Steve and I have been having a chat about this recently. Steve is a copywriter and he's thinking about writing an e-book to use as a premium.
What we've been talking about (be e-mail) is that there's really no such thing as a not-for-profit, or free, premium of any kind.
First, you should put a List Price on every report, e-book, white paper or whatever that you write and make available. Putting a price tag on it, and having it for sale on your site, is what allows you to say that premium is worth XXXX dollars. (Watch for the example I'll give for when you definitely do not want to attach a price to something.)
If you never put a price on it, then it has no value.
The next thing is that - even when you appear to give the premium away - you are always collecting a price for it. When it comes to the internet, the price you are collecting is often a name and e-mail address.
Why do you collect those names and e-mail addresses? Isn't it because you expect to make a profit by marketing to them?
An excellent example of this - building relationships and positioning as an expert by giving information away for free - is Rich Schefren. www.StrategicProfits.com
Rich is a wizard when it comes to list-building - collecting those names and e-mail addresses. The thing that's unique about Rich - well, one of the things - is that he has five reports that he gives away for free. The reports have no List Price, and they are of excellent quality. (I know. All five are printed and sitting on my desk as I dissect each one.)
Rich is also the example of how to use a report or e-book when you absolutely don't want to attach a price to it.
You can download every one of his reports - in exchange for your name and e-mail address.
Why? Because these reports are the wide rim of his product funnel. They are your first step in developing a relationship with Rich.
Okay. Bob Bly and I are writing a whole book on List Building, so I'm not going to go into great depth on this. At the same time, I want you to understand how to use premiums well and be motivated to produce them for yourself or for clients.
So let's do this: If you have a question, then post it here as a comment. I'll make a point of answering it here so everyone can benefit.
That's it. Have a good day, and a good week.