Didn’t your dad tell you that nothing in life is ever really truly free? That’s never more true than when it comes to marketing. There is always; I say again always, a cost to be paid, whether it’s dollars and cents or your valuable time.

So when you’re tempted to offer something for free, be sure and count the cost in every way you need to, so as to make sure your free content, bonus gift or other promotional label you chose to give is affordable. It’s time for you to take a critical look at the costs you’ll bear on the road to a freebie.

So what “free” promotions are we talking about?

The biggest places we see free work its way into our businesses is with the act of gathering email addresses. Offering a freebie is standard operating procedure, and won’t be changing any time soon. Most of the time we are offered a free ebook, report, video series, e-course, webinar or email series in return for our email address and other contact details.

If you’ve ever created any of these, you know the true costs involving them. Unless you’re a one-person business operator who hates to outsource, you’ll be faced with the prospect of paying somebody to create and set up for delivery your freebie. Just so you know…

  • Creating the content – Someone has to write, film, record whatever content you are producing. Unless that’s totally you, you’ll pay for this.
  • Designing the squeeze page or landing page – There are several great softwares out there, but they cost as well. And we know how much designers cost.
  • Production costs and shipping – If you need to manufacture a hard product, chances are you’ll need to pay to get it where it’s going.
  • Marketing funnel hard costs – Email autoresponders, setup costs for technical aspects, webinar charges. GoToWebinar for instance, charges at the bare minimum $99 a month for their lowest plan, which allows only 100 attendees. (to be fair, there are other lower-priced services)
  • Advertising – Are you going to be taking out ads for this freebie in order to attract the widest possible audience?

Using a freebie, or freemium content as people are referring to them these days, is still an excellent way to build a list or audience for your products and services. We just thought you should be aware you’ll want to count the cost of “free” when producing your freebie.