The Power Of The Free-Trial
We have all been in a supermarket or shopping centre and been offered a taster of food by someone promoting a new product. The other day I received a small packet of breakfast cereal through the door! Whichever way it’s delivered, this is known as a free trial and it is most commonly linked to consumer products like food, face creams, toothpastes etc. and computer software. In essence anything that needs to be experienced through touch or taste or evaluated for its appropriateness. This can mean a free hair treatment if you run a salon, a free round of golf if you run a golf club, it might be a free sample platter of food if you run a restaurant/take-away. If you clean carpets, you might do a free sample clean of the smallest room in the house. A free trial is essentially the ultimate “special offer”. In other words I give you something completely for free. But do they work? Yes they do!
A recent study by a research organisation called “Marketing Experiments” showed that in a real-life test comparing two online ad pages (where one incorporated a 30-day free-trial and the other didn’t), the ad with a free trial offer delivered almost double the number of orders than the ad that had no trial offer (22 orders vs. 12). However, more interestingly the number of visits increased by a much smaller percentage (972 vs. 904). This seems to indicate that including a free trial offer brings a more targeted audience to your door, who are more likely to order. But they only work really well when they are implemented properly and there are a number of factors in promoting them:
1) Don’t Make It Too Hard…
2) Limit The “Catches”
3) Make It Habit-Forming
4) Optimise Your Advertising
The free-trial can be a very powerful sales tool, but you need to evaluate how/if you can implement it for your business and how you are going to exploit the opportunity it provides to its maximum.
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Want To Sell? Spin A Yarn! The Power Of Storytelling In Advertising
From the moment we can understand language, we love to hear stories. From Goblins and princesses to rocket men and space aliens, we engage with stories. It shapes how we perceive the world and teaches us right from wrong.
It’s no surprise therefore that many years ago advertising agencies worked out that telling stories helped to sell more products. When did this happen? A few minutes after the first marketing company broke the consumers trust by promoting a feature that didn’t exist. You see fundamentally we grew to distrust advertising. We don’t believe adverts because we all remember ads for washing powder that said that they could make your laundry whiter than white and for 30 years or so every new version of the product delivered even more whiteness. But today they give a different message through storytelling…
“Oh No! Little Johnnie has spilt strawberry syrup all over his white shirt while digging in the tar pits and writing all over himself with a fountain pen, how will I ever get syrup, ink and tar out of his shirt in time for his confirmation tomorrow?”
OK, I exaggerate, but basically this tells you the story of little Johnnie’s mother’s plight against stains, which you can relate to and “buy” into. This is far more effective than simply saying “Brand X washing powder is the best on the market at removing stains and grime.”
One of the main users of this type of advertising is the diet and fitness industry. We all know the classic ads that show a woman/man standing in one leg of a massive pair of jeans and “I lost 200KG in 3 months” above their heads. I know, I exaggerate a lot, but what I’m trying to say is that really powerful, believable advertising can be achieved if you tell a story. Don’t just describe a problem that your product or service resolves, make it personal by telling a story of how “Mary” was really upset by her acne problem and how it affected her life. Don’t just say how wonderful your product/service is, tell the reader/listener/viewer how much happier Mary is now that her acne is gone.
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