Getting the Milk for Free:  Part Three

Getting the Milk for Free is a three-part series about the new consumer paradigm in which value is offered before the commitment of a sale transaction.

Thus far in Getting the Milk for Free, we’ve talked about information as currency and the power of samples.  Let’s move on to what happens when you have a set of free services available.  You can structure this in two ways:  you can build the services in as package deal for clients, or you can offer them free to the general public.  This might be free proofing for clients of a printing service or in-home repair services for customers who purchase your product.  Services that are offered to the general public could come in the form of a magazine that’s free for anyone to read but which requires subscription to have access to in-depth research on a product.

Free for All
What if something on your menu was free? This is the free biscuits approach:  you give people something they enjoy and chances are they’ll order something else while sitting at your table. Obviously this service should be one that is relatively efficient for you to offer up - either by being self-supporting or by having its costs easily covered by your paying services. You might also be able to sell advertising space on that free product thus building brand recognition.  The result would be offering a great product all while bringing in some extra flow. I’m certain you’ve noticed how popular that game is these days.  There are several services that come free with ads; if you pay for the service, the ads disappear and a bevy of new features are added to your account.

Free Services on the Side
This isn’t exactly giving the milk away for free, but it does involve showering clients with free stuff, so let’s roll with it.  Having free services that come as a package deal can help swing potential clients in your direction. In the same way that you would look at benefits as part of the compensation for a job, these services can add to the value of what you have to offer.  Your free offerings might directly support your offerings or they can be unrelated perks on the side.  If you work in partnership with other businesses you might even be able to combine your offerings in such a way that you build business for each other via exposure.

In summation: free is good. Free helps you to form relationships and gain the attention of new contacts, some of whom will convert to a consumer relationship with you.  Don’t be worried about giving the milk away for free, just make sure your cow is healthy and strong.