Last Updated on October 23, 2018
Customer loyalty is a vital element for every business. Companies apply many marketing methods to gain more clients as well as to retain the existing ones. However, the subject of offering freebies is a controversial one. Some people think that freebies may help the business grow, while others think that this technique does not have real benefits when it comes to your company’s success.
What Exactly Is a Freebie?
A freebie is usually part of a bigger marketing strategy in which a company gives different things to its customers. These offerings are either free of charge, or they cost a small amount of money. The purpose of this strategy is to increase the business’ sales as well as raising awareness and improving the company’s image.
Usually, the freebie technique is applied to complementary goods. For example, to persuade potential buyers to purchase a company’s main product, the business’ marketers can offer some of the accessories for free. This can be the case when you buy a printer, and you receive the ink for free, for a certain period.
Offering freebies is not a new marketing strategy. It was developed a long time ago. Nowadays, some companies have stopped offering free things because this type of marketing plan did not work for them. However, every business is unique and freebies can work better for your company compared to your competitors.
How to Develop a Strong Freebie Strategy?
First and foremost, you need to be aware of the fact that many people are used to receiving something for free without making any further purchase. This is why you need to be extra careful when creating and applying a freebie strategy.
Do’s and Don’ts of a Freebie Strategy
When you think of creating a marketing strategy consisting of freebies, you must follow the guidelines described below:
- Set proper objectives. A good way to determine your goals is to make them M.A.R.T. Therefore, make sure you have specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-manageable objectives. Furthermore, you should include these goals into the whole marketing plan, to create a unique and cursive way to address your customers.
- Know who you are addressing to. Know your target audience. Moreover, you can even create a buyer persona, which includes the complete description of your ideal customer. This way you will find out all the socio-demographic traits of your target market. A good freebie strategy is based on the accuracy level of your buyer persona.
- Don’t rush into releasing an uninteresting freebie on the market. Create freebies that are useful for the clients. To do this, you must first find out what your customers need.
- Raise awareness. Using a freebie strategy, you can increase the business’ awareness. However, there are some steps to follow to achieve a higher level of popularity. For example, a good idea is to label all your freebies with your company’s logo. This way, people might get curious to discover what you have to offer.
- More than just a sale. A useful freebie along with a strong marketing strategy will provide your business more than just a few sales. A more important thing you want to achieve is your customer’s loyalty. On the long term, loyal clients will bring you bigger profits than just a few sales.
- Dig deeper. Try to find as many details as you can about what your clients would like to receive. A good way to do this is to perform a survey. Many big companies ask their clients to complete surveys to find some useful customer insights. Target’s feedback survey, for instance, allows consumers to voice their opinion on the services provided to them and any improvements that could be made.
- Make sure it is a win-win situation. When you offer freebies, you expect something in return. The freebie strategy has to offer a good solution for both you and your clients. They must be an incentive for further
- Limited time. When giving away freebies, you should inform your clients that the offer is only available a short period. This way, the customers will be persuaded quicker.
There are some things you should consider when thinking of what to avoid during a freebie strategy implementation:
- Don’t offer useless things. If you do that, your clients will only feel frustrated and get annoyed. Furthermore, this kind of poorly managed method can affect your company’s image.
- When offering freebies thy to collect valuable information about your clients such as their contact details. However, don’t play with their trust. Be opened about how you will use this information.
- Do not offer a better freebie than the main product. A freebie strategy is used to enhance the importance of your actual product and attract more customers into buying it. If you offer freebies that surpass the value of the main good, then your sales will not increase as expected. All these, as well as many other guidelines, are extremely useful for your business when it comes to freebie offerings.
Main Benefits of a Freebie Strategy
- Increased visibility. By labeling all your freebies, your brand will achieve a higher awareness. Word of mouth marketing can be very effective in the market. As long as you offer something of good quality that is also free of charge, everyone will simply love it. If they like it, they will also promote it to their friends and families. Therefore, the “snowball effect” will take place.
- Raising trust level. By offering a good and useful freebie, your clients will consider you more trustworthy. Gaining clients’ trust is something very hard to obtain, even for big companies. Once a customer gets used to a brand, and he/she likes it, he/she will stick to it. This is also because changes happen quite hard. As I mentioned before, trust is hard to achieve but is also very difficult to lose it once it is built.
- Makes clients buy more. When your customers receive a good quality freebie from you, they will get intrigued to find out what else you have to offer. Therefore, it is a good chance that they will come back and buy more.
- Brand associations. Giving the clients something free to enjoy and use, makes them create positive associations with your company and brand. This process is called a psychological anchor. In marketing, this is a positioning strategy, which refers to the way you place your brand in the consumer’s mind.
- Buying habits. When your clients give your brand a try, and they like it, they will continue purchasing your products. However, to make sure this happens, you have to offer freebies that will provide a positive experience to your consumers.
Other Ways in Which You Can Gain Your Clients’ Loyalty
- Anticipate needs. Even better, create new needs. Through your products, you can be several steps ahead of the customers. Your purpose is to provide them with exactly what they need and desire. If you can foresee the needs of your clients, then your chances of raising loyalty will increase.
- Target the right customers. Even though you might not gain a lot of profit from the very beginning of your business, you should invest in your customers. By doing this, you will assure the future of your company. Investing in the right customers will bring you long-term profits.
- Ask for feedback. Listen to all your customers’ complaints. Be good at fixing issues and regain your clients’ trust. Your customer’s opinions will turn out to be extremely valuable, and you will be able to improve your business if you follow that advice.
- Personalize your services. You will gain your customers’ attention and loyalty if you create unique and personal relationships with every each of them. Don’t just promote your brand, create a story to support your image. The more likable your company is, the higher your customers’ loyalty will get.
- Get digital. Nowadays, many of your customers are spending time online, on social media platforms. Therefore, you should align your business with these new trends. Moreover, you should improve your search engine optimization strategy as well as offer daily valuable and relevant content.
- Play by the book. This doesn’t mean you cannot develop a disruptive business idea. However, the ultimate tool that measures your clients’ loyalty is their level of satisfaction. Treat every customer the way you would like to be treated. Furthermore, you should adjust your way of interacting with them, so that every client feels important.
- Promote your most loyal clients. For example, you could organize contests and make sure to announce the winners publicly. This way, you could attract more potential customers as well as brand’s fans.
- Surprise your key customers. Whenever they have a special occasion or celebration, you can show them you are right by their side, by giving them a gift. It doesn’t have to be very expensive but tries to make it useful and of good Moreover, quality should be the main factor in everything your business does, from your products and services to the way you maintain your good relations with the clients.
In conclusion, offering freebies is a great method to enhance more customers as well as to increase your existing clients’ loyalty. If your product is really good and useful, and if you follow the guidelines described above, you will have bigger chances to be successful and gain customer’s trust.