Giving Away Products

There’s a lot of perceived value in giving away paid products.

This is something that happens a lot in Internet Marketing circles. Seems like every holiday has a JV giveaway going on, where everyone who had a product gives it away if you’ll join their list. I’m waiting for the Arbor Day giveaway, myself.

Just giving away a free ebook or piece of software isn’t all that exciting, though. What’s exciting is when you give away something that you had previously charged money for. That creates perceived value in your customers. They think, “Other people have paid $49.95 for this product, and here I can get it for free. Where do I sign up?”

It’s an excellent technique with very little downside.

The secret, from the Internet Marketer’s perspective, is to offer for free products that are aging. Sure, people paid $49.95 for the product when it was new, but these days sales have dwindled to a trickle, and the product is just going to fade into obscurity. By giving it away, the marketer boosts his own image as a generous person, creates in his new “customers” perceived value for his product (and by association, for new products he may create), and builds a list of people interested in the sorts of products he creates.

How long you wait before you start giving a product away depends on how well it’s still selling. Some gurus will turn around and give away a product fairly soon after the product launch. These people make their money on product launches. After that they get a better return on investment by giving you their product in exchange for you buying the next big product during launch through their link.

This came to the top of my mind today because I received an email from, that they’ve giving away their Photoshop Anthology. It’s an ebook filled with tips and techniques on using Photoshop. Frankly, I doubt it can do anything for me, being the graphics ignoramus that I am, but perhaps some of the rest of you can benefit from it.

From sitepoint’s perspective, this is a great loss leader. They get you to read their ebook, and if you benefit from it you’re more likely to purchase some of their others.

Click here for the free Photoshop ebook.

4 Replies to “Giving Away Products”

  1. Of course, all products reach the end of their “natural”. But I think you need to give your paying customers enough space to feel that it was worth buying your product – and to get it first.

    Otherwise, you lose the respect of people who actually part with their cash just to get some cred from those who don’t.

  2. Some of the gurus recently have stepped over that line, in my opinion, giving away products that were fairly recently launched, as a bonus for buying another product through their link. Doing it that quickly devalues the original product. I’d agree that the product needs to be given some time to provide value to the original customers.

  3. have to agree with On Stage Lighting you dont want to lose the respect from your customers they are after all the blood of a business and keeping them happy is more important the pushing out and diversifying as much as possible

  4. It’s better to give away a product once it has reached the end of it’s life. You could also use an old but useful product as a bonus to help sell a new related product or as an incentive to get visitors to your site or more usually to sign up for a newsletter.

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