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Free Stuff is Good for Business

6 November 2008 20 Comments

free stuff FREE is a hugely popular search term. When you offer something free on your web site or blog, you will definitely see an increase in traffic if you optimize for it and get the word out via social networking.

Market research has shown that while sales pull in customers, over the long term companies are better off giving something away instead offering a discounted price. Obviously no one can do this all the time, but offering freebies once in awhile is a smart move.

The reason this works so well is because once customers see an item marked down, they remember the lower price and watch for it to return, and may also discount the quality of the product in their minds.

Like the toy surprise inside a box of Cracker Jack, free stuff enhances the value of a product. When you buy something, if there’s a free sample attached, it seems more attractive. (Surely I’m not the only one that looks behind the front row to find the “extra value” package!)

Take advantage of this mindset by offering something free on your site or with your product/service. One thing customers will definitely be looking for this holiday season is free shipping, so if you can afford to offer it you’ll likely get more orders.

  • http://www.canimakebigmoneyonline.com/ George

    FREE SEO Advice from SEODIVA :)

    Yes, free is a great word to add to the keywords you use on your site. It can bring in some good traffic. Plus free quality giveaways are great link bait.

    Georges last blog post..Private Label Rights

  • http://www.powerdosh.com Dan @ PowerDosh.com

    There’s also something else to consider. By giving away something free, you’re associating a positive emotion (i.e. pleasing someone by giving them a free gift) with your product and/or brand. Creating this association with a positive emotion is a great way to get people to remember you. Just as you can do by making people laugh with a funny advert.

    Dan @ PowerDosh.coms last blog post..Available .co.uk Domains and some ideas…

  • http://virtualimpax.com Virtual Impax

    Free is good – but it needs to have perceived value.

    I recently offered a “free” ebook. However, to get it for “free” you had to enter a special code – otherwise you had to pay $24.95 for it. The special discount code was good for a week and BOY did that ebook get snapped up!

    Since the perceived value was high, the offer of “free” was compelling.

    Virtual Impaxs last blog post..Creating a Website that Does Almost Nothing.

  • http://www.seodiva.net Seo Diva

    @George – I was thinking I should offer something free, but I guess I already do!

    @Dan – that’s a VERY good point!

    @Virtual Impax – I wondered how that went – I downloaded it before it went up to $24.95! :)

  • http://www.directsaleswebmarketing.com Dennis Edell

    Free is a good KW to add, as long as you’re offering a freebie…otherwise it’s just blackhatting.

    And here I thought we was gettin crackerjacks ;)

    Dennis Edells last blog post..8 Effective Viral Marketing Techniques

  • http://www.seodiva.net Seo Diva

    @Dennis – yep, that’s just me being a blackhat – pretending to offer free Cracker Jacks! :)

  • http://www.directsaleswebmarketing.com Dennis Edell

    LOL Nice. You realize that wasn’t meant to you…not specifically anyway. ;)

    Dennis Edells last blog post..8 Effective Viral Marketing Techniques

  • http://www.marketingminefield.co.uk Marketing Ideas

    I completely agree about the problem of discounting – if people see a reduced price they’ll usually remember it and consider the product to be worth only the discounted price.

    One alternative to giving away free stuff is to include testimonials or an unexpected gift voucher. Including customer testimonials helps people feel happier about their purchase (reducing the likelihood of returns) and gift vouchers naturally encourage customers to return without having to tarnish the perceived value of a product by reducing its price.

  • http://www.SEO-writer.com/blog/ David Leonhardt

    Free is good on many levels. Perhaps the most important one is that they get to sample something before they buy. It’s a safe way to see if they want to buy.

    David Leonhardts last blog post..You Need Sucky Links

  • http://www.batterycity.co.uk/ Digital camera batte

    Exactly, I am also with this post. Free is a highly competitive and more traffic driven keyword. Using the free we get much traffic because everyone wants a free service in the field. Thats why your article is conceptual. Thanks for the nice & valuable information.

  • http://www.directsaleswebmarketing.com Dennis Edell

    Just be extra careful with “free trials” so as not to “accidentally” pay for the first month or whatever without realizing.

    Dennis Edells last blog post..Did You Know You Can Refund Domain Names?

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  • http://www.akkustadt.de/ Duracell akkus

    Excellent post. It also very informative post how to grow our business. Thanks for sharing it here..

  • http://www.kittelsoncarpo.com/outsourcing-consulting-philippines Outsourcing Philippines

    The “FREE” word is really attractive almost to everyone. It is true that the attached mind set of the people to this is lower or degraded quality of the product or service being offered. There are lot of sites that uses free and they are all competing to be the number one ranking for the search engines. It still ends up looking at the content and value of the site being endorsed.

  • http://psychicgeek.com witchypoo

    Yep. Free is my favourite price.

    witchypoos last blog post..Mining the Search Strings

  • http://xlgroupblog.com/tag/roger-hamilton Roger Hamilton

    Free is of course attractive! Who dosen’t want FREE?

    Roger Hamiltons last blog post..Start Blogging Today with XL!

  • http://www.meetup.com/seo-mumbai-india/ Mumbai SEO

    Yes, freebies create a lot of interest on almost any website. Apart from getting traffic and incoming links, it is also a good source of making money by including your affiliate links in freebies like ebooks.

  • http://www.comfortableshoes.com/shoes/All-Genders/Dansko/ Dansko

    I wonder if “free” adds value to higher-end products or services. If you are trying to sell a Ferrari, and it is advertised as having free floor mats – that might not sound very good.
    I do think “free” can add value to most things under a certain ceiling of perceived pre-existing value.

    Danskos last blog post..Kamik Boots Fall 2008

  • http://brewcityswing.com Kothar

    Even I have a number of sites with keyword “Free” somewhere in the domain. Its always better and easily pronounceable !

  • http://www.seodiva.net Seo Diva

    Interesting marketing strategy – I like it!