Guide to Give Away Events

“How to Build Your Mailing List Through The Spirit & Wonders Of Giving Away!”

Give Away Events Exposed!

All smart Internet Marketers and list owners know that “the money is in the list”. And I know you are one of them, too!

Therefore, every marketer who firmly believes in how much business, influential power and wealth a mailing list can bring are doing just about any and every way possible to build their mailing list.

That’s why you see marketers running advertising campaigns such as:

  • Pay-Per-Click
  • Ad Swaps,
  • Article Marketing,
  • Joint Ventures,
  • Affiliate Recruitment Drive,
  • Press Releases,
  • Traffic Exchanges,
  • Paid E-zine/Web Advertising, and
  • Much more than this list can bear!

And the savvy marketers often run these campaigns with one goal: build their mailing list! (Besides trying to sell, of course.)

Now some of these methods require low to high costs to run, which can be out of the option for beginning marketers who are on a tight budget. And one thing is for sure: all well-executed advertising and list-building campaigns require a high degree of skill.

In the last couple of years, a new method of list building was conceived primarily in the Internet Marketing circle. It’s called:

Give Away Events! 

This is one of the recently discovered methods in Internet Marketing where list building is now made possible through the spirit of giving away!

It can be carried out as and when you – or anyone – like to.

The cost of hosting an event can be next-to-nothing.

And to join a Give Away event in the shoes of a contributor or JV partner is zero cost.

But you can rake in hundreds, possibly thousands and potentially tens of thousands of subscribers through joining Give Away events!

And to get kick started, you just need a gift of your own and an auto responder to suck fresh, red-hot leads in!

And to discover how building your list in such a fashion come true in the shoes of a JV Partner, you really owe it to yourself to read on!

How Do Give Away Events Really Work?

Give Away events are carried out primarily in the Internet Marketing circle itself. However, it is very possible to carry out Give Away events successfully in other hot niches with the cooperation of a group of partners and contributors in the same niche.

I also suspect that it has probably been carried out in offline businesses, in a similar way, to get hot prospects and leads, though I cannot vouch for this truth. It’s a subject fit for another book, nonetheless.

So how do Give Away events really work – and how does it help YOU build your mailing list?

Well it works like this: think of a GIANT ad swap.

How Ad Swaps Work

In a regular ad swap deal, you and another list owner (who probably has a similar mailing list size as yours) do an ad exchange.

You send the partner’s advertisement to your mailing list.

Your partner sends YOUR advertisement to his or her mailing list.

Usually, you will want to send an ad that encourages the reader to subscribe to your mailing list (we’ve been talking about it until now so you know the drill!).

You can call this “legally stealing subscribers” if you want to. After all, the average subscriber is subscribed to more than 10-20 mailing lists, possibly more, which is a perfect norm these days.

While ad swapping is a perfect way to build your mailing list by playing the game of “using subscribers to make subscribers”, the leverage effect is often 1:1 in a real sense.

You can only carry out one ad swap at a time, for starters. And even if you do swap ads with more than one list owner or e-zine publisher, the leverage effect remains 1:1 because you have to send that many advertisements to your list, too, in proportionate to how many list owners you agreed to swap ads with.

This doesn’t mean I’m discounting the power of swapping ads; it’s a good and essential marketing method you can do now and then.

But if you want to discover how you can build your mailing list at warp speed, read on:

How Give Away Events Work

As said earlier, Give Away events are almost similar to what I call a BIG version of an ad swap.

The host of the Give Away event invites partners, who are primarily list owners in the same niche, to contribute a gift.

The gifts are usually digital products, like:

  • E-Book,
  • Report,
  • Audio/Video product,
  • Membership pass, and/or
  • Software/Script

The host of the event then pools all the gifts contributed collectively by the partners in one page or member’s area. This is where the visitors will go to download any gifts of their choice, and the link of the gift they click on brings them to the individual partner’s signup page.

You, as the partner, prepare an opt-in page for visitors to sign up to your mailing list to download your gift. So in a real essence, anyone who wants to download your gift must opt into your mailing list to download your gift.

While the gifts are given away at zero-cost, the only requirement is that the visitors must sign up for your mailing list to receive them.

Your visitors-turned-subscribers has the option to cancel their subscription to your mailing list at any time, of course, but this is a good opportunity you should be taking to build your relationship with the newcomers to your mailing list or e-zine or membership site.

Okay, so that’s EXACTLY how you’re going to build your mailing list after all. But where DO these visitors come from?

Like ad swaps, Give Away events are really using subscribers to make subscribers.

On the launch day and during the limited time event, you and other partners are required by the host to endorse the Give Away event to your individual mailing lists.

In other words, you are going to tell YOUR subscribers to go to the Give Away event to download their gifts at zero-cost, and the reason may vary depending on the occasion. It could be a gesture of “thanks for being our loyal subscriber” or even in conjunction with a holiday season.

Whatever the valid reason is, you should be instructing your subscribers to check out the Give Away event on a website where all the gifts are pooled together. With the host and other partners are doing the same, it will be a massive gathering of traffic at the website where all the gifts are being pooled.

In this collective effort, as long as your gift is displayed there with a link to signup for your mailing list to download it, and people are interested in it, you can receive plenty of signups in a short time span!

What You Need To Have Before Joining A Give Away Event

I’m sure by now that you’re sold on the powerful benefits of participating in a Give Away event.

But before you start plunging into one, be sure to have the following essentials checked!

Your Own Mailing List!

That’s right. I’ve mentioned a couple of times in this guide that Give Away events are pretty similar to ad swaps in one thing common: it’s using subscribers to make subscribers.

Bear in mind, though, that having your own mailing list just isn’t enough; you need to have a substantial one!

Nobody likes a free rider in any Give Away event. Period. And don’t let that person be YOU! Unless you can contribute subscribers almost up to par with other partners, you’re better off not joining a Give Away event in the first place.

As a matter of fact, most (if not all) Give Away event hosts are strict about partners having a minimum mailing list size before participating in their event. Also, it’s important to note that you have to be willing and agree to their minimum mailing frequency to your mailing list; notifying your subscribers about the event you’re joining.

While NOT all Give Away events are equal in their system, quality and results, you can qualify for a big number of Give Away events as long as you have over 1,000 opt-in subscribers, from my experience.

Your Own Gift

This is yet another critical success factor (more than just a need to join a Give Away event!).

Many events are accepting digital products of some kind. They are usually E-Books, software, scripts, Resell Rights, Private Label Content, membership passes, reports, you name it.

In short, prepare a digital product you are ready to part with.

Tip: notice I said “your own gift” in the sub headline? I personally don’t advice giving away other people’s products you own the (Master) Resell Rights to. For starters, NOT all products with Resell Rights can be given away freely. Doing so, you’re probably asking for legal action being taken against you.

Secondly, you’re better off creating your own gift so you can give it away in your name and brand it in the process. You don’t want your visitors remembering other people while you’re going a great length giving them away to build your list!

Creating your own gift doesn’t have to be hard, however. You can, for example, write a 4-8 page report (easy feat, really) on a topic you know well. If you own a membership site, you can give a trial pass away or even offer a “lite” version. Pretty much the same can be done for software and scripts whereby you offer a limited time trial.

Important Tip 2: take a lot of pride and effort in creating a quality gift. This gift is going to make your first impression good or bad. So don’t take it for granted… because people will be downloading it by the masses!

Auto Responder

I know this pretty much a given if you already own a mailing list. But I want to address a couple of important concerns.

Firstly, be sure to require a double opt-in for your visitors. This is in effort to prevent phoney details being keyed into your signup form by freebie seekers… who also want to take a step further in putting you into trouble such as spam issues. By requiring visitors to confirm their subscription from valid email addresses, you can cut more than a bunch of spam risks at stake.

Secondly, be sure to sign up for a reliable auto responder account. You wouldn’t want to use an auto responder that produces a high bounce rate otherwise your list building efforts would be literally wasted!

Landing / Signup Page

This is the page where your would-be subscribers would go to view the full important details of your gift.

Usually, this page is not shared publicly and used specially for Give Away events and incidentally, you also include the opt-in form at the bottom of the page.

Be sure to include the following details in your landing/signup page:

  • The benefits of your gift,
  • Remind your visitor that he or she is required to sign up to your mailing list in order to download the gift,
  • You will NOT rent, share or sell his or her details away,
  • And that he or she can cancel her subscription at any time!

Support/Email Address

Be sure to include a way your visitors or subscribers can contact you on your landing page and thank you page!

You wouldn’t want to trouble the Give Away event host into handling yours. Besides, where your gift and signup are concerned, it’s your domain and territory to take care of.

It’s advisable to include a link to your support helpdesk on these pages over your email address, if you have a support helpdesk. Otherwise, email would work, too.

Miscellaneous

These are some other important things you may want to include in your Give Away event preparation as a partner and contributor:

Photo & Signature – it would make your landing page more professional looking, and might just help with your signup rate boosting. Also, some events might require your photo so be prepared to have your best photo available!

Gift Image – people DO judge a book by its cover especially online. Be sure to prepare you gift image at various sizes (large, medium and small) because chances are that the Give Away event host will need one from you to display on the gifts page.

Forwarding/Tracking Link – while not mandatory, it would be good to have one so you can monitor your click throughs for both “sending subscribers to the Give Away event” and “how many people are clicking through your landing page to see your gift” so you can monitor the signup conversion rate.

How to Identify a Quality Give Away Event

Remember! Not all Give Away events are created equal.

Having said that, some Give Away events are great, some good and the others… real bad. 

In fact recently, a number of marketers believe that Give Away events are beginning to become “wash outs” or diluted in their quality, and that they won’t work like a charm as they used to.

Now for the great news: Give Away events are still workable and viable list building models – as long as they are done right!

It’s really only a matter of joining the right Give Away event. So what makes a good Give Away event… good? Some important criteria you will want to look out for are listed below:

Give Away Event Factor #1:

The Partners are Cooperative

In short, are the partners in the same event as you are willing to endorse the event to their mailing lists as required? While it’s hard to tell if this is going to be your first few times giving a try at building your list through such events, you can usually tell whether the partners are cooperative or not if the partners are somewhat closely related or working together with the host.

This substantial difference can be seen in both of what I call “Massive” Give Away Events and “Mini” Give Away events.

Massive Give Away events are usually participated by more than 20-30 marketers in the same event, and its growth is often encouraged by the use of affiliate programs.

Mini Give Away events, on the other hand, are somewhat more “closed door” whereby the host is more selective of the partners he or she chose to work with.

While I cannot say which type of event is better than the other, from my experience, Mini events have most cooperative partners due to bias choosing and “closed door” invitation. Incidentally, it’s harder to enter a Mini Give Away event as an outsider.

Massive ones may or may not produce good signup results depending on the partners who join in. If the event is full of unknown marketers or free riders, you probably can tell that it might not be executed well.

Give Away Event Factor #2:

There Are Some Hard-Hitting Partners in the Same Event

If there are a couple of reputable partners joining in the same event, it would be a good chance to hitch a ride.

Important tip: In many cases, I learned that some top marketers usually just join in without putting in any effort in endorsing (which makes him or her a free rider, too). So if you learn that the specific marketer is that kind of person in nature, it’s probably not wise to join in that Give Away event… because the biggest free rider is there.

Not all top marketers are like this, fortunately.

Give Away Event Factor #3:

The Event Host is Trusted & Responsible

You can tell this if the event host regularly updates his or her partners on the event – before, during and after.

The event host is considered responsible if he or she monitors the event carefully on a regular basis, and that he or she DOES indeed remove the free riders from the event promptly, justifying other active partners’ efforts.

Give Away Event Factor #4:

The Event Has A Reputation

If the event has been heard of or recognized by many, this would be another attractive reason why you should join that Give Away event!

Give Away Event Factor #5:

You & The Partners Are All From The Same Niche

This way, the event would work successfully with everyone sharing subscribers of an almost same nature.

It would hardly work if all the partners come from a different background or niche. I mean, imagine pooling a gift to have people sign up for your “relationship dating” e-zine when all the other partners are referring subscribers from the Internet Marketing niche!

Give Away Event Factor #6:

The Give Away Event Is Hosted For A Limited Time Only

Give Away events should be running for a limited time only, and the model is at its best that way. It increases the urgency of people to sign up for your gift while protecting the value of your gift (assuming it’s used specially on for this occasion).

My idea of limited time events are in the range of 5 to 7 days but fewer than 14 that’s for sure. When you hear of events running for ridiculous time length like 21-30 days, or even forever… you will do well NOT to join them because the above 2 success factors are ripped away owing to the long time length.

The Hot Spots & Places to Look For Give Aways to Join

Here’s the general rule of thumb: you need to be in the “insider” circle to know when the next Give Away Event is in the pipeline. In other words, you have to be in the know and develop a relationship with other marketers who probably would get the news first. If possible, be in that desirable position. 

Mind you, NOT everyone can join a Give Away event. As said many a times throughout this guide, not all events are created equal.

So the real secret to jumping in on the next hard-hitting event is to really have close contacts with would-be hosts of the coming Give Away events.

Here are also some more viable ways you can use to find out when the next Give Away event is:

Subscribe to Other People’s E-zines

This is generally applicable in the Internet Marketing niche itself. Now and then, some marketers announce an upcoming Give Away event and are looking to recruit new partners.

Often the case, you will be joining a Massive Give Away event. However, as long as there’s a chance to build your list at zero cost, why pass it up? 

You should subscribe to marketers whom you know are real Give Away event junkies (and are in the know). I know of one. Richard Wing is one of the few marketers I know who built his list at a very fast pace (he jumped from a few hundred subscribers to almost 6,000+ subscribers in the space of a couple of months), just through Give Away events!

I would definitely recommend him, for he’s usually in the know in this field.

Join a Give Away Event in Action!

If you detect any Give Away events that are already in progress and it’s still not too late for you to join in, you can still try your luck at coming in by emailing or contacting the host of the event.

Even if you can’t make it on the current one, you will do well to ask him or her to include you in the next launch or so.

Participate in Forums

Some popular marketing forums like http://www.howtocorp.com/forum and http://www.warriorforum.com/forum have discussions on Give Away events every now and then. While you don’t have to really participate, you can lurk in every now and then to check out the latest Give Away event in the pipeline.

How to Maximize Your Cash Points From Give Away Events

Up until now, all we’ve been discussing is how to build your mailing list through joining Give Away events.

Now let’s talk about something more interesting… like how to make money from joining Give Away events. 

It’s already a given that you can make money from:

  • The Give Away event affiliate program – if the event you’re joining has an affiliate program, you can earn commissions generally from any of your referrals taking advantage of the host’s One Time Offer.
  • Sending promo emails to your list – you can broadcast email promos to your mailing list since the new leads are now already in.

Here are even more ways I suggest you take advantage on to cash in on more cash points while getting subscribers in the process from the events you’re joining:

  • YOUR own One Time Offer

Yes, prepare your own One Time Offer. Very often, this is where you also keep 100% of the profits without having to share with the host of the event. You can introduce the One Time Offer to your visitors after they sign up and before they download the gift from you. Be sure to offer them 2 options: buy the offer from you and still download the gift afterwards OR pass the offer to get your gift.

  • Backend Offer

Slip a good backend offer in your Thank You page where the gift is. Whether you’re having a One Time Offer or not, you can cash on another cash point right here. The backend offer can be priced lower than the One Time Offer but it’s up to you to decide how much money you want to make.

  • Automated Emails

You can automate a series of sequential emails to your new subscribers, endorsing what I call “long term selling” products to them. You can also automate some reminders as well.

  • Affiliate links

If you’re contributing an E-Book or report as a gift, you can still depend on this cash point by putting affiliate links in your written digital product and get paid for some more takers through your recommendations.

Give Away Event & List Building Tips

Hi, it’s me again!

I trust that by now, you know all of what it takes to build your mailing list through this sophisticated method widely known as joining Give Away events.

As the book draws a close end and nears publication, I would like to part with some tips (or golden nuggets if you may call them). Believe me, you will find them really useful!

Here goes!

  1. Always use the same gift.

Okay, not really always, but use it for a long period of time. Most marketers and active Give Away junkies believe that they should always offer something new in every event.

While they have a valid point and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, the problem is that you will find yourself drowned in creating new gifts all the time! This is going to be the case if you decide to participate in Give Away events actively.

Secondly, you will find the issue of “double leads” becoming apparent when the same subscriber to your list downloads your second gift by subscribing to your other list.

When you send a promo email out to ALL of your list, the same subscriber can get annoyed by the same emails being thrown into his or her inbox repeatedly due to the numerous subscriptions – hence the 100% un-subscription!

Besides, there are literally abundance of people online who probably have not heard of you much less download your product so you can confidently comb the net for new subscribers with the same gift. Just change your gift occasionally and sparingly and when you do, be sure you reward your current subscribers first so there’s no reason for them to opt into your list again the second time or so.

  1. Contribute your own gift.

That’s right. As in, YOU create it. Of course, you can opt for engaging ghostwriters or use Private Label Content but ultimately, it should be your name on the gift.

Don’t carelessly bundle a group of products with Resell Rights due to possible terms violation (unless you’re pretty sure about it).

But the encouraging factor about offering your own gift is because of the branding and privilege of being unique, and if you understand the true value of it, even the excuse of having no time seems lame!

You get what I mean. 

  1. Join 2-3 Give Away events that are held at the same time where possible.

Not only can you build your list faster through this leverage, you only need to send one promo email to endorse ALL 3 events!

But of course…

  1. Don’t overdo yourself with joining Give Away events!

Otherwise, your email promotions will be full of sending subscribers to joining Give Away events. And when that happens, your list might just be a haven for freeloaders and phoney leads.

So do it sparingly and at your own wise judgment. Speaking of phoney leads…

  1. Comb your mailing list database once in a while for phoney leads.

Once in a while, spend some time combing your database for phoney leads. They should be deleted because they can warrant unwanted trouble such as potential theft, troublemakers and possibly hackers!

Since these people didn’t want to provide their true details in the first place, there’s no say as to whether they can be just as honest later on!

You can save some of your trouble upfront by banning common phoney names such as “abc”, “asdf”, “qwerty”, “zxcv”, “hjkl”, “aaa”, “123”, “abc”, and so on.

You might also want to ban and blacklist some domain names and known email addresses that just places your emails in their junk box, such as *@neverbox.com.

And last but not least…

Don’t forget to thank your new subscribers when they join in after the event! GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR LIST BUILDING VENTURE!

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