Why it’s nearly impossible to give away free gold (it’s the same reason people won’t take your offer seriously)

Two characteristics of copy that converts

If someone walked up to you and said, “I’ll give you a gold bar in exchange for your email address,” what would your reaction be?

If you're a normal law abiding citizen, you probably wouldn't take it.

You'd probably be wondering if they were trying to involve me in some crazy scam. Or maybe they just robbed the gold from the nearby pawn shop. Or maybe they’re just a psycho who would never leave you alone for the rest of your life.

And I doubt it would make you feel any better if they said, “no strings attached.”


Because there’s always a catch.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. You always end up paying for it somehow.

But it's FREE GOLD! It's still worth a ton of money! So why wouldn't you take that??

Because you'd probably be suspicious of the guy's motive.

You'd be more worried about what you're signing myself up for.

Guess what? That's how your prospects feel. And the gold bar you’re holding out to them is your lead magnet (i.e. your offer).

It’s an extreme example, but here’s my point:

A valuable offer alone isn’t enough to get people to opt in. 

Even if you have the most incredible, truly no-strings-attached offer that someone would be crazy not to take, you've got some work to do.

Having an incredible offer of value in your lead magnet is for sure 100% necessary.

But it's only step 1. And it won't do you much good until you take step 2.

Before people will bite, you have to accomplish 2 things:
  1. Make them understand your offer’s value to them (they will not automatically understand without explanation), AND
  2. Tell them what’s in it for you (i.e. be upfront about what they're getting themselves into)
You accomplish these things through very carefully crafted copy on your landing page.

Writing copy that connects with people honestly and in an easily understandable way is vital to getting them to opt in.

To communicate the value of your offer AND make people feel at ease with you (and be okay with your motives), your copy must be:
  • Extremely clear and easy to understand (small words, short sentences, visual language)
  • Written using language your reader would use (conversational tone with proper vernacular)
  • Totally transparent and not convoluted (no veiled or double meanings, avoid metaphors)
  • Not too long, not too short (say what you need to say and nothing else)
Keeping to these guidelines will help eliminate any possibility that your prospects could be unpleasantly surprised after they opt in.

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT HUMANS: people hate being unpleasantly surprised.

How could you inadvertently unpleasantly surprise your prospects after they opt in?
  1. If your lead magnet ends up not delivering the value people signed up for (because your copy over-promised), OR
  2. They find out they’re on the hook for more than they thought they were bargaining for (because your copy wasn’t clear on the expectations)
Either way, if these unpleasant surprises are a result of your copy not being honest and upfront, you will forever ruin your relationships with your leads. 

They were unsure about you in the first place, and if you break their confidence they will certainly never trust you again.

People want to know exactly what to expect when they're dealing with you. 

Remember, you're the one offering a "free gift" (which they're wary of taking, because there's no free lunch).

All the risk is on your prospects. You need to be sympathetic with this.

I'll say it again:

Tell them exactly what they can expect by opting in to your offer.

But what exactly should you tell them to expect?

And where on your landing page is it best place to say it? (hint: it has to be strategically placed to maximize your chances that people will opt in).

I’ll cover that in the next section, on your call to action.


Your landing page copy needs to accomplish 2 very important goals:

1. Clearly educate prospects on the value they’ll get from opting into your offer
2. Build trust by being honest about your motives for giving them your offer
Tom Burns Internet Marketing