In terms of reaching your target market, free giveaways or free samples are more successful in earning a response from your audience. Free samples are surprisingly more cost effective than traditional marketing.
Using “free” as a strategy allows businesses to reach potential customers that may have never reached with traditional marketing. Often, your potential core consumer doesn’t even realize your product or service is needed until they’ve experienced it firsthand. Hence why free samples are the way to wiggle your way into new customers ‘must haves.’
If you’re going to try this premise, the item, service or content you provide must have value to your target customers. By delivering the value your core customer most desires, you will not only pique interest but odds are you’ll also gain a loyal customer.
Why is free so powerful?
By giving away a free sample of your core product, you are reaching potential customers that may not have realized your business or product line existed. When people try a product first they are more likely to buy it later because sampling fosters reciprocity and brand loyalty.
Stepping outside of your target audience might seem daunting but this is crucial to increase exposure of your product and company. Free samples increase your product and company’s awareness.
Since this broad, new audience now has your product in their hands, consumers make both a physical and mental connection. Next time they are in the store or shopping online and come across your product, they are more likely to make a purchase. Thus, making the transition to becoming a customer all because of the familiarity they had from your free sample.
Law of Reciprocity
In a book written by renowned professor and author Robert Cialdini, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, the “rule of reciprocation” states that if someone gives us something, we feel obligated to give something back. It is an inert tendency in humans to feel compelled to reciprocate when given a gift (whether it is a gift, act of kindness or unexpected free item). This means when we give something of value away free, our core consumer should give us something in return. This may equate to future business, a referral or brand loyalty.
Word of Mouth Marketing
Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective marketing tools. This is successful when people spontaneously talk about your product, service or brand. There is no better way to do this then with the power of free.
Happy users or customers are more likely to sing a company’s praises and refer their friends and family. When people tell others about your product they are referring new customers, free of charge your way. When you reach potential new customers with your free sample they are likely to talk about it with their friends, family and coworkers. These conversations are where your product will gain reputability.
Word-of-mouth marketing will increase your marketing budget, after all, your customers are doing your marketing for you!
Have you ever seen a free Starbucks day online? It is picked up by the media, talked about amongst your target market and goes viral across social platforms. The buzz surrounding free can get millions of impressions for less than a paid ad. The goodwill created by delivering this experience will be tenfold.
It’s easier to keep your customers happy than it is to get new ones. Outside of your current customers talking about your product and business, it is essential for you to continue to increase new customers.
Once you have won your customer over with your free offer, they are more likely to upgrade and spend more if they like what you offer. Retained customers buy more often and spend more than first time customers. Once customers learn the value of your product they come back again and again.
Brands that attract new users with a free offer forge new relationships. Long-term these relationships translate into valuable brand awareness, increased sales, loyalty and an unprecedented ROI.
For more social media and brand communication tips – follow Communication Strategist Edan Gelt and her recent blog series – edangelt.com/blog.
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