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Give it away

Companies looking to make a profit do not usually like the idea of giving something away for free. However, despite the fact that it appears counterintuitive, often offering something for free is going to result in more engaged customers, and a much wider consumer base.

Encourages customers to do business with you- When you give customers something of value, they appreciate it, and usually they want to do something kind in return. When a customer is permitted to try your product or service without risk to them, because it is free, it makes them more open to doing business with you. Samples, or free whole products encourage engagement. Customers are more likely to get to know your brand and engage with you if they are getting something out of it.

Helps you get your foot in a door that may have been closed otherwise- Many people are unwilling to try something new or different because they do not want to take any risks. If they buy a brand they are unfamiliar with, and are unhappy with it, they are out the money, or time (if they are able to return it). Thus, an emerging brand, or a brand they have not tried before has little chance of gaining them as perspective customers because they are unwilling to take a risk. When you provide a free item, sample, etc. you allow them to become familiar with your product without spending any money to do so. This also allows them to form an unbiased opinion on how they feel about your product or service.

If it has real value, it will keep them engaged- Giving something of real value away for free usually results in engaged customers. They trust and respect a company that does not try to lure them in with a worthless sample, or a silly freebie, but rather provides them something that is real, that holds value, and that helps, or simplifies their life in some way. When you offer something that is free, and of value, customers are going to stick around.

Samples work, but so do real items that are part of an ongoing business plan- Samples are a great way to help get people familiar with your brand and product. An ongoing free item that is part of your business plan is going to result in engaged and loyal customers. For example, if you purchase a software and it comes with top of the line FREE customer service, you are more likely to use that software than a competitor software with online help, or paid help. When you purchase a membership, and part of the benefit is something free, that you actually want, will use, and would have paid for if it was not free, you are unlikely to let that membership expire or lapse. The point is, free as part on an ongoing marketing and business plan will increase customer loyalty and retention.

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