Free vs Complimentary

by 39 comments
If you are promoting an offer for something that is "free" do you prefer using the word FREE or COMPLIMENTARY?
#internet marketing #complimentary #free

  • Profile picture of the author JonMills
    Very good point. Try both and see what the results are
  • Profile picture of the author vneely
    "Complimentary" has a very service industry/airline-ish flavor to me. You know, like the complimentary cup of coke-flavored ice and five micro pretzels.
  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    The word "Free" is known as a well-established people magnet in marketing, advertising, and copywriting circles.
  • Profile picture of the author James12C
    "Free" for me.

    "Complimentary" sounds creepy!
  • Profile picture of the author rahmscorp
    FREE FREE FREE - Everyone wants something for nothing!
  • Profile picture of the author rosetrees
    I think you mean COMPLEMENTARY. I'm sure everyone would like to be "complimented" by your free gift, but it's unlikely to happen - unless it's a talking teddy bear.
  • Profile picture of the author apocalypsereturns
    Complimentary always meas there something i dont know....
    its the same with free but atleast they are tru to the words
  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    OK some email filters kick out anything with the word free in it - FREEdom even. That is why I use {gratis, comp, zero cost, bonus} to get around the filter.

    Also, for sadsense users. Many advertisers filter out for the word free to prevent their ads from on "freebie sites" showing up. So make sure it does not appear. That means anywhere on any of your pages.
  • Profile picture of the author TylerF
    Sounds the same.
    If you're going to use it in copywriting, test it and report the results.

    We would love to hear it.
  • Profile picture of the author kwality
    Free, is a proven sales and marketing tool. Always stick with what works.
  • Profile picture of the author areevez
    good results here, me personally think complimentary with an I is the best, thanks to alexa who caught my drift, more like we appreciate your business, go here for a complimentary (blank) basically thinking it can work, but I will try both and track and return results
  • Profile picture of the author krharper
    FREE. Everybody knows what it means and it works.
  • Profile picture of the author KristiDaniels
    I can't find my test results.

    I have tested that one to death though.

    The correct answer a vast majority of the time is...

    Complimentary

    At least in the umpteen tests I did.
  • Profile picture of the author fulliving
    Here's a quick explanation of "Complimentary" vs. "complementary"

    These two words sound exactly the same and are easily confused, but it's important for credibility to use the right one.

    "Complimentary" (with an I) means "free of charge, given as a compliment or gift." Obviously, that's not what we do except when we offer freebies.

    "Complementary" (with an E) describes that which "completes" the whole. Notice the similarity in spelling between "complete" and "complementary."

    I hope this helps for your future copy.

    Malcolm
  • Profile picture of the author mdan287
    I would prefer free because it will get more attraction than COMPLIMENTARY
  • Profile picture of the author Paul Gram
    I'd go with "free" because it sounds more real to me and not as stuffy.
  • Profile picture of the author MKCookins
    "free" fore sure. Lets face it - everyone likes stuff for free
  • Profile picture of the author igorGriffiths
    I would go with free for the promotion but use complimentary on the page for an unexpected bonus.

    Complimentary according to dictionary.com means a free extra for an action taken, as in a complimentary ticket for the sauna when you book into a hotel.
  • Profile picture of the author ceenote100
    FREE of course. Does anyone actually use the word "complimentary" in IM anyway?
  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Originally Posted by ceenote100 View Post

    FREE of course. Does anyone actually use the word "complimentary" in IM anyway?
    Yes.

    And according to post #15 above, it's at least one person's regular winner, when split-tested against "free".

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