Not mentioned in the previous “free stuff” blog was the contest strategy.  Free contests are very similar to the aforementioned free strategies in purpose, and for some products there is more upside with drawing attention to your product and collecting potentially valuable customer information.

Artistic Sensations, an e-commerce toy and gift store, is an excellent existing example of this strategy.  They are driving traffic and interest with their Holiday Loft Bed Giveaway.  In the process, Artistic Sensations is generating interest in their products, learning what their customers like most, and drawing attention through the contest

Giving away free products can be an investment, but if implemented properly, the return on investment in new customers, attention, PR and additional customer information collected has the ability to generate value many times over. 

The key is to develop a well thought out, extensive plan.  In the right industries, this strategy has limitless potential.

Seth Trachtman is a Web Marketing Account Manager at The Net Impact Web Design St. Louis.

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