Having a hard time attracting new customers or building your email list? Traditional marketing wisdom tells you that there’s a point at which giving away the farm to get new customers isn’t sustainable, but there’s a lot of ground to cover before that point.
To me, that mentality indicates some flawed thinking on both sides of the conversation. Dismissing “freebies” too quickly assumes a few absolutes (that they don’t work, and that there’s only one kind) which I don’t think really exist in marketing. On the other side, it probably means someone is relying too heavily on the idea of offering something before covering the basics, like building a good website, honing in on your niche and voice, etc.
This week, we’re going to talk about the right times and ways to leverage freebies, and some actionable ways you can go about it.
If traffic is fine, but sales aren’t, it might be time to look at building a website that converts better. Get in touch to see how we can help you do it!
Wow, I can’t believe how often this gets missed. Free downloads are the best freebie because they cost you nothing other than the time it takes to create your digital assets. As much as people love saving money, they love feeling like they’re getting useful (and especially special and exclusive) information.
Learning to stitch a complicated pattern, how to shop for the right materials, why packaging design matters, and so on. There’s a plethora of topics related to every niche, and you can use your professional background to create something that teaches your potential customers.
For example, something that’s helped us find some of our absolute DREAM clients have been case studies, workbooks on finding great customers, and guides on how to grow and convert online visitors, all without offering exorbitant discounts to generate leads.
The key, though, is to make sure you’re providing genuinely good information. No one wants to feel like they got nothing for something. Downloads like this should be something that makes your customer think of you as a thought leader, expert in your niche, or unique voice.
This is the obvious, tried and true method in the right situation. Every business is different, and every financial model is different, but there are two major use cases where I see this being highly effective.
1. When your email channel is incredibly profitable.
It costs less to keep a customer than to find one, and if your email channel is already one of your most profitable marketing arms, invest in it. If 10% off a $50 product now earns you $20 in business later from your email channel, do it, and don’t look back.
This is especially true if you’ve put some thought into how to keep people engaged long term and increase customer lifetime value.
A big tip I can’t understate is to test offers. Programs like Privy allow you to A/B test different pop ups and offers, and you should. For example, if you run a test and find that offering 10% and 15% results in roughly the same amount of sign ups, why run 15% off? Follow the data.
2. When holding on to inventory is costing you money.
Maybe you can’t afford to make a newer, better product until you get rid of the old stuff (or you just plain old don’t have the space). Maybe you’re about to launch something awesome, but you need to get more people into your marketing funnel before you do it.
Liquidate your inventory and acquire new customers all at once by offering a great discount to get there.
Remember that you’re setting the tone of your relationship with your customer when your first interaction with them is a discount, so be careful and strategic about choosing whether or not to discount.
Upsells and Cross-sells
“Get a free clutch with the purchase of any tote when you sign up for our mailing list!”
“Free customization on your product when you purchase $50 or more.”
These are just a few examples. While this is a slight variation on the idea of offering a discount, you should follow the same rule as with discounting. Make sure what you’re offering costs less than you plan to make by either making the sale, or getting a customer into your marketing funnel or email list.
There’s no shortage of apps on Shopify that make this relatively easy to do, but sometimes making something custom can be difficult. If you need some development help on this front, let us know, we might be able to help.
Try it out!
Build your audience and make more sales by strategically and intelligently offering extra value to customers. Just remember, make decisions that make sense for your strategy.