How to Use Freebies and Samples to Generate Leads

lead generation, lead nurturing

November 26, 2014 by

Whoever said that there is no such thing as a free lunch obviously never heard of lead generation. Smart marketers and business owners know that giving away something for nothing has a lot of bonuses that go well beyond that seasonal “it’s better to give than to receive” feeling. When it’s done right, offering a freebie can cultivate goodwill, generate leads to participate, and help you reach a whole new group of potential customers. And don’t forget, a good freebie will get your leads to fill out a form, so you have their details for further marketing.

generate leads

For many brands, the freebie giveaway of choice is a social media contest. I’ve written about these little lead generation bonanzas here, and I think that they serve a valuable purpose in any social media marketing strategy. Still, there is a big difference between a contest where the winner gets a freebie, and a form where everyone’s a winner. Competition giveaways are great for ramping up engagement, but they don’t have that instant feel-good effect for each and every lead.

Free samples are a good move at just about any step in your sales funnel, since they can obviously help sway doubting or hesitant leads to commit to a purchase. Whether it’s a handful of color swatches or a full prototype of a customized product, the benefit of offering these free samples will almost always outweigh the cost, as long as you are as good as you say (you are, right?). If it’s the difference between an abandoned shopping cart and a considerable purchase, you’ll always be glad you handed over a little work for free.

Meet New Friends

But since our focus here is on lead generation and not lead nurturing, let’s look at how to use samples and freebies to meet new leads, and tempt them into your sales funnel. You’ll be making a great first impression by offering something in return for their interest in your products or services. And as we all know, often a first impression is the only chance you’ll get! There are many websites and social media pages like Freebies Frenzy that spread the word on free giveaways, so you could reach a huge audience and generate leads if your offer gets picked up and disseminated in this way.

Related Class: Social Media Demand Generation

Standard procedure for many businesses is to offer a free consultation or free service. This is a great way to get new people into the store or business, which is without a doubt the hardest part of turning leads into customers. A computer shop that offers a free preliminary workup is likely to also get that customer’s business when hardware or software issues are found in the consultation. You’ll often see automotive shops offering your first oil change for free, or free tire rotation. That’s because they know that you’ll probably think of them first when your Check Engine light comes on, or when it’s been 3,000 miles since that free oil change.

Build a Friendly Rapport - with Free Stuff

If you’re running a brick and mortar business as opposed to eCommerce, you can probably take a leaf out of that playbook. What services can you afford to offer for free? What product can you hand to every new customer when it’s their first time through the door? It’s not groundbreaking in terms of strategy, but you shouldn’t underestimate the tried-and-true approach. Customers want to feel valued, and to feel a connection with your business. Giving something in exchange for their interest is an instant reward that won’t go unnoticed. Just be sure to publicize it clearly on your website and social media channels, so newcomers just checking out your business for the first time know what is on offer to them.

generate leads

eCommerce companies can get in on the action by offering freebies that leads can access just by filling out a simple form. Want to get them on board and buying your merchandise? Offer free samples of your products, at a level that you can afford in terms of value and shipping. If that’s not practical (if you sell bulky or heavy products only), you can custom design a small, branded freebie that can tempt leads to get in touch. Or, do what many, many online businesses do: offer a free whitepaper or guide that’s very relevant and very valuable to your target demographic.

Offer Free Content

A smart whitepaper (with a compelling title and descriptive blurb) has all the appeal of a freebie, but offers other benefits as well. You’ll have a chance to impress the lead, your reader, with your insights and ideas, perhaps convincing them in the process that you’re a good partner for them to work with. And you’ll be able to share some of your brand personality with the reader as well, creating the basis for a relationship that you can build on later with email and other marketing follow-ups.

With the right landing page and form, your freebie will pay off in a lead that you can cultivate through email, direct mail, or social media. Generate good feelings and great leads by getting into that seasonal giving spirit – all year round.

Want to learn more about generating new leads? Check out this class, Increase Lead Generation Quality, Conversion & Velocity, to find out why aligning sales and marketing can help you achieve the best conversions for your business.

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