If you’re one of the 726,000 people who started a new business in the UK last year, you’ll know that businesses are having to work harder than ever to engage customers and convince them to fork over their hard-earned cash.
Crucially, in order to stand out from the crowd and grow your business, you need to be able to grab people’s attention. Instead of opting for overly complicated SEO strategies or digital marketing alchemy, your best bet in the early days of your business growth might be to go for one of the time-honoured marketing tactics that have worked for centuries: freebie marketing. As the name aptly suggests, this is any marketing activity that involves giving away free products or services as a means of luring in regular customers and building brand awareness. If you’re ready for a killer freebie marketing campaign but don’t know where to start, here are some tips and examples from brands that are ahead of the curve.
Creating a Signature Product
One consistently successful way to pull off a freebie marketing stunt is to focus on a single, signature product or service and make this the focus on the campaign. There are many examples of this being done successfully across all industries, but none are perhaps more iconic than the 7-Eleven Slurpee Campaign.
7-Eleven knows its customers, and it knows that those customers are big fans of the classic 7-Eleven Slurpee, which itself has become something of a cultural icon. In order to capitalise on this and create a freebie marketing campaign that they knew would work, they launched their legendary Free Slurpee Day, which takes place on July 11th every year. Although the convenience store brand gives away more than four million free beverages on this day, the following week sees an average 38% increase in in-store sales, far outstripping the initial cost of the giveaway.
Expand Your Target Audience
If you have a more limited product offering or have perhaps not yet reached the point where you have a signature product or service that you can offer customers, you could instead use a freebie marketing campaign to broaden your target audience.
You could theme your campaign around different ways that your products can be used, in order to raise awareness and maximise potential sales. One successful example of this in action is the Jell-O Recipe Giveaway. Every year, the gelatin brand Jell-O offers hundreds of free recipes to customers, alongside a free pack of Jell-O to make it with. The recipes showcase how versatile their product is, ranging from Jell-O salads to Jell-O sandwiches. The tactic has been credited with boosting annual sales by millions of dollars a year.
Give Your Customers Flexibility
Another benefit of a freebie giveaway is that it can be used to forge a connection between your brand and customers, allowing you to engage with your customers without them feeling pressured into making a purchase from you.
By offering a free taste of your products or services, customers can relax and get familiar with your brand to see whether it’s worth paying for. One example of this in action can be found in the online casino industry, where some of the leading platforms allow users to play for free without even needing to sign up for an account. As a result of the popularity of this method, there are directories that collate information about online casinos within a certain geographical area. They note factors such as competitive welcome bonuses and incentives for each listing, as well as other advantages like no deposit schemes. By compiling all this comprehensive information in an accessible, easy-to-use way, customers are spared the often off-putting process of signing up or creating an online account. In addition, offering top-tier slot and poker games for free gives customers a chance to actually test your brand offerings before potentially showing their commitment as a long-term player.
Create a Free Product to Promote a Paid One
Another highly effective way to run a freebie campaign is to create a dedicated free product solely for the purposes of that campaign, in order to promote your paid products. This is a tactic that is especially popular within the tech sector, where many successful brands will offer free-to-use versions of software products in order to show what their paid content can offer. One stellar example of this is Testive, an e-learning platform that helps people prepare for exams and qualifications.
In order to generate some buzz, they released a freemium version of their exam training software which acted as a marketing brochure for the company, showcasing all of the perks that paying subscribers can take advantage of. This is freebie marketing at its very best.
These are some of our favourite examples of freemium marketing. Try them out to see how this tactic can grow your brand.