Marketing freebies are something you perhaps associate with trade shows. Who hasn’t been given an ink pen with a company logo or seen a brand T-shirt or two? Giving away marketing freebies can boost your promotional efforts. However, if you aren’t strategic with your giveaways, then you’re going to waste a lot of money without seeing much return.

Rules for Giving Away Marketing Freebies

If you want this particular form of marketing to be successful, you have to think about your target audience just as you would with any other marketing campaign.

For example, there are many websites that list freebies that people can request. These people are not your target audience. More than likely, they simply flit from one site to the next, gathering free items along the way. Once you spend time and money getting the free item to these people, you will likely never hear from them again.

Instead, be very strategic in how you give away freebies and who you give them to.

Tip # 1: Giving Away Marketing Freebies at Local Events

One way to control who you give your freebies away to is to set up a booth at a local event related to your niche market. This allows you to meet customers face-to-face, talk to them for a bit, and figure out if they are truly interested in what you have to offer. If they are, you can offer them quality freebies, such as a book bag, a jacket, or a free T-shirt. Everyone else gets something inexpensive, such as a pen or key ring.

Tip # 2: Make the Freebie a Sample

One way to sell your product or event offering is to offer a free sample. For example, if you are offering cooking classes, you could pass out sample bites outside your establishment.

If you run an escape room business, you can give away a sample video of an event. If you run a conference, you can offer a recording of one of the workshops from last year’s conference. The sample should highlight what more you have to offer to be really effective.

Tip # 3: Learn the Reciprocity Principle

According to Time, when people receive something for nothing, they feel obligated to buy more from that company. This is called the reciprocity principle. However, it is important to make sure you get your sample into the hands of people who would typically use that type of thing anyway, as mentioned above.

For example, USA Today reported that on Free Slurpee Day that Slurpee sales were up 38%. What was discovered was that people got the free sample size, but then went ahead and bought the larger size of the product after trying it.

Tip # 4: Leak the Freebie to Influencers in Your Niche

One way to gain some marketing traction is to let influencers in your niche know that you are offering the freebie on a certain date. This allows the influencer to break the information to his or her readers first.

Influencers can help drive massive amounts of traffic to your website, so you definitely want to get them involved. Make sure you send the influencer a sample of the freebie for their own use as well. This could even lead to a personal review of the product from the influencer, which would have even more impact on potential leads.

Tip # 5: Require Contact Info for Marketing Freebies

Even if your freebie is an ebook, be sure to collect at least an email address. This will allow you to contact the lead at a later date with more information on your events. Even though some of those subscribers may later leave your list, some will feel they should stay in return for the marketing freebie.

What You Should Give Away

There are so many different freebies you can give away. The key to a good freebie is finding something that represents your business but won’t break the bank. If you spend more money than the promotion brings in, then you will quickly start to lose traction. Instead, figure out how much you can afford and stick to your budget. With the right approach and the right giveaway, you’ll find that promotional giveaways can be extremely effective.