Particularly in the current climate, thinking of offering products, services, or information freely seems somewhat counterintuitive to running a successful business. Not only does it not guarantee a return on investment, but some will see it as an easy way for competitors to size you up accurately. But there are some benefits to businesses giving certain things for free.
However, customers are also more inclined to seek and side with businesses that have free offerings right now, giving a greater profile to those who can and will offer value for nothing upfront. There are a couple of different ways to do this, which results in different benefits to your business. Here’s a look at them and how they work.
Reciprocity Makes Free Giveaways Worthwhile
Free giveaways, free contests and free samples are often seen as risky, particularly for small businesses, and yet, they are among the most tried and trusted marketing approaches under capitalism. The core reason why the approach works is the law of reciprocity, which dictates that people are far more willing to respond to an act of kindness likewise than to buy into something off their own backs.
If you’re willing to give something without expecting to receive something in return, it does wonders for your brand’s image and opens up your products and services to those who may not have necessarily tried them before. Nowadays, with social media running amok, free giveaways to even a small set of followers can quickly reach far beyond your hard-earned audience
When something’s free, and people can receive value from that free product, they want to share it with others, further spreading the goodwill for the brand. At the end of a promotion like this, you’ll have more reach and far more people who not only know your brand, but perhaps now have a preferred product, and maybe even some who want to explore more of your range.
Knowledgeable Customers Are More Valuable
Whether you’re offering a fantastic new product or service that will revolutionise how people go about their everyday lives or are presenting a better version of what’s already out there, you can bet that there’ll always be some potential customers who don’t fully understand what’s on offer. This can even be the case with products like credit cards. Sure, they’re everywhere, but every day someone new gets a credit card.
It’s because of this fact and the desire to offer value to customers that many have taken to setting up extensive but clear-cut FAQs. Reeling back to the example above, you can now find a comprehensive credit card help page that gives you all of the information that you need to know. It includes how to report a lost card, how to activate, setting up direct debits, using the app with the credit card, changing credit limits and more.
Knowledgeable customers are far more valuable, not only because they know how to make the most of your offering, but also because they’re more likely to remain happy, spread the word, and not be as likely to bog down customer service lines. Along the lines of the pros of having a strong FAQ page, many businesses are turning to webinars. It’s important that you optimise webinars for responses so that you can benefit from the sessions, but giving valuable information in this intuitive way does earn favour.
It can be tough to make the call to offer something for nothing, but if it gives value to customers or potential customers, it will prove valuable to your business in the long run.