Free trials and giftsIt has been a popular business model, especially on the Web, to offer something for nothing. Free trials and gifts are very popular for online marketing.

Facebook, Twitter, Google and many other businesses are founded on this model – you get traffic and then you figure out how to “monetize” it.

Many traditional businesses that offer a product or service have used this to great effect, by offering free samples or a free trial.

On one hand, this offers a great opportunity for people to get acquainted with your product or your company at a low risk to both parties.

On the other hand, I think this may cause the market to be flooded with low quality products – companies have to keep their costs low if they’re offering things for free!

And customers tend not to value products or information they get for free.  My Grandpa says “Free advice is usually worth about what you paid for it.”  He has a point!

Have you offered a product or service for free? As a trial or marketing strategy?  How did it work for you?

I’d love to hear what you think!