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How The Word “FREE” Increased My Conversion Rate By 109%

Having experimented with squeeze pages for over three years, and having generated over 65,000 subscribers in the process, I’ve learnt a thing or two about creating the perfectly optimized squeeze page.

Building an email list has always been one of the most-discussed affiliate marketing topics for ages and there have been a lot of debates on how to build a squeeze page that garners the highest conversion rate.

example of a squeeze page

What Is A Squeeze Page?
Squeeze pages or optin pages are a type of landing page that’s specifically created to generate leads/subscribers for a business. There are a few differences between a normal website page and a squeeze page:

A squeeze page consists of an optin form which the user would need to fill in order to receive the “bribe” (ebook, video, information)
A squeeze page has very few links, if any. None of those links are above-the-fold.
The only purpose of a squeeze page is to make the user fill up that optin form. In most cases, the optin form consists on a single field: email address.
Once the user lands up on a squeeze page, they can either fill up that form, or press the back/close button on the browser.
Creating a perfectly optimized squeeze page is a ‘science’. And in this post, I want to discuss one word that is predominant on almost every squeeze page out there: FREE

What’s “Free”?
There are several factors that influence the success (read: conversion rate) of a squeeze page:

Source of traffic
Number of fields in the optin form
Design of the squeeze page
The Bribe
… there are a dozen more factors, but I won’t get into all that in this post.

Why would a visitor want to give you their most cherished asset: their “email address” – if you don’t offer anything in return. Which is why “The Bribe” is the most critical part of any squeeze page.

The bribe can be any piece of content – from an informative ebook to a training video. Be creative!

It needs to be some ‘actionable’ information that the visitor needs, and would even be willing to pay for. But since you will offer that information for free, the visitor would be inclined to enter their email address.

Just to give you some insight, here are a few bribe headlines I’ve used on my squeeze pages:

Example #1: Video reveals one website that makes $14350 every month on complete autopilot.
Example #2: Ebook reveals an insider strategy that increased my conversion rates by 243%
Example #3: Did you know: 97% email sent globally is SPAM. Get instant access to an interesting infographic.
Example #4: Join India’s first affiliate marketing community and network with experts.
Don’t take the ‘bribe’ creation lightly. One of my clients spent $100 in creating a little ebook and started offering it on their squeeze page. Their campaign was a flop.

Case in point:

To create the bribe for Example #1:

We dissected our autopilot income strategy into 3 parts, including a case study.
Then we wrote down the scripts for each video.
We hired a professional voiceover artist and made him do several takes until we were satisfied.
We created an extremely professional PPT video with a world of effects and even some kinetic typography.
We repeated the process twice, and then hired a marketing consultant to analyze both versions of each video, and then finalized the best ones.
That’s a LOT of work to create something that’s being given away for free. But all this effort paid off. We were able to generate 22,000 optins, out of which 1000+ subscribers became paid customers, and we ended up having an amazing product launch.

Why “Free”?
You might be wondering that since you spent so much time and effort into conceptualizing and building the bribe, then why should you give it away for free?

Why shouldn’t your hard work be rewarded with actual paying customers?

Here’s why: A good percentage of your free subscribers will end up buying from you eventually.

The key is to be creative and reward the visitor for entering their email address. Never underestimate the power of email marketing.

Many of the biggest brands in the online world, use the squeeze page strategy to drive leads and sales to their business.

There are two ways you can approach the challenging world of customer acquisition:

1) Buy Traffic from a source -> Take them to your home page -> Hope they purchase your product.
Most of our products have a conversion rate of about 1% for cold traffic. So if you spend $1/click, then you end up paying $100 to acquire a single customer.
2) Buy Traffic from a source -> Take them to your squeeze page -> Capture half of the visitors’ information -> Take them to your home page/bribe page -> Send them emails
With this model, for $100, you have the information of 50 people whom you can email multiple times (of course with their permission). What you just did is qualify half of your visitors by giving them the bribe and you built a level of trust in their minds.
Ideally, you would also have an autoresponder in place to warm up the leads over time, by giving them valuable information (your latest blog posts, free ebooks, training videos etc), and when the time is right and the trust has peaked – pitch them your products, or related affiliate offers.
The latter model results in much better paid customer conversions, and now you also OWN an email list you can market to.

Free vs. Non-Free
The word FREE is one of the most powerful words in marketing. Some of the best copywriters in the world have used the word FREE in their headlines for ages.

Get a FREE orange when you buy an apple – If you read this sign at a supermarket, you’ll be inclined to buy an apple even if you’re not hungry.

Sign up for our FREE 30 day trial. No credit card required – That’s a statement you might have seen on the “pricing page” of almost every SaaS out there. This line has been beaten to death. But still, almost all of the SaaS companies give you that 30 day free trail. Wondering why? Because it WORKS!
Remember the four squeeze page headlines I mentioned above?

Out of these four, Example #1 converted at 21% with the best quality traffic we could drive (targeted email promos).

All I did was add the “FREE” word to the headlines, and the results were staggering. We increased our conversion rate by 109% just by using FREE a few times in the squeeze page copy.

Conversion rate comparison with Free Vs Non-Free squeeze pages

Just by adding the word “FREE” to the headline, we almost doubled our conversion rates.

Here are the modified headlines:

FREE video reveals one website that makes $14350 every month on complete autopilot.
FREE Ebook reveals an insider strategy that increased my conversion rates by 243%
Did you know: 97% email sent globally is SPAM. Get FREE instant access to an interesting infographic.
Join India’s first affiliate marketing community for FREE and network with experts.
Using the word FREE in Squeeze Pages

You can include the word FREE not just in the headline, but also in the call-to-action button, the sub-headlines, the optin instructions, etc.

To Conclude
Our split tests have given us concrete proof that “FREE” works, and “FREE” should be used in marketing copy wherever feasible.

Creating squeeze pages to drive visitors into a funnel is a foolproof way of making a successful marketing campaign. Start by creating something invaluable (some of your best work), and give it away for free.

Visitors enter the funnel by seeing the word FREE on that little squeeze page, and they will soon recognize your name, your brand, and become loyal customers for life.

Its a long road and a big marketing cycle. But it all starts with the word FREE.

December 5, 2015