Websites use freebies to attract more visitors and generate more sales. Some are desperate sales pitches while others are genuinely useful, such as freeware versions of proven software. However, merely having any giveaway for visitors to download does not guarantee a successful website. There’s a strategy to effective marketing with the use of freebies.
If your freebie is common and can easily be downloaded anywhere (a pdf reader, an audio converter), it may not help your new or struggling website gain prominence, especially against giant sites which have been giving away these sorts of things successfully for years. Visitors will follow familiar paths (links) toward these proven sites, even for simple free downloads. Giving away something unique creates a chance for paths to lead to your own, soon to be familiar site.
You can get away with a common product as long as it offers better utility than its fellow freebies of the same type. For instance, a freeware word processor will always get the attention of visitors who are unwilling to pay for the commercial ones. If your unpretentious word processor does a lot more than the pre-installed text editor in everybody’s operating system, it will be greatly appreciated by many.
It might take a bit more effort to scrounge the net for such a freebie that you can give to your site visitors but it will pay off when you start selling products because by then you would have already gained their trust with valuable freebies.
If your site is about sculpting rock-hard abs, let your gym rat visitors download a video of a corresponding workout routine. They’ll be shaking their heads if you try giving them an ebook on how to start their own garden.
The golden rule
Put yourself in your visitors’ shoes and ask yourself, “What would I want to get for free from this website?” Or, “What would I want to buy from this website?” Once you have a particular product in mind, offer a free sample of it for download, or a trial version, as mentioned.
If you are willing to give away something that you would pay for, it means the product has high value. If a freebie is this valuable, think of how valuable your potential buyers will perceive your premium products to be. Not only that, it will also create trust in your site and increase your credibility among buyers.
One thing that annoys users endlessly is downloading an advertisement that masquerades as a free, useful application. This practice invites distrust and as a marketing ploy will certainly backfire as it is quite apparent from this sort of trickery that you are after your visitors’ money without offering anything of value in return.
Keeping these simple tips in mind as you offer freebies to your visitors will more than likely convert them into buyers because you have earned their trust with your thoughtfulness and genuine regard for what they want or need.