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Can I Really Make More Money by Giving Stuff Away?

Updated: Dec 11, 2021

Small businesses—you have an uphill battle when it comes to proving to customers that your product or service is better (or at the very least equal) to the big players in your market. As your company grows the power shifts more into your favor. However, when you are starting out there is a lot of work to be done to help potential clients see why your business is the right business for them. The giveaway is just one tool you can keep in your toolbox to make this process a little easier.

tasting at a grocery store.
There is no easier way to get someone to try something for the first time than by giving it away for free. Grocery stores have been doing this for years. Why? Because it works.

The Benefit of a Giveaway

A ‘Giveaway’ is a piece of marketing collateral that offers a reciprocal exchange of information with potential customers. Creating an atmosphere of generosity within a business is crucial to encourage and build customer engagement. Customers are more likely to remember and continue to return to a company they have previously found to be generous in their marketing approach. Giveaways are a great use of a business’ marketing budget as they have been shown to increase online visibility, customer engagement, and satisfaction. When executed correctly they will help your business establish authority and trust within your field. After all, from a customer’s perspective, if you can give away something for free what other 'aces' might you be keeping up your sleeve? Finally, offering access to important information makes a customer feel like an insider, and customers who feel like insiders are often more loyal and prove to be repeat and long-lasting customers.

The Goal of a Giveaway

In order to successfully run a giveaway campaign, a business must set clear goals for what they intend to accomplish. Are you trying to establish yourself as an authority? Are you trying to attract new customers away from competitors? Are you trying to create a market for your product through education? Sure a giveaway may check more than one box, but having a clearly defined goal will help you determine the content of your giveaway. Establishing an expected outcome is foundational for a successful response. Creating a well-defined road map produces the capacity for a business to articulate a message of clarity to its audience.

woman creating content in her kitchen with a DIY set up.
Creating content can start as easy as setting up your phone and rolling a 5 minute video. Developing the habit of creating content is often just as important as the content itself. In most cases, 1 really good video will not perform as well for you as 100 ok videos.

Creating Content for a Giveaway

Content creation is a phrase that has sent shivers down the backs of many business owners. But fortunately, the content of your giveaway doesn’t have to be complicated or hard to come by. In fact, it should be content you currently use on a daily basis to do what it is you do. Remember the point of a giveaway is to be generous so giving away information that is too broad or non-specific does not help your cause.

Here is one way we help our clients come up with ideas for giveaways. First, we tell them to think about your best client, you know, the kind of client that you wish you had more of. In all likelihood that client didn’t show up at your door as a perfect client, you helped create them through a reciprocal process of education. The 1-on-1 meetings, the checklists, and all the emails you sent walking them through your processes, these all make wonderful giveaways. But you don’t have to stop there, because they have likely helped shape your business too. Think about the feedback mechanisms you use to take an idea from proposal to prototype to the final product. Wouldn’t it be great if all of your future clients knew how to do these things before ever starting a project? A good giveaway uses these assets to your advantage.

Choose the Format

Once you have selected your topic for your giveaway now it's time to choose the format. We have compiled a list of formats to choose from, but ultimately you should choose the format that works best for you. If you are someone who thrives in the face-to-face setting, consider hosting a seminar. If you are a prolific writer consider an ebook. The point is, your content should work to your strengths, and let the generous nature of your efforts appeal to a wide audience.

• Checklists - Everyone is looking for a way to simplify their lives. • Guides/eBooks - An informative Step by step document guiding potential customers through a process. Reviews of software etc. • Files/Templates - Could be remnants from previous projects, Could be semi-proprietary documents you’ve created to help streamline workflow • Seminars/workshops - Set up a live-streamed seminar for people interested in learning directly from you. • Discounts - % or $ amount off of a product or service.

How to Deliver a Giveaway

The delivery of the giveaway should be concise and simple. The structure should speak directly to the customer and clearly define how the exchange of information will happen if they accept the offer. Remember signing up to receive a free gift is reciprocal, meaning their information is exchanged for yours. Therefore it is up to you to determine the correct balance of giving and receiving, however in the end you must look like the generous one in the relationship.

woman happy about her package delivery
Would you order from an online retailer if you had to verify your id with 3 different forms of ID, drive to two different warehouses, and pay a surprise fee? Certainly not! Keep the delivery of your giveaway as simple as you can. Remember you are building your reputation with potential clients.

Since time equals money, it should not take potential customers an unnecessary amount of time to complete your forms or require excessive amounts of verification to receive your giveaway. Therefore it is important to balance brevity with necessary information. For some businesses, all that is necessary to start a potential customer down the path of a lead nurturing campaign is an email address. While other businesses may need additional information and verification to remove the bad leads. Remember even though you are giving something to your potential customer, asking for too much information right away can taint the relationship from the beginning.

In most cases, we have found that an email is a great way to deliver your giveaway. First, it establishes in the minds of your potential customer that they can expect and even appreciate your communications. Second, you can give a bit more information than just the giveaway. Your initial email can and should have a few bits of “bonus” content that may work to capture your potential customer’s attention for a second time. It is important after a lead receives a giveaway to remain engaged and informative. Even if it takes you months to nurture the lead, regularly seeing your branding contributes greatly to a level of trust a person feels towards your company.


A ‘giveaway’ is a piece of marketing collateral that offers a reciprocal exchange of information with potential customers. Creating an atmosphere of generosity within a business is crucial to encourage and build customer engagement. Giveaways are a great use of a business’ marketing budget as they have been shown to increase online visibility, customer engagement and satisfaction. And Finally, giveaways help small businesses establish trust and authority with new customers.

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