The concept of buy one and get one free or half price has been around, especially in supermarkets, for a long time. What about an item completely free? You might be forgiven to think this is a new web based idea.
Most people have heard of Jell-O – “America’s most famous dessert” the history of this marketing success illustrates the Power of Free brilliantly.
Gelatine desserts were very popular in the Victorian era, but gelatine was sold in sheets that needed to be purified and it was very time consuming
In 1845 an industrialist Peter Cooper obtained a patent for powdered gelatine. He tried to market it without success, although he was a successful businessman in other areas.
Forty years later it was sold to Pearle V White, whom with his wife, added strawberry, raspberry, lemon and orange flavouring to the jelly. Still did not succeed in marketing it and it was sold for $450 to Frances Woodward in 1899.
Woodward’s company Genesee Pure Food Company placed a lot of adverts in the Lady’s journal with the slogan “American most famous dessert”, still Jell-O had minor success. It wasn’t until 1904 when Genesee sent salesmen to distribute FREE Jell-O cookbooks at the same time that they called into local business to stock Jell-O. This was a pioneering marketing technique. We all know the success of Jell-O nowadays and the different names they appear in other countries.
This principle can be applied to any business to obtain new customers, for example:
Hairdressers: free cut
Home improvements: a publication about trends in home improvements
An online information entrepreneur: a free report that would entice the customer to learn more about the other products.
And I am sure that in any business we could find a way of enticing customers/clients with a FREE offer.
Hasta la vista….