Free Ebook Downloads. What is the best platform to build a mailing list and allow downloads?
I am a Coach looking to launch a free ebook soon. I am researching the best platforms to enable downloads and data collection and would welcome any insights into this from experience.
As some have noted, AWEBER is very popular but clunky to use. It's cheap. Mail chimp is good and inexpensive as well. It really depends on how sophisticated you want to get.
You can build an autoresponder and send your ebook on these and be done with it. Or you can create a long term nurture strategy of emails that collect data about from the subscriber, ask more questions, deliver offers, etc. That's more that these two can handle. If you want a comprehensive system that offers more features such as commerce, CRM, landing pages, etc. Infusionsoft is great ($199mth). Ontraport is another in this class for more $.
So 'best' platform is subjective based on your short and long term goals.
Hi Tony, as I am internet marketing myself right now, in my opinion is that if you are just starting out-you need a QUALITY AUTORESPONDER-NOT A FREE ONE, BUT NOTHING TOO COMPLEX WITH FUNCTIONALITY THAT ADDS COMPLEXITY AND THAT YOU ALMOST CERTAINLY DONT NEED. sO awEBER, THE MOST POPULAR AUTORESPONDER IN THE WORLD WINS HANDS DOWN AND AT $19.95 A MONTH, GREAT VALUE (SOrRY ABOUT CAPS)
At a later stage when you need other funtionality, I recommend you look at Ontraport, great system, fantastic features, but for a newbie-too complex and now very expensive as they are about to drop their current starter site option called Sendpepper
Hope that helps
Thank you all so much for your thoughts. I have put together a combination to test first up. Thank you everyone
If you haven't check out HubSpot, do it. There is no better tool for addressing the top of the funnel for items like eBooks and Whitepapers. It's the best, far and away.
A video communication platform would allow you to achieve above your expectations. A video email allows you to give your followers a "Teaser" of the Ebook. Send a 2 mins video email or video newsletter of few pages of the book. A VIDEO autoresponder makes it even better. (This adds a more personal touch to the way you communicate with your audience). Video blog is another great way to accomplish your goals....The possibilities are endless when you use video.
"Helping people communicate better"
There are many options, I would look into Amazon Kindle Direct publishing, it is free and of course you have the millions of Amazon customers as traffic. But you should very definitely have your own website, and I strongly advocate WordPress CMS on your own domain here, there are lots of free tools available for you to present your ebook-host it on S3 storage and have an autoresponder sign up form to add people to your list. a few suggestions for you.
Best value for money that gives you everything in one package is Aweber.
It gives you the sign up form for the website/landing page, the autorepsonders, ability to develop different lists and also to broadcast special messages/offers whenever you wish.
It's a bit clunky to set up the content of autoreponders and broadcasts, so I tend to type up the content first and grab images ready to go, then simply cut and paste into the messages.
Also, google for software to make your E-book cover into a 3D image and include that in the signup form. And avoid calling it an e-book - use guidebook, manual or something else.
Hope this helps. Happy to provide more info if you need it.
Look at www.leadpages.net - these guys are great. You can have a simple landing page and offer free book download in exchange for visitor's email address.
You can also do it yourself with Mailchimp account and WordPress or just a simple web page.
If you already have a website you could add a stand-alone page for the promotion of the eBook.
We use MailChimp.com for mailing lists (and HTML newsletters). With Mailchimp.com (and other mailing list services) you can embed a sign-up form on your existing website. You would need to put a link to the eBook download in the MailChimp autoresponder. That's probably the easiest route if you already have a website.
You can see an example of this method on our client's site mediatrainingonline.com (where they offer the free media training toolkit, which is a PDF doc). [NB: That site is built on Wordpress using DAP membership plugin].
As someone else already mentioned, Wordpress is an option if you need to build a site from scratch to promote the eBook. You can use a membership plugin to control sign-ups and mailings. All depends on how deep you want to go. Most membership plugins will play nicely with third-party mailing lists services, such as MailChimp, Aweber, etc.
If your eBook is related to your services then I would add a sign-up form to your current site.
If you plan on offering more eBooks, or selling eBooks, in the future then probably Wordpress and a membership plugin would be the way to go.
Just be aware that Wordpress often gets upgraded, so if you're going to host it yourself it's not just an install and forget it solution.
Not sure if you want to go this route, but I use my own website for downloads once a client/customer has signed up for my newsletters in which I use Benchmark Email (http://www.benchmarkemail.com/) for signups. Once they sign up, they are automatically sent to the downloads.
Hope this helps