I definitely don't think there is a problem with asking for their email address in exchange for free downloads. I would recommend including a statement somewhere about not sharing their email addresses with anyone else and that you will be occasionally sending them updates etc.
As for how to collect the email addresses -- you can use a form that re-directs to a download page. Check cgi-resources.com or willmaster.com (the one I use is there) for a form script if you don't already have one included in your web site. Another option would be to have the form activate an autoresponder which would send the person an email notifying them of where to download the ebooks on your site and welcoming them to your newsletter or list.
Always give them the option of unsubscribing in each subsequent email...
I think it's a fair to ask for a contact address in return for a freebie
What you ideally want to do is present what you're offering in email as BENEFIT for the users rather than an obligation. i.e. you are giving them additional valuable information and updates via email at no extra cost
If you go towww.ezineblast.comthere are some more ezine resources. If you use a CGI script or tool which sends a thank you for signup (or an autoresponder which has a list + follow-up capability), you can set it to send the download instructions as part of the thankyou for signing up.
Here are a few ideas to make it attractive for people to sign-up
- Make it a freebie - Make it a club - Make it something that they feel ownership of - Tell them why they should want to receive email from you - Show them testimonials from other subscribers or sample issues - Tell them additional benefits you offer exclusively to subscribers / members / club-members etc.
I have been collecting email addresses for my e-book download. Its definitely a good idea to email the download link to the email address, as the majority of people enter a bogus address if this is not the case.
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