The Power of Promo: Why People Love Freebies

  • Aug 4, 2022

Getting free items can feel like winning the lottery. Whether it’s a free sample at the grocery store or a free trial of your favorite streaming service, it is always exciting to get something for nothing. That’s why your business should consider free promotional giveaways!

The word “free” invokes a strong response in our brains – when presented with a free item, people are likely to assign a much higher value to it than they would something that has to be paid for. This is evidenced by a famous choice experiment reported in Dan Ariely’s bestselling book, Predictably Irrational. When participants were offered a choice between spending $0.26 on a luxury chocolate truffle or $0.01 on a lower-quality chocolate kiss, the experimenters observed an even split of choices. However, when the price of both items was lowered by one cent, the choice distribution changed drastically. While the price difference between the two items remained the same, the lower quality chocolate kiss was now completely free. In this new context, the vast majority of participants chose the chocolate kiss, demonstrating the appeal of freebies.

Emotion plays a large role in people’s attraction to free items. When offered an unexpected gift, a positive charge is experience and that sensation of joy is likely to impact the receiver’s choices. People also tend to have lower expectations when it comes to freebies, and these lowered standards are easy to surpass, creating a positive association for your brand.

Here are a few of our top tips for creating free giveaways that push all the right buttons for your customers:

Customize to your industry

Choose an item that fits what your company does. For example, lip balm is a great giveaway for a spa or salon, but is perhaps not the best choice for a construction business.

Choose everyday use products

Products that can be used daily by your recipients are more likely to be received positively. Additionally, you’ll gain more brand awareness from products that people see and use regularly.

Consider shelf life

Promotional products that last longer will naturally have longer-lasting brand impressions.

Make connections

Strong customer relationships are important for any business, and giving away cool free gifts is a great way to create this bond.

No matter what items you choose to hand out to your customers and prospects, the psychology of “free” is sure to play to your advantage. Want to learn more about the promotional items we have to offer? Contact us today!

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