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How Freebies Can Change Your Business Mindset

Yado Team – Social Media Marketing
15 March .  5 min read

It can be easy for business people to never want to give away something for free. It can be an easy thought to have— after all, wasn’t what they wanted the most was to make money? This may make sense, but it is counterintuitive. Your customers want to know you care about them. They want to be convinced that you are not only in it to make money— Whether that is true or not. And if that is all you care about, you can use this to make a few sales anyway. 

 

Book Marketing Example

Book marketing is one of the clearest fields to see why giving away books can be exactly what you need.  Often, people don’t see authors as business people, but self-published authors are very much in the business of marketing their books, unlike traditionally published authors, they don’t have a team specifically set up to help their book sell. 

One of the biggest marketing choices many self-publishing authors make is that they make the first book in the series a freebie. In this way, the people may go on to buy the other book. This works especially well if there is a cliffhanger, or, what might lead into other types of marketing, a promise yet to be fulfilled. 

This means that if it is a trilogy, someone who may not buy a book can be led into buying two— the second and third. Without the initial freebie, that person may have not bought any books at all. 

These are principles that can easily be transferred over to other businesses with a few different types of freebies. Here are a few options they can make a difference.

 

Free Shipping

Say you sell stand mixers. That doesn’t work out as easily as selling the book. There are a few things you can make a freebie however. For many people, this involves free shipping. This is the type of free that companies are more comfortable with, because they’re positive there is a purchase involved. And that’s true, it is a guaranteed purchase. But it’s not the only way to get a purchase from a freebie. 

 

Free With Purchase

This is the classic adding on an attachment to be sold with your stand mixture. This also guarantees a purchase. This can be combined with free shipping or done separately, but these two operate under the same principle: you get money by making someone buy something. This is one of the safer options as far as making your money goes back. 

 

Free Giveaway

This does not guarantee a sale, but it can get you a lot of traffic on the site that can make more sales in the future. If you have read any of our information about sites and social media, that will get you a long way in generating sales as a result of your website. They may not be a guaranteed purchase, but it’s guaranteed to make a difference for a long time.

 

Free Instruction Material

If you sell food, this is a good place to put in a recipe. If you provide a project, the instruction manual isn’t nearly as good as step by step instructions on a youtube video. It may take some thinking to decide how this works for you, but there will be something that makes a difference. 

 

Random Reminders

If you regularly remind your customers, or those you want to be customers, that you exist, this can go far. Sure, newsletters work, but what about a personalized holiday card or a coupon on their birthday? If this day can be related to what you sell, all the better.


Free Shipping: This is easy enough. 

Free With Purchase: You can run a Buy One Get One Free sale, or add a decorative stirring stick. 

Free Giveaway: You can say the person with the funniest picture gets it on the mug free. 

Free Instruction Material: You don’t need to teach people how to use a coffee mug, but if you regularly put up videos on how to make a fancy coffee, and possibly even going as far as having an instruction booklet free with purchase, this will get you far. 

Random Reminders: A good option is to send everyone who has expressed interest a half price coupon on World Coffee Day. 

 

How People Feel Differently After Losing and Winning Giveaways

It may seem like most people would be disappointed in losing a giveaway. This is true on one level, but if you make it very clear that a real person won the giveaway they’re often more likely to go buy the project they didn’t get. They see, through the real person, that you wanted someone to win, and you are good on your word. If you’re good on your word that someone won the giveaway, maybe you’re good on your word that your product is worthwhile. 

The winner of the giveaway may have a bit of mistrust, so it’s important to make it very clear that everything they want is real and from you. It’s very important that this isn’t rigged in any way, or you will lose everyone’s trust. But one person winning can really make a superfan out of them. People never forget winning, and they will certainly tell all their friends. 

 

Figuring Out Who Your Customers Are

Doing this can tell you what they want and where to boast about the giveaway. 

Are you aiming at toddlers? Then you’re truly aiming at parents, perhaps the ones posting funny memes on facebook, and are a bit too busy watching Elmo again to fill out a whole card requesting information before a giveaway. They have more than enough junk mail, that will be easy for them to pitch. 

On the contrary, if their mixer comes with a new attachment, one they will find useful, this is all it takes to make them follow your company for life— you just need to figure out what attachment it is they want.

This means it is best to already have the correct social media pages up and running, so that when it comes time, you will know exactly what they are looking for. What things they like, comment, and perhaps retweet. Find out what they complain about not having and figure out if you can get it to

Doing this is one of the best ways to keep your freebies from going badly. 

 

How To Keep This From Going Badly

If you give a mixer attachment away free and no one has the mixer it attaches to, this won’t work at all. In addition, people who already have the mixer are much more likely to buy the attachment and don’t really need to win it. So make sure what you’re selling is relevant to the population you are hoping to buy in the future.

Sometimes, people choose the wrong freebie type. These all have their places, but people don’t want a free giveaway from a business so small that no one knows of it: it feels unsafe. 

If your random reminders seem spammy or— possibly worse— have the old owner’s name when sent to a house that changed hands this will do the opposite of making people want to buy from you, no matter how much your products are exactly what they need. 

 

How To Implement This (And Why Not To Do This Today) 

The very first thing you should do is research. That you can start today, but the free sales you should not. Figure out exactly which form of freebies you want (despite giving examples for all of them, it may be better to really focus completely on one first). Find a business like yours and see what freebies worked for them. You don’t want to do actually what they did perhaps, but you can take some pointers from them. There are also advertisement professionals who are willing to help you with this if you have enough money up front. 

 

How To Tell If Your Freebie Worked

If no one is doing the front end work to make sure that everything is being recorded, it can be hard to tell if your freebie worked at all. It can be helpful to make some specific and time-bound goals to see if you are accomplishing them. This can work no matter what your goal is, whether it’s to increase sales, increase visibility, or any other goal you find important. 

Not only do you need goals up front though, you need to keep track of them moment by moment. Perhaps if something doesn’t seem to be working you don’t need to pour as much money into it as you would otherwise. However, if something is going very well, you want to record all the variables to be able to recreate them in the future. 

If this is not something you are comfortable doing you can hire out. If you have someone who knows what they’re doing when it comes to advertising, they can make every penny count. 

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