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Why is FREE not enough?

The significance of the word FREE cannot be overstated. Getting free stuff is a nice thing for anyone. At any trade or networking event, people can't help but hoard as much free merch as possible.

But, when it comes to selling your idea – product or service – to a potential customer, FREE is never enough. Because the scepticism associated with FREE alone is often too strong.

When something is given away for free, prospects wonder if it is valuable. People, in general, don't want to clutter up their lives if they can avoid it. And advertisers who rely on FREE in their ads to persuade and influence frequently overlook two other critical elements.

The word FREE only becomes irresistible when linked to a direct prospect benefit, and the formula that makes FREE work is as follows:

Free + limited time + at least one prospect benefit from using what is free = a compelling offer that inspires an immediate response.

So, if you're an advertiser with something free to offer, such as a:

- Free brochure

- Free catalogue

- Free newsletter

- Free trial

- Free quote

- Free gift

- Free sample

What you prospect is seeing in this list above are only features. To gain a response, each must be transformed into a client-centred benefit. You have to communicate to the prospect your FREE incentive is something of value which:

- only they can have

- others can't have or will have to pay for

- has a retail value that they get at no cost

- offers them some defined, explicit, persuasive benefit – if they act by a particular time

This makes the prospect want your FREE incentive. It feels more exclusive because prospects understand the benefits of responding on time.

So here's our own freebie for you.

Send us any two advertising or marketing assets and expect a response within two weeks. We'll gladly give you a free evaluation (usually worth £101) of what you're using to improve it. And if significant surgery is required, we'll let you know how we can help. Either way, stop using communications that cost money but make less of it. Email and use FREE PERFORMANCE EVALUATION as the subject.

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