Harnessing the Promotional Power of a Freebie
There are 101 ways to promote any business these days, both on and offline. While some of the newer methods - social media marketing, blogging etc. - are often the ones that people talk about most older promotional methods should not be completely overlooked either. And one of the oldest - giving away a product or service for free - can still be one of the most effective promotional methods of all, especially for a new business, and thanks to the Internet maybe even more so than ever before.
The ROI on a Freebie
In order for a 'freebie' promotion to be truly effective though it does have to be approached and executed in just the right manner. Standing in a mall handing out free samples will no doubt be effective in making sure that all of your free offerings are snapped up. But what will your company be getting in return? There is an old saying that states that nothing good in life is ever really free and that should be the case for any freebie. You may not be charging the consumer any money, but they should be asked for something in return for your generosity.
These days it is most common to ask the consumer to trade their contact details (check this makeup campaigns as an example) in return for a freebie. This can entail asking them to sign up for an email newsletter, which is a great way to quickly build up an opt in email list that can be used for marketing purposes for months and years to come. If, on the other hand, growing a social media presence quickly is important to you offering a freebie in return for a Facebook share or a Twitter retweet might be an even better idea.
Affording a Freebie
Another important consideration before you undertake any free sample or freebie campaign is making sure that such a campaign is not going to cost you and your business more than you can truly afford.
One of the strange things about a freebie campaign is that it is one of the few promotions that other people are likely to pick up on and promote for you. There are dozens of websites that are solely devoted to telling their readers where to find freebies of all kinds and the largest of these sites have thousands and thousands of daily hits. That means that if they happen to come across yours - and if your are promoting as you should then that is likely - the freebie that you thought might attract a few hundred consumers may attract many, many more, costing you far more than you expected and a lot more than you can afford.
So should that fact put you off using a free giveaway as a means of promotion? Not necessarily. It simply means that whatever you choose to give away must not be something that will break the bank should the demand exceed your expectations.
Tracking Your Freebie Campaign
Obviously it is important to keep a careful eye on your freebie campaign, and for a number of reasons. The first is, of course, to ensure every eligible person who claims or requests your free offer receives it (disgruntled consumers are never a good thing to have) The second is to judge its effectiveness. What kind of response did the campaign generate? What kind of people did it attract? Has there been a positive impact on sales? Gathering all of these metrics may take weeks, even months but it is an essential task, especially if you are considering the pros and cons of making use of freebies again in the future.
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