, but you haven't really backed it up.
Your points were
#1 - because it doesn't cost you anything - which it does - but even so, what difference does it make to your clients if it cost you anything or not? People don't weight up what they are going to buy based on whether it cost you anything ... "Oh well, I'm not paying $17 for this because it didn't cost her anything ... but I will pay $17 for this because it did".
#2 - Some will read and value the free information that you supply and will recognise your work/knowledge as having value - we're talking about people here who already recognise the value.
So where is the merit of giving this away and WHAT is the strategy????
If the outcome is: To convert inquiries into paying customers.
Why would you give them something for free?
There's this real attitude with the internet that because everyone else is giving stuff away for free so you have to as well. And yet, I've seen $17 products get more customers than free products ... and $27 products get more customers than $17 products.
I think it comes down to a fear of charging for your knowledge ... a fear of sales ... there is absolutely NO reason to give this product away for free. It doesn't help you at ALL ... the only reason to do it would be out of a deep seated fear that it wasn't WORTH the money you're charging for it. And if that is the issue, you need to spend some time working with a coach on your psychology ... because isn't that the very reason you're in business?