Whether you are in the software business or run a small restaurant in your local market, you have likely engaged in providing a “freebie” to get potential new clients in the door. Of course, this sometimes does not convert to a permanent customer. Instead of thinking this means freebies do not work, figure out what you did wrong. Or better yet, implement these strategies to make free customers come back.
Initiate Contact Immediately
Research has shown that 90 percent of leads actually go cold within an hour. This means you need to initiate contact almost immediately. The easiest way of doing this is by sending an email. Whether you get it by having someone sign up for a trial run of your service or by joining your email list to get a discount on a meal, the important thing is to get it. Have an automated email sent out, so even if they quickly forget they signed up, they will have a reminder in their inbox.
Offer Additional Incentives
Offering an additional incentive might seem like a bit much, especially after providing a freebie, but in the end, this can seriously pay off. The added incentive does not need to be another freebie. A sandwich shop could offer an easy punch card loyalty program to keep people coming back. Those offering marketing as a service could discount their yearly rate if paid up front. There are tons of other incentives to provide, so just use your imagination.
Keep Communication Open
Marketing experts say 10% of a small business’s monthly sales should go into free trials. This is a large chunk of budget, so you should already be prepared to keep communication lines open. Send out periodic emails or reminders, but make sure some are framed as helpful communications. People forget, so while daily emails are a bit overzealous, a few friendly reminders never hurt anyone.
Too many customers take advantage of a free offer and then simply never come back. Fortunately, you can reduce the likelihood of this by simply being proactive.