Ask Our Experts - Should I Offer Something for “Free”?

By Keith Goodman, VP, Corporate Solutions, Modern Postcard

Question: Should I offer something for “free”?

Answer: The free or trial offer is one of the best things you can do if your product or service will support it. In my presentations, I always ask my audience to name two Fortune 500 companies that became powerhouses using the Trial Offer.

One example is AOL, which used what began as a 40 hour free trial and became One Free Month. The other was Xerox, which started selling small business copiers by putting one in an office for 30 days with an offer to pick it up if the prospect didn’t like it. Considering the Xerox replaced the old mimeograph machines, infamous for the purple sheets and alcohol smell, how many do you think ever came back? Less than ½ of 1 percent.

Companies in both the business to business and business to consumer markets have very successfully used free trial offers. I highly recommend them.

Keith Goodman, VP Corporate Solutions, a 20-year veteran of direct mail marketing, has helped companies such as IBM, Hughes, Avery and Amway increase the profitability of their direct mail programs. He's spoken at hundreds of seminars and conferences around the country, helping thousands of people get better results and greater ROI for their marketing dollars.

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