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Experiencing a sales slump? Give some product away as freebies


No matter the industry you are in, there are times when your sales figures are not what you want them to be. Although businesses across a wide variety of sectors have seen sales soar to unprecedented heights recently, this recovery has been intensely uneven, and many are experiencing a sales slump.

Many of the gains and profits have been accrued by larger firms, leaving small and mid-sized enterprises scrambling. If you are currently dealing with a sales slump, you need a shock-and-awe strategy to catch the attention of your target audience and pull back loyal shoppers. For this, the simplest approach is often the best – give some free stuff away. Of course, a product or service giveaway is less straightforward than it might sound. Here are some real-life business tips and insights on how to make your next giveaway a success.

Why giving away freebies can get you over a sales slump

Freebies create a sense of obligation

Smaller business owners in particular are probably already scratching their heads and asking: “Why should I give something away if I’m in a sales slump? I want to earn money! ”But even the smallest gift will encourage your customers to give it back to you in the form of a purchase. The reason for this is the principle of reciprocity. This describes the desire for reciprocity that is deeply anchored in most people. Tit for tat; If we receive a gift, we would like to give something back in return. Sure, there will always be candidates who are satisfied with their free gift and then leave. Most of the time, the impulse to buy from your customers is greater after receiving a gift than before.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to planning your giveaway is that you want it to inspire a sense of obligation in your customers. In a widely-cited behavioral science study in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, it was found that customers who are given free items often feel obligated to ‘return the favor’ by coming back and spending money. What matters is that you engage directly with your customer in your giveaway to forge that connection and inspire that sense of customer loyalty and obligation.

You can give away free digital services, too

When many business owners experiencing a sales slump contemplate giveaways, they are often laboring under the misapprehension that giveaways are strictly limited to food samples or t-shirts. However, digital services businesses have a lot to gain from a giveaway. This is becoming abundantly clear when looking at certain high-growth fully-digital sectors, such as online casino gaming.

By consulting your best guide into the world of gambling at BetPal, a site that aggregates offers from different iGaming platforms, you will see that virtually all major casino sites offer generous digital giveaways in the form of free credit to play games or matched deposits. These are solid examples of digital giveaways that can compel a customer to sign up to your platform and stay on board.

Product selection is absolutely essential

This might seem obvious, but it’s worth saying. When planning a giveaway, it is a mistake to think that any old product will do. Do NOT use your giveaway as an opportunity to get rid of some unwanted, old stock. Instead, you should make sure your promotions are relevant, and market them in such a way that your audience is motivated to participate. Giveaways show your appreciation for customers, which will give your reputation a boost and keep your customers coming back for more. Also, always choose quality products for your giveaway so that the investment is actually a fruitful marketing exercise.

You trigger your clients with the word “free”

The mere use of the words “free”, “free”, “sale” or “free of charge” creates irresistible buying impulses. These terms act like a switch that temporarily switches off the customer’s mind. If products are sold in stores with these trigger words and red pencil prices, most customers cannot help but access them.

The “free” concept is so convincing that people even get a tattoo for it. You do not believe this? Then take a look at the result of this experiment: “Free tattoos” were advertised in a night club, so you could get a tattoo of your choice for $0 on site. The rush was great – a total of 76 people lined up for the free offer, regardless of the risk of regretting the decision after the short-circuit reaction or even getting infected by a tattoo in a nightclub. When asked whether they would have had the tattoo if it had cost money, 68% of those questioned said no.

It is logical that “free” terms also become automatic e-mail openers in the subject of your newsletters. Use the free activation in the form of gifts and discounts to not only increase the opening rates of your e-mails, but also to increase your conversions in the process.

Use free gifts in shipping

Small product samples have a big impact, especially in the beauty sector. 64% of the customers surveyed state that they have already made their purchase decision for a cosmetic product on the basis of a product sample .

This is no wonder: A trial offers the customer an active point of contact with the brand and the product. The small amount is enough to get a first impression of the color, consistency, fragrance and effect of the product. If the customer is now convinced, they are inclined to decide on the tested product the next time they buy a shower gel or something similar.

Not only customer surveys reflect the positive effect of free gifts on sales. Also , studies have shown that a gift and appreciation shown to the customer to an increase in sales. Free supplements such as the microfiber cloth with your new glasses, a bottle of chain oil for your new bike or the dust bag with your handbag are small giveaways that cost you little, but mean a hefty increase in your sales!

Offer your services for free

Giving away haptic products has a positive effect on sales. You can also simply offer services for free. The shipping giant Amazon shows how this works: With the introduction of free shipping for orders of EUR 20 or more, the group has almost doubled its sales because customers are now ordering more in order not to have to pay shipping costs.

A minimum order value for free shipping makes life a little easier for you too; you avoid the additional effort of many small orders and at the same time increase the sales of your products.

Do you sell products in the subscription system? Streaming services and gyms are offering the free month to attract new subscribers, so why not you too? Trial months or mini-subscriptions are a great free trigger and appeal to the customer’s sense of duty to return your favor and buy after the trial period has expired. But: Don’t let customers fall into the subscription trap and make your notice periods flexible. This will prevent customers from having bad experiences with your product right from the start.

Share your knowledge with your customers for free

If you offer a product that requires explanation, a free service in the form of advice can also be a strong incentive to convince customers to buy. There is certainly a lot of knowledge surrounding your product that you can share with your customers. You can share instructions and tips on correct use, care instructions and other content in blog posts and newsletter texts with subscribers and customers.

A Shopify retailer who sells fine coffee, for example, can come up with expert knowledge about the perfectly brewed cup of coffee. He can shed light on the advantages and disadvantages of different preparation methods, maybe even put the spotlight on the plantations and farmers from whom he gets his beans or share the craziest coffee creations with recipes in one post. Such content creates trust and offers your customers free added value. Sooner or later, interest in your content turns into interest in the product – and ultimately also a purchase!

Your newsletter is the perfect channel to inspire both existing customers and interested parties with your free content and generate higher sales. Try it out yourself in the next mailing and combine your advertising message with valuable content for your recipients.


People love free stuff. That’s why a giveaway remains one of the best tried and tested methods for boosting sales in a difficult market when you face a sales slump. Follow these business insights to ensure that your next giveaway pays some serious dividends.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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