Free vs Paid Offers

Free-vs-paid offersWhich makes the most sense in your sales funnel?

The way a sales funnel boosts sales is by presenting a series of offers that qualify leads and move them towards a core offer. ( See this article to learn more about a sales funnel of offers.)

At each stage of your funnel, there are a variety of offer types you can make, such as:

  • Lead magnet
  • Low-cost offer
  • One-time-offer
  • Order bump
  • Upsell
  • Downsell

But should these offers be mostly free or mostly paid products?

The advantage of free offers is that more customers will take them, and thus experience the value you offer. This is great for showing your expertise and beginning to build relationships with your audience, in addition to extending your reach.

However, there are people (in any market) who are just freebie seekers. They’ll take a product or piece of content if it’s free, and may not ever buy anything from you. 

But, when you make paid offers, you learn which of your customers will buy and what percentage of your list they represent. You can use this information to create more products for those customers.

Another strategy you can use to make more sales is to make a variety of offers at different price points. This gives people with varying budgets the opportunity to benefit from a smaller size product, even if they’re not ready for your core (higher-priced) offer. It will also give you valuable feedback about your audience’s tastes and buying behavior.

For example, you can present low-priced products to get people to start buying. You can also make a one-time offer to encourage them to take action. Then you can follow-up with more content to move them towards your core offer.

Another paid offer that can qualify leads and bring in more revenue is a subscription (or membership) offer. For a small monthly fee, the customer can receive content or a service from you.

So, which should you use, free or paid offers?

The best practice is to create a mix of products (free and paid) that offer value to your target market and are related to your core offer. Free offers help to build a relationship and give you feedback, while paid offers show you who will buy, so you can specifically target offers to them. 

Remember to keep track of your sales metrics to see what is working and what isn’t.

Get the free “Sales Funnel Offer Worksheet” to map out your sales funnel.

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