Freebie Marketing – What is it and How to Implement in Marketing Strategy

The idea of giving something away for free to lure customers has been around for more than 100 years. Brands abroad have tried this technique many times in the past.

For years some Indian companies also have used “try before you buy” strategy very successfully. It simply works wonderfully for some brands.

Here is why it works –

The journey from being a disinterested person to being a loyal customer usually goes through the following five stages –

First your customers know nothing about you, hence your offering has little or no value to them.

You offer a freebie so that people can experience the product. In this stage potential customers get to know your offering.

If the offering is good then people associate the good experience with your product and this creates trust.

When you offer the same product for a price, now then do not hesitate to become customers.

Some brands use this knowledge to their advantage and capture the market.

There are two variations of freebie marketing –
Giving away a free product with another high priced product AND giving a product/ service for completely free at the beginning for a time period and then charge.

Both variations are applied in marketing strategy. The trend is comparatively new in Indian markets. The telecom company Jio has successfully implemented this in their marketing mix. Other telecos and brands have taken notice and followed suit!

Earlier freebies were eyed suspiciously by the consumers. They products that were not given much attention by the consumers. All that started changing in the last decade and now consumers accept freebies like they are staple diet!

The most famous company that is adopting this strategy is Reliance’s Jio. This company offered free telecom services for a year. When enough people began using it they converted this to a paid service.

Creating a freebie marketing campaign

While creating a freebie marketing campaign make sure that what you are offering has some value to the intended customers. Low value freebies typically tend to attract minimum attraction and gain lowest traction.

This applies to things offered as companion products too.

Services can carry a time range after which you can start charging. Be sure to provide quality service during the free of charge period to gain trust.

There are a few things to keep in mind while creating a freebie marketing campaign –

  1. Target the influencers.
  2. Give something of real value
  3. Create a small and useful freebie
  4. Attach a catch to the offer

Freebie marketing to create awareness

Freebie marketing is typically used to introduce a new product to the market. Suppose you want to offer a new product to your existing line, then you can consider creating limited quantities of the product and offer it to your customers to create awareness about the new product.

This strategy can be a brilliant one if implemented properly. The strategy creates brand awareness as the brand logo is usually displayed along with the product and also reinforces the recall value of the brand.

Downsides of freebie marketing

Freebie marketing can create a negative pattern among a section of consumers. Some people may not want to pay for what they are getting for free.

If your original companion offer is not good it can create an spill over effect where people will associate your product with the negative image. Hence it is most effective for products already doing well in the market.

Some people believe that you get what you pay for. They will take the freebie for granted and wont convert to paid customers later.


Most brands now offer freebies or near free products and services to attract customers. This trend is not going to end anytime soon. It is a great way to hook people in and make them customers for life.

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