Use Freebies to Boost Your Sales

Who doesn’t like to get something for nothing? Freebie marketing — whereby a business gives away goods or services to promote its brand and boost sales of related products or features  — has proved wildly successful in attracting new customers and encouraging customer loyalty.

Why? Customers and prospects don’t always understand the value of your offering until they’ve tried it. Rather than wait for marketing or advertising efforts to get them thinking about making a purchase, let people experience the value of your product or service, at least in a limited version.

An increasingly popular freebie marketing model is called “freemium.” Essentially, a company offers a basic service for free but charges a fee for premium features. This strategy plays into a fundamental aspect of human psychology that some experts call “the norm of reciprocation.” Customers or prospects who take advantage of your free offer often feel compelled to patronize your business, either on the spot or in the future.

Freemium offers often involve giving away limited-use software, such as a social game (which costs nothing to download and play), and then charging a premium to unlock advanced features or to purchase related products or services. But many other industries use it to their advantage. For example, think about the ice-cream shop that invites you to sample its latest flavor on a tiny plastic spoon. Tasting that free sample is your first step toward placing an order, which may end up being two scoops instead of one — just because the sample tasted so good.

Your small business can use freebies to boost its sales, too. Here’s how.

Set Your Freebie Goal

Before determining what type of freebie to give customers and prospects, set the business goal you wish to achieve. It can be one or all of the following:

  • Boost web traffic
  • Generate qualified leads
  • Create a buzz to get people excited
  • Sign up more newsletter subscribers
  • Increase your Facebook followers
  • Build trust and interest in your business

Whatever your goal, having a precise idea will help you effectively package your offer.

Choose the Right Freebie

The best freebie is one that costs you little or nothing to produce but delivers measurable results. Giving away an e-book rewards people for joining your mailing list or subscribing to your newsletter, and it can generate leads.

If you’re introducing a new product or service, consider offering it on a one-time, free-trial basis. People who like what they see or experience are likely make a purchase. If not, you may garner enough customer feedback to stage a more successful re-launch down the road.

Other types of freebies include:

  • Software and mobile apps
  • White papers
  • Promotional products (branded pens, bookmarks, keychain fobs, etc.)
  • A free consultation
  • Samples of foods or snack items

After figuring out what you’d like to give away, think about joining forces with another local business to cross-promote complementary products or offer a package deal. This expands the types of freebies you can offer and the potential target audience that receives them. Another option: See whether a vendor or supplier would like to be part of your marketing campaignEither way, your expenses are reduced and your profit margin increased.

Meanwhile, contact websites, blogs, forums, and other social communities that seek out online promotions and ask them to share your offer with their freebie-hungry readers or subscribers. You get better visibility, and their readers or users win, too.

About Lee Polevoi

Lee Polevoi is an award-winning freelance copywriter and editor and a former Senior Writer for Vistage International, a global membership organization of chief executive officers. He writes frequently on issues and challenges faced by U.S. small businesses.
This entry was posted in Marketing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.
8 comments
freeclothes
freeclothes

where are the good freebie sites that can generate people to take up freebie ?

freeclothes
freeclothes

that is very easy of your saying, but none of the freebie site so far can generate any people to take up freebie yet.

freeclothes
freeclothes

that is very easy of your saying, but none of the freebie site so far can generate any people to take up freebie yet.

 

 

Karl Miller
Karl Miller

I always send a sample of my product upon request. I have always maintained that 15 seconds with my sample is more valuable than 10 to 20 minutes of talking or all of my printed material. Our plant markers are custom made so the one I send is only good for decision making. It also has our premium features so they can see them. I ship it priority mail so they know I value their business. My delivered cost is $8-9 dollars but it almost always leads to an initial order of 30 to 100 times value and of course the follow on orders.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Use Freebies to Boost Your Sales [via blog.intuit.com] Filed Under: Entrepreneurship, Networking Tagged With: Customers, Freebie, Marketing [...]

  2. [...] to fit your business model.  The blog at Intuit has provided some great information about how to utilize freebie marketing to yield the most [...]

  3. [...] always helpful to include an explicit “call to action,” perhaps with an incentive such as a freebie or a coupon when they mention where they saw your [...]

  4. [...] away free stuff, whether it’s goods or services, can be a powerful marketing tool for any small business. But, like any other strategy, it should not be executed without a [...]

  5. [...] fit your business model.  The blog at Intuit has provided some great information about how to utilize freebie marketing to yield the most [...]

  6. [...] The Marketing Message: No Jedi mind tricks needed. Simply give your audience something of value, and those people are more likely to do something for you. Maybe even something that’s beyond what you gave them. A free case study, consultation, re-tweet or re-post can go a long way to tap into the power of reciprocity. It is what’s being called “Freebie Marketing.” [...]

  7. [...] customers. Here are five tips for using promotional items as a marketing tool, so your outlay on freebies is money well [...]