Everyone loves to get something for free – as long as there are no strings attached. You can build your list with freebies to garner interest for the products that you are selling or promoting. You might be asking, “How does giving away free stuff make me any money?” Keep reading and you’ll see the benefits now and in the long run.

Return on Your Investment

The term “return on investment” or ROI is often used with real estate, but it plays a huge part in business too. When you buy something, you want to make sure that when you decide to sell it, you get more out of it than you put into it. Something similar happens to your business when you give away free products.

Free products are a way to get your foot in the door with potential customers. You want something from them – their information. This is not trickery, but an attempt to gain an opportunity to tell them about the product or service that you offer that can change their lives. If no one will listen, they will never know how wonderful your business is after all. It’s also one way to find out WHO is interested in what you have to offer. Be aware however, that just because they sign up to receive your freebie doesn’t mean they will automatically become a paying customer. As much as we all wish only those with open wallets would buy from us, there are those who will only stick around long enough to take your free offer then run. It’s ok – those who are genuinely interested in what you have to say, will stick around. Those are the ones you want anyway.

Types of Freebies

Free items can take many forms. Before choosing an item to offer for free, consider what you will gain (or lose) if someone does or doesn’t come back later to patronize your business. When you are working to define your niche market, think about offering smaller items like special reports.

If you are a writer as well as a businessperson, creating a special report on your chosen topic may take you a day or two. Since you have taken the time to research your niche, you know that you want to offer your product (let’s say lingerie) to older women. Your research showed that lingerie that is sexy and cute is only marketed to twenty-something or thirty-something women, leaving older women out of the demographics. Offer a free report on choosing age-appropriate lingerie to help build a targeted list of potential customers.

Think Long Term When Designing Your Offer

The object here is not quick cash but long term sales. If you get 100 names from this one freebie, at least half may come back for another look. It’s important to note, that whatever you say in your reports you bear out in your product or on your website. Case in point, if you suggest black teddies for women over fifty, they had better be in your store if that age group is your target audience.

Freebies can be downloadable or tangible products. The main goal is to meet the needs of the visitors with something that will entice them to give you their information for your list. From there, you can follow up with more information to build a relationship that converts that visitor to a customer.

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