Why Are You Giving Away Your Products?

Leads and prospects are pummeled by marketers all the time. They see special offers when they go to the supermarket. Coupon catalogs fall out from the pages when they open their newspaper. Websites tell them to buy now because if they don’t, the price will go up in two minutes and counting. When they see a special offer from you in their email inbox then, your message can look like so much extra noise.

Unless it’s there for a reason.

It doesn’t matter hugely what the reason is, but when you’re giving away a product or a service for less than market price, you need a reason for doing so. If that reason isn’t there, the customer will supply his own: he’ll assume that you’re cutting your price because it was too expensive before and you weren’t making any sales. He’ll believe that the only reason you’re offering him a bargain now is that you want his money.

That’s not the kind of belief that’s going to help generate new business.

Put any other reason alongside that offer, and you’ll prevent that belief from rising and let leads feel that you’re trying to do them a favor.

3 Reasons to Give Your Products Away

You could go for the simplest and most traditional reason of all: a change in the seasons. Shoppers know that at the end of the season, clothes stores will put on sales. They understand it and they’re used to it. So even when a software company announces a spring sale, even though companies like these aren’t affected by changing weather at all, recipients will understand why they’re getting that offer now.

More powerful though are personal reasons for sending an offer. Tell your subscribers that they can pick up 20 percent off your goods now because this week marks your tenth year in business or the third anniversary of your move to your new office or the fifth update that you’ve offered, and your subscribers will feel that they’re celebrating with you. They’ll understand why you’re happy, and they’ll be more willing to share your happiness. When a friend announces that the drinks are on him because it’s his birthday, it’s hard to say that you’re not thirsty.

No less powerful are offers given as rewards. They make subscribers feel that they’re part of an exclusive club and that having worked hard enough to earn this benefit, they may as well make the most of it. That reward could be achieving a threshold in purchases over the previous year. It could be reaching a milestone since making the first purchase. Or it might just be a prize for staying on the email list for so long.

You don’t have to change the offer to match the reason — sometimes, offering 10 percent off to celebrate ten years in business can look a little gimmicky — you just have to tell your subscribers why you’re giving them something valuable. Provide the reason and there’s a greater chance that they’ll provide the sales.