Why Not Charging People Is Selfish

A few weeks back I spent the day teaching copywriting at Shanda Sumpter’s Marketing Mastery Event…

And I had an interesting conversation with one of the attendees. 

He helps people to embrace grief after suffering a severe loss…🤝

And one of the things he mentioned is the fact that he struggles with charging people for his services. 

He told me: “I want to just help everyone for free”…

Which is an admirable goal…

But probably not a wise approach. 🤔

Why?

Simply put…

People generally devalue things they don’t have to pay for. 

To understand why…

Think of a live professional sporting event. 

Have you ever walked into a stadium and right away someone hands you a free promotional gift?🏉

Like a team calendar, or a hat, or a little model car?

Well if so…

Then you’ve probably also noticed that when the sporting event is over…

There are countless copies of this free gift strewn across the stadium floor. 

And the reason why that happens…

Is that even if the free gift is pretty high quality…

It doesn’t have any perceived value to most people…

Since it was free…

So folks have no problem with just leaving it on the ground on their way out. 

Young cheerful football fan celebrating the victory. Flat vector illustration, clip art

Contrast the free gift at the stadium…

To the $40 hat you buy in the gift shop. 

If you’ve ever bought a souvenir at a sporting event…

I bet you guarded that purchase with your life, right?

It makes sense…

You had to actually give something up to get that item…

So you valued it much more than a free gift. 

It’s the same thing with coaching and training too…

There’s a reason we have a societal taboo around unsolicited advice…

Generally, people discount advice that’s “free”…

Because they aren’t in the right mental state to really receive it. 

And you know what gets them into the right mental state?

Paying good money for advice. 

Because when that happens…

A person feels a mental obligation to themselves…

They think “I paid for this advice so I’d better use it, otherwise I’ll be mad at myself for having wasted my money.” 

Generally, the more a person pays for something, the more likely they are to use it. 

A car is one of the most expensive purchases we make in our lifetime…

But guess what?

Most of us use our car every single day. 

And this whole principle I'm talking about is why, for email marketing…

A customer on your list who bought a $200 product is way more valuable than a customer who bought a $20 product…

And a customer who bought a $2,000 product is way more valuable than a customer who bought a $200 product. 

Most of us know that’s true…

But we think the reason why is because the higher-paying customer must have more cash, so they can buy more stuff from us. 

That’s part of it…

But the real reason the big ticket customer is more valuable…

Is because once they’ve made a larger investment in you or your brand…

They’re so much more bought in…

Which means they’re more likely to listen to you when you make additional product recommendations in the future too. 

So to sum it up…

When you try to give everything away for free, you end up doing people a disservice.

And if you really want to help people…

Then you’ve got to make them give you something in return…

Otherwise they'll never truly benefit from what you're sharing with them. 

 

– SPG

P.S. I’m aware that I don’t charge people for my email list…

So how do I reconcile what I just said with this fact? 

Well for my email list, you do have to fill out an application… 

Which may seem like a small thing…

But what I’ve found (and heard from a lot of people)…

Is that just the simple act of applying to be on my list…

Makes people who subscribe a lot more bought in…

Which is probably why my open rates are 60 or 70%. 

P.P.S. This post originally came from an email I sent to my private list. If you want to see more stuff like this from me, you can apply to join my list using this link.

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