The Power of the Word FREE in Marketing - Market Research & Behaviour analytics

The Power of the Word FREE in Marketing

ByHimanshu Vashishtha

The Power of the Word FREE in Marketing

The word ‘free’ is one of the most powerful words in the English language. Its significance in marketing is one that cannot be ignored due to the extensive psychological appeal attached to the word. The word finds space in all the lists of powerful marketing and advertising words that can be used for headlines and captions.

Although it can facilitate conversions and increased revenues, and give a marketing advantage, over use of it can foil a brand’s marketing strategy.

What does the word FREE do to customers?
The word ‘free’ connects with target customers in one or more of the following ways

  • It eliminates risks in the mind of undecided customers.
  • It rewards those looking for good deals and bargains.
  • It is a powerful tool to separate yourself from competition.
  • It is more engaging than using phrases like complimentary, courtesy etc.
  • It stands out from a headline, teaser, call-to-action message, ad copy etc.
  • It adds value to offers and makes those who compare to take notice of the offer.

However, the downside of using the word ‘Free’ is that it might not be a good tool if your aim is customer loyalty and repeat purchases. Also, it can trigger a warning bell in the minds of customers leading them to think why something is being given for free and if there is a catch to it. It would be better if you explain why it’s free.

How to use the word FREE?
Here are the most commonly used ways by brands and marketers. You could try the same for your brand –

    • Gift

When you offer a free gift, the value to the customer is what matters more than the cost of the product being offered. It could be something related to the product they would purchase or another product of yours that you have not promoted yet. You could also offer a mystery gift wherein you prompt them to do something or click on a link to proceed.

    • Shipping

Free shipping can lead to more sales conversions in the online shopping space. It can be an incentive to increase average size of an order or prompt customers to purchase more when combined with a deadline of free shipping offer expiry.

    • Sample/Trial/Demo

When you offer the chance to test your product without any risks, it can help in converting the borderline or skeptic customers to buyers. It is probably one of the most effective ways to make them try your product.

    • Buy one Get One/Two free

This is one of the most commonly used offers in the retail world to push products. Instead of saying “buy two at the price of one”, the word free connects more with customers and they may consider the offer more.

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