How Strong is Your Carrot?

How many times have you gone onto a speaker’s website and read the words: SIGN UP FOR MY NEWSLETTER. Carrot on a stick


We need more enticing copy when asking people for their e-mail address.

With today’s spam, our “@” has become our most preciously guarded possession.

And some would say, there’s no reason to even have a website if you are not capturing names and addresses for follow up and “fan” development.

Chances are people may not purchase from you (or book you) on the first visit. So you have to keep in touch and continually show them WHY YOU ARE THE EXPERT OR THE BEST IN YOUR FIELD.

So where does the carrot come in?

In order to get people to give up their e-mail, you have to offer them something that they think they can’t live without. You have to dangle a great carrot.

For example, on my Wealthy Speaker System site, I offer a special report called “The Top 3 Mistakes Speakers Make and how to Avoid Them”.

As a speaker, wouldn’t you want to know what those mistakes are? Most people do, so they sign up.

So what do you have that people cannot live without? A special report? A white paper? An MP3? An eBook?

If you’ve had success using this method, I hope you’ll comment below to share what has worked (or what hasn’t) for you.

Get those carrots in place and I’ll….

See you soon Wealthy Speakers!

  • Hi Jane,

    My target market is business professionals who write speeches and deliver speeches. My carrot is called “The Successful Speeches Toolkit”. It includes a workbook, which gives you step by step instructions on how to write a speech, and “research tool”, which helps you find relevant information on the internet.

    This worked well for getting people to sign up for my newsletter, but I wasn’t seeing great sales results from my list. I have since added follow up emails that walk people through the workbook. My open rates have improved and my name stays in the mind of potential clients much longer.

    John Watkis

  • This so important and effective Jane! As a mindful eating expert, my target market is yo-yo dieters. I give away a one-page pdf flyer called “101 Things to Do Besides Eat.” We are about to hit 20,000 subscribers so I think the carrot is having the desired response!

  • Dead on Jane!
    On the site where I sell my goal setting/life planning book, I’ve always offered my “Top Ten Goal Setting Questions” and had a reasonable signup rate. But when I discovered that a lot of people were looking for goal setting worksheets, I turned my worksheet into a pdf that they also get access to when they sign up. As a result, the signup rate climbed even higher. People want instant, relevant, actionable information; if we offer it they’ll gladly signup.

  • Hi Jane,

    Thanks to you and Wealthy Speaker, I launched my site in September 2009 and am now getting ready for a re-launch… positioning myself as an expert first. Your post is so true, which is why I have thought long and hard about what my target audience needs and wants.

    My goal is to provide coaching, training and performance solutions to help retain, increase morale and improve team communication. My carrot? Newly launched “Daily Compelling Workplace Statistics”: this information gives HR and other business professionals instant access to current research that proves that better workplace communication increases performance, morale, and retention. For example: 22% of people surveyed left their jobs in the last year because of a poor relationship with their manager. Source:

    I’ve had good feedback and success so far after 1 week! I look forward to reading about other creative carrots.


  • Jane, when I think of your “carrot,” I think of your content. I’ve been a fan since stumbling upon your website in 2008 and buying your book, The Wealthy Speaker. Though I don’t comment like I should, I read and appreciate every blog post you contribute. They are concise and, in my case, always contain valuable nuggets. That said, my feedback to your readers is that regardless of how enticing they have made their blog/newsletter subscription process, the content (week in and week out) has to be even better. There are simply too many competing sources of content for anything average to get noticed. No pressure.

  • lmao cool stuff dude.

  • Jane,

    Great point. I have had good success by offering a new free e-book every six to eight months. I try to time them so they are relevant to what is happening in business and the economy. My first was Transforming Anxiety into Energy (released in Jan. 2009) followed by Leading After Layoffs (released in Sept. 2009). It also helped hugely when a well-known author in my field recommended the layoffs e-book on his blog.


    PS: Sonia – loved the daily stat idea and I’ve signed up to receive yours!

  • Jane:

    Great points here!

    Your Free Report is successful because people will do more to avoid pain then seek pleasure. If your report was, “3 Ways to be a Great Speaker!” you would not get near the response.

    It’s important to capture those emails when they first visit the site, because they may not come back without coaxing from your newsletter and drip marketing.

    When people come to your website there are three scenarios:
    1. NO – they got there by mistake and will never be a client.
    2. YES – “Where’s the phone number? I want to buy NOW!” (This is a lightening strike, not happening very often.)
    3 – MAYBE – Not now, but someday I might be a client. (THIS is where most the visitors to your site fall. Capture their email addresses NOW and ‘Market to the MAYBES”

  • Great post! I definitely need a fabulous carrot to encourage people to engage in my website. Perhaps a worksheet or toolkit is in order.