The Power of Free Gifts – Conversion Wednesday



Willing to offer free gifts with purchases or email sign-ups on your site?

I Want a Free Gift

As consumers, our emotional connection to free gifts is a little baffling. We get so excited when we see a free gift on the latest infomercial. Our emotions get the better of us. Our innate drive to be a better hunter and gatherer gets us excited when we find something for free while we shop, and we can’t wait to tell our friends about it. The smart ecommerce marketers know this fact, and take advantage of it regularly by promoting free gifts on their site.

Through conversion testing at Exclusive Concepts, we found free gifts can be used in a variety of ways to increase conversion rates. In today’s brief video I will discuss a few ideas to take advantage of the powerful effect free gifts can have on your shoppers.

Some Ideas

Offering a free gift on your product page can be a distraction. Think about the standard infomercial format. They sell you on the product, all the exciting ways it’s going to make your life better, than at the end they throw in the extra supply and the free gift for a limited time. With an ecommerce store, your sales page for a product is the product page, but if you place the free gift offer on the same page it could lead to a distraction and limit your ability to actually sell the benefits of the original product. So one idea is to test offering a free gift after the customer is sold on the original product. You can use your shopping cart to offer the free gift if they complete the purchase today. This way if the customer is on the fence about the purchase, you can convince them to take action and complete the sale today.

Another idea that has been tested on a client’s site is to use the free gift to entice browsers to give up that all valuable email address for your email marketing or to provide you with your site with much needed product reviews. Building a list of email subscribers or product reviews can be the most valuable indirect revenue generating activities you can do for your store. Email subscribers and return shoppers have a much higher conversion rate and typically spend more on average. Interesting enough, not all customers will take advantage of the free gift, because it typically involves them filling out an order form to receive the free gift. Either way you acquire their email address or a product review, whether they take the time to get the free gift or not.

Some ways of making sure the free gift doesn’t cost you money:

  1. Charge the customer for shipping.
  2. Choose a gift that has a high perceived value to the customer, and make sure you tell the customer what the retail price of the free gift is.
  3. Choose a gift that would normally have a high margin and doesn’t cost much to ship.
  4. Require a minimum purchase amount if the promotion is a free gift with purchase.

So Let’s Review

Today we discussed ways of utilizing the power of the free gift.

  1. Test offering customers free gifts on the shopping cart to avoid distraction on the product page
  2. Offer free gifts in exchange for email address or product reviews.

And we discussed a few tips on making sure the free gift promotion doesn’t cost you an arm and leg.

I hope these quick tips help you continue the battle of increasing your website’s conversion rates.