One of the most effective techniques to attract new clients and customers is to give something to them. A FREE something. Maybe more than one free something. Why? Because there's always more to come back for and you're going to give them a taste of what working with you, or shopping at your store, will be like. If they enjoy or benefit from the experience of your giveaway they will be back for more.
I also believe that part of having a million-dollar-mindset includes the desire to reach out and touch more people. So for the individuals who enjoy the experience of your giveaway and still don't come back, perhaps you've added something to their life that they wouldn't have otherwise been able to experience. You may never know how your giveaway touched those people, but you can enjoy knowing that you've helped someone or perhaps made their lives easier or more pleasant in some way.
In return for your generosity, you should be able to receive contact information from your prospect. If you run an e-tail site your giveaway could be a gift with a purchase, unless it's an informational giveaway that doesn't require a purchase, but not always. Let's take a look at a successful e-tail model, vistaprint.com. If you've visited this website, you know that their primary products are business cards. You can upload your own design, or customize one of their many designs. And guess what? In most cases it's free. That's right; an entire box of business cards all for the cost of shipping. Yet, because of their aggressive upselling and marketing techniques, VistaPrint is running strong. Although their typical customer may visit the site for the free business cards, after upgrades to the card and going through an aggressive check out process, I'm sure the average sale is somewhere around $50-75. You see, visitaprint has something every entrepreneur loves, his or her logo. Once you upload your logo for your business cards and begin the checkout process, you will see it plastered across pens, car magnets, notepads, website banners and much more. Who can resist? It's quick, easy, and reasonably priced. So a visit to their store ends end up costing about what it would have cost you to use your local printer, but you walk out with much more merchandise.
If you are a service business, like a coach, web designer, or consultant, the giveaway could be a white paper, audio download, or even software or a widget. Again, make it valuable. Talk to most any successful consultant or coach and they will tell you that they giveaway loads of good stuff. Some even giveaway an entire course or series of helpful articles that will aid the visitor in achieving an important goal. In the case of Internet Marketing and Business Development Consultant, Travis Greenly, you will receive audio downloads, workbooks, sales courses, and much more, simply for leaving your email address.
Darren Rowse, known as ProBlogger gives away incredible values on his blog. There are free templates, articles ranging from how to write your "about me" page to how to monetize your blog. His readership grew rapidly and I'm sure his blog is well monetized!
When you're developing your giveaway think about what best represents the most favorable aspects of your business. What part of working or shopping with you most benefits your clients or customers? Then give away of taste of that experience. Don't worry about giving it all away, there's more to come back for. Consider large grocery store chains that sell a common household product, like milk, for only pennies above what they pay at wholesale. Why? Because an inexpensive gallon of milk draws customers to the store and they rarely check out with only a gallon of milk in their cart.
What's your "lost leader?" What will leave them wanting more? Share your ideas. What's worked for you, what hasn't?
Last updated: Apr 13, 2009
MARLA TABAKA is a small-business adviser who helps entrepreneurs around the globe grow their businesses well into the millions. She speaks widely on combining strategic and creative thinking for optimum success and happiness. @MarlaTabaka