Top 3 Ways To Think About “Free”

The brain is a complicated and mysterious thing, right? Actually not so much when it comes to making decisions. The fact is that the brain wants the easiest and less costly (time, money, effort) option almost all of the time, which makes it difficult for small businesses to know when and how to use a free offering to attract customers that have the propensity to pay in the future.

It is well documented that a free offering will attract more customers, but the downside is that since these customers have zero skin in the game it can be a tricky marketing strategy when you are trying to make money. So as business owners, how do you determine when to use a free offering to attract paying customers? Here are a few tips that will help. But it’s important to note that marketing is not an exact science and it’s crucial to measure the results of any campaign to determine the real cost and success.

1. Free can be a good marketing strategy when it is targeted. A free offering is a fantastic way to attract new clients to try your offering, but to make sure that you aren’t giving it away to people that have no interest in your service. Understand your ideal customers and target appropriate places to market your offering – whether online & brick & mortar. This targeting effort will save you time and money.

2. If you are giving something away for free, make it valuable to the customer. Yes, the word free is very powerful, but if the item is not valued it can create negative feelings towards your business. Make it cost effective for you, but valuable to them.

3. Identify your strategy for folks that do take the free item. Assumedly you want customers to eventually pay for your offering down the road, so develop a customer engagement strategy to move them from the top of the funnel down to converting into a paying customer. This is important, you can’t just hope and pray that customers will understand your true value, instead you have to lead them to engage with you further.

At The Good Life Consulting we offer a free 15 minute introductory meeting. This has been a great way to engage with potential clients, offer high level (free) strategic advice and educate them on other fee-based services that we offer. It doesn’t always end in an immediate sale, but it does always end with a warm lead for the future. This free offering is 1) targeted, 2) valuable and 3) part of a larger customer journey.