SUBJECT: Give Before You Take – A Brief Exploration of Value in Internet Marketing


Most anyone reading this is going to be familiar, at least in some

abstract way, with the concept of “value.” The concept of value, or

utility derived from content, products, or other offerings, is not

unique to IM, however, and those working across a variety of markets,

both online and offline, have to be keenly aware of the ways in which

their value is perceived by customers. In this post, we’re going to go

over the importance of balancing your ‘give’ with your ‘take’, and a few

ways in which you can maintain that balance when working with IM



The Why


Basic economics courses teach students that most people make their

purchasing decisions based on a concept called ‘utility cost’; whenever

someone is deciding whether or not to purchase an item or make a trade,

they weigh whether the utility of what they will receive is greater than

the utility of what they already have. Most commonly, this is the often

quick and (nearly) subconscious assessment you would make as to whether

an item is “too expensive” or seems like a “good deal.”


In online marketing, your customers make these decisions several times

throughout your sales funnel:


–       Is the freebie being offered worth more to me than the potential

privacy giveaway and possible unwanted messages that entering my email

could incur?


–       Is the information this person posts on their site helpful enough

to me that it’s worth taking ten minutes out of my day to read?


–       Do I trust this person enough to take their recommendation that

what they’re offering is worth my hard-earned money?


For many marketers, the second and third bullet points are where they

lose people.


The Mindset Swap


Even though your end goal may be to make as much money as possible, your

customer always wants to feel like they’ve “won.” In most IM-related

instances, this means feeling like they’ve gotten the promise of greater

future value from a product, tool, or training/coaching course than what

they paid for it. However, there is another crucial evaluation that

happens long before they’ll ever get close to purchasing, and that’s



I recommend marketers practice a mindset swap, which involves taking the

focus off of their bottom line and simply becoming a customer. Read

every offer you’ve got, every promotional email, every review, and ask

yourself, does this feel valuable? You are not smarter than your

customers; if you know deep down that something you’re offering feels

like a half-solution or copout, they’ll pick up on it too.


Most marketers, both experienced and novice, have a sales funnel riddled

with these holes where offers feel like they’re doing more for the

seller than the (potential) buyer. Remember, when perceived utility of

an offer is viewed as a loss, people aren’t going to bite.


Actually Over-Deliver


Many of these low-value gaps occur because marketers are afraid of

giving away ‘the whole solution’, system, or secret. Why then, you

might ask, would someone make a purchase if they feel they’ve already

been given the solution to their problems? It is a tricky balance, but

too many err on the wrong side of the scale and come across as

withholding value from their customers.


It shouldn’t be surprising that customers are often more likely to

purchase after they have already had success with your methods and

recommendations, and you offer them up a paid product that complements

that success, rather than offering them a tiny piece of the puzzle with

what they need to see any positive results locked behind a paywall.

Which scenario do you think is more likely to foster an ongoing,

positive relationship with a new customer? An opt-in freebie that gives

visitors a complete system to make $1,000 per month, which you then

upsell to a different version with larger earning potential later on, or

just offering them the first page of the main system right off the bat,

which essentially renders it useless to them and gives them nothing they

can act on immediately?


The former has a high chance of resulting in a lifelong customer, the

latter might just tick someone off and see them opting out of your email

list as fast as possible.


The point? Give before you ever ask to take, work from the customer’s

shoes, and always over-deliver.


Of course ultimately to make sales after you’ve delivered value, your

product needs to have a solid hook.


If you feel you still haven’t developed the perfect HOOK for your

product you might be interested in checking out how a dead-broke

stand-up comic turned a simple joke formula into a million dollar sales

hook (and how you can use it to skyrocket your conversions Ð even if you

don’t have a funny bone in your body!)


Check it out now at: