When it comes to the debate on if you should offer products or services for free, I’ve heard many reasons why you shouldn’t.
“It suggests low value or quality”, “it degrades the perception of your products, you are worth more than that” I hear some business coaches and entrepreneurs say.
From a marketing perspective, there’s also an argument that offering something at a price, even if it’s lower initially, gets new customers used to parting with their money. This argument goes that offering something for £1 or $1 is better than free. And to some extent, I agree with these various reasons not to offer something for free, but here’s my case for the ‘offer it free’ camp…
According to Seth Godin in his Modern Marketing Workshop, a potential customers’ heart rate tends to increase shortly before saying yes and making a commitment to purchase something. This change in heart rate reflects the anxiety and the potential risk that the customer is taking in making the transaction.
However, when offered something for free the anxiety, risk and consequent heart rate increase isn’t there. Many people chose not to commit to purchasing to avoid this barrier but offering something for free, whether it’s a trial or sample for example, helps to remove that barrier and helps to make the customer more comfortable with the idea of making a purchase. It builds trust and confidence and both of these hugely impact the decision for a customer to buy.
There are many ways you can use free in your lead generation. You can offer free samples, a free trial or even a free eBook or whitepaper.