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E-Marketing Performance Blog

Where's the Value in Free?

I was reading a blog post by Steven Dean about collecting testimonials. I was fascinated by what he said about giving away products free of charge in return for feedback. He states that he got more of a response when he charged a discount rate in return of feedback, rather than giving away a free product:

The people who paid the small amount were much more likely to leave me feedback.

Free is bad?

This seems to go against everything the “experts” say about getting feedback. You’re supposed to give them something free right? But, what good is something that’s free? By giving your product a price, you’re giving it value. There is a whole group of people who will take anything that’s free, but those individuals most likely won’t sign up for any services that cost money.

Do you want coupon clippers or value seekers?

So again it’s about your target market. If you’re selling something that’s worth buying, why would you just give it away if it’s really a valuable product? You have to make your target market feel like they are really getting a deal when you give them a discount. If you give it to them free it must not be worth anything and if it is, you’re obviously desperate to get a client and maybe your not the expert you claim to be.

It’s similar to dating when you were in high school, hopefully not when you get older and are supposed to mature. The less attention you pay to someone, the more they pay to you. So when you just give it away, the interest naturally dissipates. Just one of those quirky human nature things I guess. But any relationship that comes from playing games is bound to fail.

Make meaningful relationships with valuable people

Valuable people expect to pay for value. So, next time you think you’ll give away your product just to get someone to say how great it is, think twice. You’ve already lowered their expectations by giving it away. Make them pay and they’ll see the real value.

Max Speed

If the Pole Position Marketing team had a muse—and it does—it would be Max Speed. We love Max’s occasionally off-color, usually amusing and always pointed “Maxisms.” (Maybe “Maxims” would be a better word.) Max gives voice to some of the things we think but, bound by professional decorum, aren’t permitted to say. At least, not out loud.

One Response to Where's the Value in Free?

  1. Federocp says:

    I totally agree. I have tested this over and over and everytime, offering a discounted price gets me more testimonials than giving it away. Plus, you have the advantage of getting a new *paying* customer (even if they are paying pennies) on your list.