Message & Media: Free for All
• Free Upgrade: OK, so you never had any intention of charging for upgrades. When you tell customers you're giving them a free upgrade, you become a hero and have customers for life.
• Buy One, Get One Free: In a University of Missouri-Kansas City direct marketing class taught by legendary Bob Stone, I learned a lesson I will never forget. It reinforces the power of using the right combination of words. Bob told us about an A/B split test of two offer statements—"buy one, get one free" and "buy two for the price of one." While they mean the same thing and have the same dollar value, the one with the word free in it is normally the big winner.
• Free Preview: When you give it a name (e.g., preview), say it's free, and give it a dollar value, you capture attention. I've seen this work for newly launched magazines, collectible continuity programs, car sales, even ticket subscriptions for arts groups.
More "free" tips to try in your marketing materials:
• Whenever appropriate, give your free offer a retail price or dollar value (e.g., free shipping, regularly $10.95).
• Build perceived value by being a specific as possible (e.g., Your free kit includes a comparison checklist of the top of four manufacturers, plus 10 safety stickers for your equipment.)
• Use the words no obligation with the word free whenever it's accurate.
• Use the word on every component in your mailing (you never know which will be seen first) and when appropriate, on every page of your website.
• Test, test, test. Do an A/B split test offering a free quote vs. a quote, a free demonstration vs. no demo, a free gift vs. a mystery free gift, a free whitepaper against a free needs analysis. Then let me know what you learn.