In our short marketing course today, here’s a quick look at one of the most powerful marketing tools for creating a continuing flow of customers to consider your product or business—offering something FREE!
Everyone from sellers of corporate jets to consultants to you name it, can use what we’re covering in our short marketing course today, to get more people noticing, trying and buying from you while reducing the fear that you have a great product but no one knows about it.
So let’s begin our short marketing course today with a simple fact…
By far, the most powerful word in marketing is FREE. So offering something for free is a simple way to grab people’s attention. And just about anyone watching today’s short marketing course could use it to bring attention to their product or service.
Last year I saw an Arizona realtor who gave away a free weekend in his furnished model homes, as a way to get Californians and locals to find out if they liked the development he had built. Seeing the words FREE SAMPLE on billboards and in magazines, to advertise model homes, was so surprising, he got loads of attention and sold out the entire development in near-record time.
A major seller of jet leases offered a free trial of their products to people interested in becoming a client, again with great success.
As you can surmise from today’s short marketing course, if a realtor and a jet leasing company could benefit from offering something FREE, isn’t this something you also could use, to help win more customers for your product or business?
Offering free samples, especially when you stretch your mind beyond the ordinary, could be a powerful way to gain positive attention and more customers for your business.
A Midwest bank famously offered a free bag of onions to anyone who opened a new bank account with them. Onions, you say? It was kinda funny, but their clients laughed… all the way to the bank.
Today’s short marketing course can apply more conventionally as well.
A lawyer I work with is continually conducting free seminars on topics from workers’ comp to creating a living trust for your family to you name it, as a way to get plenty of potential clients to meet him and find out how knowledgeable he is.
Giving away free samples of your food in a shopping mall is a natural. Mrs. Fields built her cookie shops into a huge success by handing out free samples to passers-by in the malls where they were located.
But of course, our short marketing course today is not going to just leave you with the ordinary. How about giving away a free last will and testament for an office supplies store, or a financial planner? How about free coffins or burial plots for seniors who would consider a retirement village, where you could partner your promotion with a local mortuary?
Okay, maybe that last one was stretching it a little. But the point of today’s short marketing course is, if you get creative, you could offer some pretty cool stuff that really gets people’s attention, and brings customers into your store or business.
How about a free magic show by a local magician, for a magic shop, a toy store, a bookstore, or even a restaurant? Hollywood’s Magic Castle is one of the region’s top attractions. Why not with your business? You could have a magic contest, with the patrons judging the best magician, who wins some kind of prize?
Piggybacking your free product on top of someone else’s product can also be a valuable way to win more customers. This is commonly done with Internet marketers. Buy their product and they’ll give you free samples of other people’s products.
This short marketing course technique is regularly used by companies like Target, McDonald’s and Toys-R-Us, who piggyback onto movie launches. Offering something free or for a low cost from an upcoming film, they drive people into their stores.
So, why couldn’t you use the winner of a local spelling bee, or a teacher of the year, or a local author, or something even more creative or surprising. Like a local beekeeper who explains how he bee-keeps, or whatever he does. The more fun you have, the more attention you can gain. Grocery chain Trader Joe’s features recipes from around the world in their in-store and distributed flyers, which build goodwill and help cement customers to them.
This short marketing course technique applies to advertising creators, who sometimes do pro bono free work for high-profile non-profit agencies to gain name recognition for themselves. With these types of clients, usually they’ll try something a little more daring than they might do for a regular paying client. But that daring could translate into big-name recognition that leads to years and decades of growth for their business.
Like the Partnership for a Drug Free America that created the campaign of eggs frying in a sizzling pan with the line, “This is your brain on drugs. Any questions.”
This iconic campaign is considered one of the most influential in advertising history and instantly turned the creators into advertising’s hottest team.
So, is there something high-profile that you could do for free?
Another example in today’s short marketing course is Staples, the office supplies chain. They give free $10 coupons to every household and business within a 5 mile radius of a store they open in a totally new region.
Could you give free $10 coupons to everyone in your neighborhood? How about a restaurant giving a $5 coupon to everyone at a large employer in your neighborhood? If 200 people show up for lunch, that’s $1,000 – which is less than you’d spend for advertising. And you’d be bringing natural repeat customers into your restaurant to try what you have.
I helped a contractor create a Free Report, which we later turned into a free video – with The Top 10 Ways to Hire a Contractor Without Losing Your Shirt. He offered it free to everyone he met, featuring it on his website, mentioning it in talks and listing it on business cards he handed out. A powerful way to get people to visit your website and to build trust so they consider hiring you.
Or… another way to use our tip from today’s short marketing course is, you could offer a Bring-a-Friend-Free coupon to every customer. It’s basically buy-one get-one-free. But this gets your customers to bring a friend next time they show up.
And lastly, today’s short marketing course would be incomplete without mentioning the wacky free idea Fuddruckers, the restaurant chain initially located near universities, came up with. At first they considered having a 20% coupon. But then someone got the great idea. 20% is one-fifth. So rather than giving out coupons with one-fifth off, why don’t we have one day FREE. That would actually cost less, because they were opened 7 days a week.
So they came up with this ingenious idea. Each week they would randomly pick a day when every customer would eat free. They would not announce it, and if you got the notice on your bill that THIS MEAL IS FREE, you could not shout it out to the rest of the restaurant, so they wouldn’t suddenly load up with extra food.
This creative idea turned Fuddruckers into a phenomenon on college campuses, generating huge buzz without their needing to spend an extra dime on advertising or promotion.
The point of today’s short marketing course is this…
Whatever business you’re in, what could you offer FREE that would generate buzz with your target audience and turn more of them into customers?