Getting the Milk for Free:  Part Two

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.

Last week we talked about giving away value and how information is actually a currency one can trade in. Supplying needed information is one way of giving away value.  Another is offering potential clients a taste.  By giving out samples or offering free trials, you allow people to approach you in what feels like a casual and risk-free environment.  The goal is to share what you have to offer in some small way to entice further engagement.

Give Away Samples:  Have you ever walked down a grocery store aisle and avoided a sample tray?  Not many people do.  In fact, most people will head straight for the freebies.  It’s pretty simple:  people like to get things for free.  It’s also true that once people have tasted something they like or tried out a product they enjoy, they will be more likely to seek it out in the future. 

Teasers can lead to immediate purchases or future engagement, depending on the setting and format of the offer.  If you’re giving out homemade cheese in the grocery store you are probably looking at immediate conversion from shoppers who try and like your cheese.  If the call to action in your newsletter involves giving away free samples of a new lawn care product you hope to entice those recipients to buy more of, you’re going to have to be a bit more patient.

Offer a Free Trial:  If your company offers is a service rather than a product, offer a free trial period for interested individuals.  This free trial should have access to enough of your service that it is completely worth their while.  A free trial needs to be a realistic experience of what it is like to use your service, and hint at all the other great features available to them once they become clients. 

This free trial isn’t just about luring in new customers.  It’s also about educating potential customers.  You might be building their confidence up in this process or giving them time to learn enough about the service you offer to realize that they no longer want to live without it.  Allowing access in advance of commitment will help customers to be more discerning in their choice, which is a good thing for your company - regardless of whether they sign up or not.