How Freebies Can Bring Revenue

It’s a well-known fact that everyone likes free things, we’ve all heard people say that food and drink taste better or, concerts are more enjoyable when you don’t have to pay for them. Most people are naturally thrifty, even when they have a lot of money, meaning its rare to see freebies turned down. For businesses although it may seem like giving away products and services for free wouldn’t make much financial sense, freebies have emerged as a viable strategy for attracting new long-term customers. Offers include free products or services for first time customers, loyalty card benefits and invite a friend incentives. These days, with new companies emerging daily, both established and new brands are forced to use such giveaways to get ahead of the competition, here is how they work.

First time user offers

One of the freebie deals offered by both new and existing companies is free items and discounts for new users. While by no means a new technique, the use of these kind of deals as a marketing tool has increased in the internet age. Food delivery apps and websites like Gorillas and UberEats have built their profiles through these deals, offering free food and extreme discounts to customers using their services for the first time.

Of course, Uber initially saw the success of this incentive with their taxi service, so it was a no-brainer for them with Uber Eats, and for other food delivery apps to follow suit. Another industry that this method has been successful in is online casinos, which have rapidly grown in popularity in the last three years. Free spin offers for new players means they can try the games without depositing any funds, similar to the “try before you buy” programs offered by some retailers. These deals allow these sites to crucially build trust with the customer before they’ve spent any money, which makes them more willing to do so later.

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Loyalty card benefits

Loyalty cards used to be exclusive to larger stores and brands with large customer bases to ensure that the benefits don’t reduce profits too much for the company. However, nowadays it’s extremely common for smaller companies to offer loyalty cards which come with benefits like free items or discounts after a certain number of purchases. We see this method used a lot in small businesses like independent coffee houses, hairdressers and tailors.

Larger companies also still offer these benefits, as well as exclusive offers like free delivery or reduced service charges. In the internet age of today physical loyalty cards have been replaced by virtual memberships, but the benefits are the same. Customers are usually required to sign up on their websites or applications with their email addresses and other personal information, which also serves the company as they can often market to them via the contact details provided. These programs and their benefits are usually available to both new and existing customers and can help keep customers loyal to a brand. However, some companies are scrapping these deals, favouring more personalised deals that they can provide through phone apps.

Invite a friend

It is often said that the greatest form of marketing and advertisement is word of mouth, when people enjoy a product or service and share their experience with a friend or family member, who may then try it. Sharing our experiences is something we naturally do, which is what makes “invite a friend” incentives a genius idea. By offering consumers discounts and freebies for recommending the item or service to a friend, these companies receive free promotion without the need for adverts and billboards.

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These programs are commonly used by banks, who offer cash incentives, sometimes in the thousands, to both the existing customer and the one joining as a result of the recommendation. This has also been successfully used in food delivery and retail clothing apps too, although many companies have had to place maximum restrictions on these types of offers, due to some fans taking advantage of them.


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