The High Price of “Free”

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One of the most powerful words in the English language is the term “free,” and just about every company uses some kind of “free offer” in their marketing. “Buy one get one free”, “Get a free gift with purchase” or “Get free delivery” are just a few examples. It makes consumers feel as though they are getting a deal, or as though they are missing out if they don’t take advantage of something for free. However, using the word “free” in your marketing can be a double-edged sword, especially if not used correctly.

Using this term incorrectly can reduce product service value and do damage to a brand. Before using “free” in your marketing, ask yourself these three questions.

  1. Does this have a real value that we depend on for revenue?
  2. By offering this item or service for free, will this adversely impact another related service or product? For example, if you offer the first consult for free, will you expect to be paid for all future consults?
  3. Why are we considering offering something for free? What else could we offer that would help us achieve the same result?

“Free” is a mighty word used to grab attention in marketing but should be handled with caution. Don’t be lured into using it to stimulate short-term sales at the expense of long-term growth and devaluing your product. (Entrepreneur, 06.13.21)

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