Marketing Strategy: Free Give-away or Not?

22 replies
OK... I've been testing my marketing strategies to see if giving away something or joining something for free is helpful or not??

The Plus so far is I get a lot more traffic and looky loos...

The Minus is I don't make a dime giving away free stuff...

What are your Marketing Strategies when it comes to giving away free stuff or offering free memberships?

I'm starting to think that putting all this effort into marketing something and giving away real value... you really should be earning money for all your hard work. The fear of doing all the work, giving away something worthwhile and not making anything unless they take you up on your up sale, after sale or join after the free trial membership blows my mind.

It's a catch 22, because if you only market things that cost money and you earn on every sale... you will risk losing a substantial amounts of traffic and you probably will not be building your lists as rapid either.

Anybody done some testing on this? Maybe there's a place for free offers in some niches??
#free #giveaway #marketing #offers #strategy
  • Profile picture of the author abundantlife
    Thinking about free give away reminded of selling for Fuller Brush Company. They always gave some little thing away at the door as an ice breaker. I suppose, at the time, many years ago, there was enough character in the recipient of the free gift that there was a sense of obligation to listen to the spiel or demonstration. Seemed to work for them.

    Today, on the internet, usually free costs the recipient at least a name and email address so that seems like a fair trade, as long as the free item doesn't cost the giver much or any time or money.
    Signature
    David Tampien
    Top Ten Reasons to Use Aloe Vera Every Day

    Prov. 22:1 A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4837584].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Phil_UK
      Originally Posted by abundantlife View Post

      Today, on the internet, usually free costs the recipient at least a name and email address so that seems like a fair trade, as long as the free item doesn't cost the giver much or any time or money.
      That's a good point, at least the trade for the email address will build your list so that you can try to start a relationship to turn your reader in to a customer hopefully.

      Also, why not just give them part of your book for free, so they can make their mind up whether they want to pay for the full version? That way you've still given them something, you've got their email address, and if they like your product, they'll buy and become your customer.

      Personally I pay more attention to emails I get when I've been a customer of someone, rather than those emails from people I've never bought a thing off.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4837672].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author TheHotChick
    Banned
    Yes, people like free stuff. If nothing else, it's a good way to build your email list, which will hopefully convert to sales at some point in the future when you send out fascinating, irresistible email campaigns. The point of the freebie is to hook em on the quality of the stuff you put out... Don't bother if it's a lame little eBook of very little value.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4837880].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author WakondaMarketing
    FREE stuffs work like magnets. Anything FREE will always catch people's attention. Giving away freebies is an excellent idea to build an email list which can be very helpful in the future. People will usually not have any second thoughts in giving away their email address for a free ebook or software. If you already built up your email list, it's the time to convert them into possible sales.
    Signature

    Wakonda Marketing Inc
    Want to crush it with Media Buying ?
    Needs hordes of traffic ?
    Call us now 514-688-2576
    or visit http://www.wakondamarketing.com

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4840762].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author addison.agnote
    Giving away free stuffs drives more people to you. This is very helpful strategy for a long-term plan for your business.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4842286].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author AskScottOBrien
      there is no question in my mind that free give-aways work. I've used that marketing strategy for a long time... and yea, if you give away something of real value, they will be watching for your next free offer.

      My question is: Do people who take you up on your free offers, ever convert to a person who ends up buying something from you or becoming a paid member? or are they typically just people who go around and look for free stuff online?

      Yes, it gives you exposure and yes it gives you their name and email possibly (if they don't put in a fake one) but aren't we really looking for the serious people that really want what you offer? People that are ready to pay you now for that something?

      Kind of reminds me of a local grocery store here in Buffalo, NY. Typically on any Saturday you shop there, they have several little tables set up around the store that offer free samples of food. Now, I'm a pretty savvy shopper, so when I go in there, I generally have a list and since they send a mailer out on Friday's... I know what sales I'm going to takes advantage of and since they always give away free food on Saturdays, that's when I like to go shopping.

      Pretty clever for the store... sale paper on Friday, Free Food on Saturday, why would I shop anywhere else? and maybe that's their strategy. But if their strategy is to sell more food by giving away free samples... that doesn't really work in my opinion. I don't think I ever once said... "hey, that was pretty good, I'm going to buy that." I get what I'm there for and scarf up the free samples and off I am. Maybe I'm not like other people either?? Maybe they do get people to buy that stuff after they try a free sample?? I've never seen it?

      Anyway... I'm not sure free give-aways really, honestly work? If I wanted waffles when I walked in the store, I'd get waffles. If I didn't want waffles, but they had a free waffle sample offer, I probably still wouldn't buy waffles, especially if I knew I already had waffles at home.

      OK... you can tell I posted this before breakfast : ) I'm going to stop writing now and go have my coffee and waffle! Have an AWESOME Day!
      Signature

      Make it a Great Day! : )

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4843167].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author MTVida
        Kind of reminds me of a local grocery store here in Buffalo, NY. Typically on any Saturday you shop there, they have several little tables set up around the store that offer free samples of food. Now, I'm a pretty savvy shopper, so when I go in there, I generally have a list and since they send a mailer out on Friday's... I know what sales I'm going to takes advantage of and since they always give away free food on Saturdays, that's when I like to go shopping.

        Pretty clever for the store... sale paper on Friday, Free Food on Saturday, why would I shop anywhere else? and maybe that's their strategy. But if their strategy is to sell more food by giving away free samples... that doesn't really work in my opinion. I don't think I ever once said... "hey, that was pretty good, I'm going to buy that." I get what I'm there for and scarf up the free samples and off I am. Maybe I'm not like other people either?? Maybe they do get people to buy that stuff after they try a free sample?? I've never seen it?"
        I like this example, and I think a lot can be taken from it. Now I'd be willing to bet that it's not the only store in your area advertizing their sales in the paper on Friday, but how many are offering free samples?

        I suspect that their goal isn't to sell more of the free sample products. It's to get you there, spending your money. From your story, it sounds like it's working.

        Pretty clever for the store... sale paper on Friday, Free Food on Saturday, why would I shop anywhere else?
        To me that sentence says it all.

        I also suspect that they may not be the lowest priced grocery store in your area.

        In very simple terms, if one vendor sells Product A for $20, and another sells Product A for $21 + Product B FREE, I could see the second vendor selling more, even though the price is higher.

        To make sales, ones strategy needs to be solid and the product need to be good. What the freebe does is give you an edge over the competition.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4877217].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Devon Brown
    I give away a lot of free things but it's because I like doing that to build my list, develop relationships with my customers, and because I reverse the table.. would I pay for that?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4843356].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author maile15
      Free Give-aways are just good, if you exactly know what you want to get out.

      - Brand awerness
      - Pushs of a specific Campaign

      If you are on Budget and you cant afford to have a campaign which actually provides one of the above mentioned, it makes no sense to run it.

      What is the converison rate for these Free Give-aways, are the customer buying something after they get something for free?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4843953].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author footbag_man
        just go with free give away because it will help to make customers more attractive.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4848966].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author AskScottOBrien
        Originally Posted by maile15 View Post

        What is the converison rate for these Free Give-aways, are the customer buying something after they get something for free?
        My personal conversion rate is slim to none. I've given away plenty of well-written ebooks and brought in many free members over the last year or so, but getting people to reach in their pocket for a credit card is not as easy as it seems these days... even offering prices like $9.95 for something worth 100 bucks or more is a tough sale sometimes.

        My experience has been... either they want it or not, regardless if there is a free offer attached or not.
        Signature

        Make it a Great Day! : )

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4857802].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author SteveSki
          Yes indeed... giving away free stuff works really well both online and offline in the real world provided its something people want and is of real value plus you have a great OTO to monetize the give a way.

          Just like retail stores do it... When they come in for the free item you offer an upgrade on similar items at a special one day only sale price.

          I'll give you two examples from my own experience. I give away free digital backgrounds at: Free Background of The Month Club - Worlds Best Free Backgrounds! but have not implemented a OTO yet.

          I'm adding about 20 to 30 new subscribers daily but without a OTO of those 20- 30 only 1 or 2 will purchase from my website that day so I'm sure I'm leaving easy money on the table that I could be picking up by making them a OTO when they opt in to my list.

          Now compare that to this: I recently ran a very limited (one weekend only) give-a-way of a free photo shoot with a free fantasy portrait. 97 people took advantage of the offer. I set up two cameras and hired an extra camera operator for the weekend in order to photograph them all.

          I made each person wait a couple of weeks to view their images. They had to come back to choose the one they liked best for the free offer. After they selected the image they wanted for their free one I would simply ask... Are you interested in purchasing any others?

          Of course they all wanted to know what the prices were so I simply handed them my price sheet which shows packages priced from a low of $229 to a high of $1895 For my OTO I offered them 50% discount on anything they ordered that day only provided they put down at least a 1/3rd deposit.

          Most bought and paid in full right on the spot when I offered to throw in a free bonus that only costs me $30 each and I made it clear that once they walked out the door all of the unsold images would be deleted that day so they couldn't come back tomorrow for them.

          This resulted in sales of well over $50,000 all from a free give away promotion!

          So free give a ways do work but are only profitable if you attach an irresistible offer with a deadline to them.

          Cheers,
          Steve
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4864251].message }}
  • {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4849080].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Illuminations
    The bottom-line of giving away freebies is not automatic conversion from your visitors. It's just a scapegoat or a way for you to build an email list. In this way, you can market or promote your products to your subscribers. Sales can't be expected instantaneously since it all boils down to how lucrative your niche is.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4869045].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Scott Skinner
    Scott, ask 100 people this question and you'll get as many answers, as I'm sure you know.

    Personally, I have found the "freebie" method worn out. It's been used too long and watered down so much, the effectiveness is gone. Plus, wading thru the "something for nothing" crowd is exhausting.

    I like offering a product with high actual value for a stupid low price, say a dollar or two. This separates the lookers from the buyers.

    Even if they only spend a buck, they are still a buyer.


    I'll take a list of 100 buyers over a list of 1000 freebie seekers any day!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4869774].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author AskScottOBrien
      Originally Posted by Scott Skinner View Post

      I'll take a list of 100 buyers over a list of 1000 freebie seekers any day!
      Yes... my thoughts exactly. I even like the $1 - 10 day trail offers better than join free... and really, if you happen to be a person who is willing to help somebody who joins your team... wouldn't you rather help somebody that actually is committed than somebody who's just kicking the tires and you may never here from again after all your hard work helping them?
      Signature

      Make it a Great Day! : )

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4870248].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author gudrunsmith
    Free stuff is always good on the beginning, but as soon as your skills growth you may need that paid stuff, but again do not waist your money when you don't know the skills! Learn the skills and practice them and move on.
    Signature

    Gudrun Marquardt
    Personal and Business Development
    http://gudrunmarquardt.com

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4873668].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author neojiphre
    Had a free forum before of giveaways, it didnt last too long
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4873833].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author adampowers
    I'm going to offer a slightly different look at it since I totally see what you're saying about the quality of your FREE loving subscribers...

    For one, no one ever said what you give for FREE on one platform can't be for sale on another platform. Example, website vs. straight squeeze page.

    Also, I believe like another member mentioned, the value of your free offer makes a huge difference.

    Another point is, just in my opinion. FREE to them should be PRIMER to us. What we give for free is a primer to what we're really selling. Think of your free offer as a movie trailer leading to your main feature.

    Also, put your FREE recipients to work for you and get them to give you some FREE social currency.

    Lastly, FREE is a hook. It lets them become familiar with you, it builds your brand as a "source" of information. And it creates a positive experience.

    Look into "variable-interval schedules of reinforcement" - just google that. Read up on it. It's really facinating and will help you craft your FREE offers in a more strategic manner.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4874156].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author gudrunsmith
    Free stuff had worked in the past, but today everybody gives something away for free and there is a lot of garbage out there, and some are using than the contact information to spam their leads.

    But in the same time people are looking for high value. Give them the value and work your Internet Business like a real business, than you will have success.

    But again, too many people think the Internet Business is different than a offline Business. I don't know why, but that is absolutely not professional. Just take the principle from an offline business online, and see online as a better and cheaper marketing tools, and please don't do online what you never will do offline
    Signature

    Gudrun Marquardt
    Personal and Business Development
    http://gudrunmarquardt.com

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4874532].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author AskScottOBrien
      A sense of urgency makes sense too.

      You see that a lot with brick and mortar stores around here. The first 100 customers in the door get a free gift.

      For online marketing... an offer like that gets people to decide instantly instead of bookmarking your site and coming back when they think about you again. People can decide very fast when there is urgency, in this case... a free gift for the first 100 people who take action now.

      A lot of WSO's are like that... it may be $5 for the first group of people, but the price increases as more sales are made... so you quick buy now at the lower price instead of waiting a few days and paying double or triple the price.
      Signature

      Make it a Great Day! : )

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4874683].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Manny Derek
    Thanks for this thread askscottyobrien.I have the same issue with yours. I see some suggestions and ideas here that is very helpful. Thanks guys!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[4876215].message }}

Trending Topics