Why Give Away Things for Free

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  • How did Google get millions to switch email providers?
  • How did Craigslist attract a freakish number of employers to post job listings?
  • How did Plentyoffish, run by like two people, become the most populated dating website in the world?

They did this:

  1. They took something that people previously paid good money to have.
  2. They made it free.

The masses came.

Revenue opportunities skyrocketed.

How?

  • Google did it by offering 1GB of email space, 10x the amount of any other free service provider.
  • Craigslist did it by allowing Bay Area residents to post free classifieds instead of shelling out $30 to local newspapers.
  • Plentyoffish did it by letting the masses of singles view their entire database for free, instead of paying the high monthly fees of other dating online services.

Once you have a bunch of targeted customers in front of you, you create multiple opportunities to sell:

  • "Hey, we're providing Service A for $x this month. You can buy it now at..."
  • "Hey, we just built Product B for $x. You can purchase it at.."
  • "Hey, we're coming out with Product C next month. Would you like to be on the waiting list?"

The Approach

Try this:

  1. Pick your target customer segment.
  2. Give away the "basic" version for free.
  3. Attract eyeballs galore. Grow.

The easiest way to attract masses of customers?

Free+Valuable Stuff.

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Posted on March 25

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