Getting the Milk for Free:  Part One

Getting the Milk for Free is a three-part series about the new consumer paradigm in which value is offered before the commitment of a sale transaction.

“He won’t buy the cow if he can get the milk for free.” Ignoring the whole cow comparison and the marriage as purchase metaphor, the implication that a person would not value their purchase if they were able to procure some of that purchase for free in advance is an interesting one to examine. 

More and more I see companies are adopting the opposite stance:  give away good value and the customer will willingly purchase more.  With so many options available in most market sectors, it is essential that one’s value be readily apparent. How else can you overcome inbox competition? To stick with the metaphor, in today’s market giving away the milk is the best way to ensure that the cow will be purchased.  Information is one way that you can give away value right from the start.

Why provide information first?  Do you start reading a book before you’ve looked at the cover?  Do you attend lectures without knowing who the speaker is or what they are presenting?  Of course not; your time is valuable.  Don’t expect people to be interested in your content if they don’t have experience with it.

Create constant exposure to your content.  Put your subscription link next to valued content so that the act of signing up exposes the user to valuable information.  Provide a double-opt in or welcome newsletter that reinforces the choice to subscribe.

Curate content for your full range of desired users.  If you expect to be sought out as an expert in your field, your content needs to reflect this.  Consider the range of users you expect to have - from novice to expert - and what their educational needs will be.  Don’t be afraid to share the work of others when it will be of benefit to your readers.