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August 07, 2008


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» Using "FREE" to Build Your Small Business Brand from Intersection Small Business Marketing Blog
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Kathryn Boland

Hey David,

I totally agree that there is a benefit from giving something away for free but also a benefit of gaining contact information. It all depends on your product and what you are trying to sell.

But what really interested me about your post was the Wolf Parade show which I saw on Monday in Ottawa, ON. I have been a reader of your blogs and books for a while and it caught me off guard. It is awesome to hear that you liked the band!


I like the idea of giving things away for free as well. In fact I'm publishing a short eBook online for people to read, without the need to download anything or give their names. Some folks who download eBooks never read them, but if all the content is online and can be accessed at their convenience, then I think more people will read the material. Plus I can put adds on the site to cover server cost and so forth. There's always a catch somewhere but if the content is great people will always come back for more.

Michael A. Stelzner

Hey David;

I am a big fan of free or viral content.

But I also am one of those folks who think you can have it both ways.

There's a new company called Docmetrics.

They allow you to embed optional or required forms (or polls) into your viral PDF documents.

This provides the ability to "ungate" the content and still collect stats on readership, collect poll data and yes collect leads in a very effortless way.

I think we will see more of these types of tools that bring the best of both worlds together as Adobe improves the PDF platform.


Mark Alan Effinger

Hey David,

You know, it's a question that I'm wanting to address as we speak.

I've always wondered how powerful your list would be if you had required an email to download either of the New Rules ebooks.

I see Andy Wibbels (BlogWild) really building a list and pushing his product to achieve valuable status.

Then I see you and Seth Godin pretty much providing transparent access to your content, yet thriving as well.

I think the misnomer is "control". As though we control, or present some mojo over our readers if we compose kick-ass offers and slam them with email.

I've seen you absolutely thrive, and become one of the finest industry pundits in a few short years (yes, no need to remind me of the 20+ years honing your craft and building your rep for that "overnight success"...;-)

Control. Hmm...

Frankly, I appreciate your zen-like approach to customer engagement. Non-invasive, intelligent, always bringing something of value to the table.

That's the secret.


David Meerman Scott

Thanks all, for the discussion. Interesting stuff here. I do have a bit of a hybrid since thousands of people subscribe to this blog via RSS feeds and FeedBlitz (email subscription).

Kathryn, My 15 year old daughter is doing a great job of introducing me to new bands. We are going to see the New Pornographers tonight.


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