Freemiums in Action

Business websites are increasingly using the freemium, the free gift offered on the site’s first page, above the fold.  Visitors can access this ‘premium item’  in exchange for their email address. It’s an excellent strategy for growing your list while providing useful stuff to potential customers. If the freebie is high quality and truly brings satisfaction to the user, your brand has already made a new friend; and new friends will then become customers, if properly cultivated.

Let’s look at a few examples of free offers. These three show not only how varied your gifts may be, but also how creative you can be in the presentation of the offer. If the goal is to enlarge your mailing list, you’ll want to create an offer that is well-positioned to win trust.

Marisa MurgatroydMarisa Murgatroyd runs a full-service web design and internet marketing agency. People seeking those services may land on her homepage. And the first thing they see is not “Marisa Murgatroyd,” not “full-service web design and internet marketing agency,” not “We’re the best agency for all your internet needs!” What they see is the exact thing they are seeking in their deepest gut: “9,450 followers in 12 months!”  No dancing around here; it’s a barefaced bullseye of positioning and copy. There’s a video as well, which is validating but almost superfluous because the message is already abundantly clear.  And the freemium is a “step-by-step plan” showing how you can have the same results.

Take-away: Try creating a front-and-center offer with the right fonts and colors. Ask, What is the very specific thing my potential customer wants when they come to my site? How can I provide the thing they want instantly?

Jay BaerJay Baer is such an intelligent blogger; I always enjoy his writing and respect his viewpoints. He also positions and colors his offer so as to make sure it’s not missed. His gift is remarkable for the way it is configured. Jay writes a daily newsletter he titles One Thing. So you’re signing up to receive these newsletters, and you also get a free ebook (it’s called “21 Quotes That Will Change the Way You Think About Marketing”) that contains quotes from Jay’s latest book. Taken together, the freemium affords benefits on many levels: Jay builds his list, subscribers get useful info, the content spreads Jay’s theories among his market, subscribers read the ebook, and some will decide to purchase the hard copy book.

Take-away: You can have your newsletter as the freemium offer, but think about ways to maximize returns for yourself as well as for your subscribers.

Amy PorterfieldSocial media guru Amy Porterfield has a super-high profile, and she offers a super-generous free download: a four-part video training on using Facebook for business. The giveaway dominates the home page and is almost starkly simple. Notice the labeling of the go button – “Give it to me!”

Take-away: Make your offer a video, audio, infographic, or other non-text medium and you’re already ahead. Somehow, it’s just easier to watch a video than to read. And videos make it easier for you to control how your message is delivered.

Admittedly, these are all marketing-related businesses. I’m collecting samples in other fields and will report to you shortly!


 Want more details about developing your freemium? Start here.

About Mary Ruth

Mary H. Ruth is a virtual assistant, online marketing manager, copywriter and editor, and certified inbound marketing specialist. She has over 30 years' experience in administration and marketing in both non-profit and business sectors, having earned a degree in English Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1975. Now living in Gainesville, Florida, she's been working online since late 2007.

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