As business owners our primary goal is to make money so we are focused on revenue, product pricing and billing of our services.  To think about giving something away for free seems counter-intuitive. However, giving away something that your audience views as exclusive, scarce, or in high demand is a good way to open the door to engaging a new customer.

Returning from a spring break trip to visit family my daughter realized she had not downloaded any new movies on her lap top.  Six hours in the back seat of a car, to a modern eleven year old, was going to be a strain on everyone in the car. Reading is out of the question, because she gets car sick.  I grabbed my phone, signed up for a free month of Audible, bought her a book on Amazon and it was amazingly quiet for the entire trip.  Even better, she loved listening to the book so much we are considering continuing our subscription.

I'm not sure I would have even considered Audible if it wasn't for the free subscription. If it is fitting for your business to give away a free trial, it is a great way to allow new customers to try your product.  For a subscription service a free month is a good option, for other product companies a sample size may be appropriate.

For B2B companies deciding on an incentive is a more difficult decision. Think about your clients' pain points and what does your company offer that may help your target audience. Consider white papers or a free analysis as a means of engaging with a new customer.
How to Create Irresistible Offers that Generate Leads

So why do free offers work? Because they trigger a physiological reaction that makes people perceive the value of your offer to be greater than what you’re asking for in return. The higher the perception of value, the more irresistible the offer.

Limiting the offer is key. Just like a coupon, any offer must have a distinctive time or quantity.

Limited time offers are among the most popular in the scarcity category. If you leave the time open ended, buyers may forget about the offer all together. A good example of limited time offer is Fabletics who offers 50% off your first purchase.  After requesting a coupon code, you have 24 hours to place your first purchase. Car dealerships are notorious for giving special discounts at year end.  Most offers usually end in early January.

When something is of limited quantity, it suddenly becomes more unique or exclusive. In some studies, limited quantity or supply offers have outperformed limited-time offers. Why? Because it’s hard to tell when an offer of limited quantity will suddenly become unavailable, while a time-based offer has a known end time. Limited quantity offers are great for not only getting people to say “yes” to your offer, but to avoid procrastination completely. For B2B clients considering offering a free one hour consulting or business analysis session for the first 10 people. Or offer an introductory offer to the first 25 clients.

A well-constructed offer using these tips should result in positive lead generation. After all, it’s our goal to get more people saying "yes" to your offers.

However, all of these techniques can backfire if you use them for trickery. It’s important to avoid over-hyped marketing language that, while driving conversions, doesn't provide offers that actually live up to the hype. So stay honest and offer your customers something they want. 

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