It generally makes a great deal of sense to capture each prospect's contact information, because that means we own a channel that we can use to continue the conversation with them. This is usually email, but may also be social media, telephone, or even physical mail.
There are other good reasons why so many marketers try to give away free information in return for contact details (often called "lead magnets" or "ethical bribes"). In OSM, we refer to these giveaways as "pre-sell" material.
I believe that the main benefit is that the material you give out can actually do most of the tasks required to make a sale, but outside the context of selling.
Any giveaway, whether a free book, ebook, video series, webinar, or trial, can educate your prospect on what they need to know, i.e.
Think about it; your "pre-sell" can meet your prospect on their path and lead them along, gently and easily, to the point where they can be convinced and ready to buy, without their feeling sold to! That's the power of pre-sell!
The best format for a pre-sell depends on the context. There is no one-size-fits-all.
The ideal pre-sell is probably a demo or trial, because there's no better way to prove how something works than to let the prospect experience it for themselves.
Check out these two powerful presentations, which came from my "Breakthrough" program in March-April 2015.
This short presentation breaks down why "Pre-Sell" offers work so well.
“A to B” is a simple but powerful structure for helping you to think about the structure for your lead magnets (or “ethical bribes”).
It builds on the “Perfect Topic” headline structure, providing a series of components (“stepping stones”) to help your prospects know the value in your initial offer.
As we’ve worked through the capture and nurture phases of a campaign, it has become apparent that the “pre-sell” (a.k.a. “lead magnet” or “ethical bribe”) can deliver a LOT more than simply getting a prospect’s contact info.
This 24-minute presentation explains the realisation of the magic of the pre-sell.