Should I Put an E-mail Optin Before My People Can Download the Podcast I’ve Created?

I would say that asking people for e-mails as a barrier to allowing them to download the show is a big mistake (especially with a a new show.)

I wouldn’t advise this.

There is an american marketing expert named Seth Godin, he wrote a book called Permission Marketing. Permission Marketing is a strategy that seeks the trust of an audience. A good measurement for knowing if your audience trusts you is, “if this show disappeared tomorrow, would anyone miss it?”

A podcast is a way to build permission. Podcasters give away the show in the hopes that the listeners find them trustworthy and valuable. With trust and value, you can gain a persons permission. Podcasters give it away as a way to matter in the lives of the people they are serving.

The idea behind the podcasting is that you provide value first (Gary Vaynerchuk suggest this in Jab Jab Jab Right Hook.) After the first great show, we provide value again and again. Each time giving it out for free and encouraging people to share it for free with anyone in the industry. It needs to be so good that the person listening says, “I need to share this with my friends because they will love it/learn from it.”

One day, we’ll monetize. At that point, we make an even greater value offering that requires a pay wall.

I would argue that the mission of the podcaster is to make it as free and wide spread as possible. I would make no barriers to downloads.

Having a e-mail address collection barrier before we’ve gained the trust of the audience is, in my opinion, a mistake.

Attention at this point is the currency that we should be striving for. With enough targeted, quality attention, the show can not fail.


With appreciation,


P.S. Kevin Kelly’s 1,000 True Fans is an excellent piece. Have you read it?

One Comment

  • Jon Bowes says:

    Three of my favorite authors in the same post. Seth Godin, Gary Vee and Kevin Kelly’s 1,000 True Fans. Nailed it.

    I didn’t know anyone out there actually put an email opt-in before people could get access to their podcast. Isn’t the typical distribution through Itunes?

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