What a loaded topic this one is. This post comes from a discussion I was having with my son today. Stephen just finished taking his second year of marketing in college in Toronto. The discussion we were having is nothing is truly free. Personally I prefer the term no cost but that term is not so sexy when you are trying to get a potential lead to optin on a landing page so we all use the term free.

As I said free is not truly free. There is always a cost of admission/cost to play the game. Let  us look at a couple of scenarios and break them down for you to understand where we are coming from. They include the following:

  1. Signing up for a “FREE” E-Book.
  2. Using a store loyalty card that gives me a 10% discount.
  3. By ordering a new smart phone LG sends me a free 4K 43 inch tv. (yes this one is true).

1.0 Signing Up For a “Free” E-Book.

Welcome to the world of E-Mail Marketing. The reason the E-Book is not truly free is there is a cost of admission. The cost is your E-Mail Address. Many people would say really? The answer is yes. Let us explain.

When you went to the lading page, you entered in your E-Mail address. The company or person marketing the E-Book now has you on their mailing list. This now allows them to E-Mail market to you. Yes you can opt out at any time but this method is highly effective. So effective that is repeated thousands of time over and over every day. There is an old saying “The Money is in the List”. Their is truth to this. The bigger and more qualified the list is, the better chance that you can turn leads into customers from your list.

2.0 Using a Store Loyalty Card That Gives Me a 10% Discount

This one should be obvious as well. Every time you use your store loyalty card the store obtains more and more marketing data about you the customer. It allows them to tailor campaigns directly at you to increase your frequency as a customer as well as the cost of the items that you purchase from them. This is very valuable data and well worth giving you the customer 10% for.

Data that can be obtained from the store loyalty program can include the following:

  1. Frequency of purchases.
  2. Type of purchases.
  3. Cost of purchases.
  4. Age associated with a sample group purchasing certain products.
  5. Time of day that you come into the store to make purchases.
  6. Did you pay credit, cash or debit for the purchases.
  7. What type of products were bought together?

These are just a few ideas but you get the idea. This is valuable information for any retailer.

3.0 By Ordering a New Smart phone LG Sends Me a Free 4K 43 Inch TV.

LG increased their sales numbers by offering this promotion. It was a limited time one. The smart phone was worth over $1200 retail and the TV was worth $700 retail. What most people do not realize is the cost on the TV is around $200. So for $200 LG has increased their sales dramitically.

What a smart move to increase sales on a higher ticket item. Plus it increased awareness of the LG brand. A double win.

Wrapping It Up

These are just 3 examples of no cost to you promotions. Remember none of them was 100% free. You had to do something to get each one of these promotions. There was a cost of admission to play the game. Remember nothing is 100% free.

Please share your thoughts and comments in the box below.