In today’s digital era, you’ll find hundreds of different approaches to digital marketing—from SEO and content strategizing, to paid ads and affiliate marketing. One digital marketing strategy is the “freemium” approach, where customers receive some kind of free service that draws them into the company’s sales funnel. But how reliable is this approach?
One of the best examples of a freemium offer is Dropbox. If you sign up for the service, you’ll get a small amount of free cloud-based storage. If you need more space, you’ll have to subscribe and pay a fee.
Freemium content typically only works if the potential customer can clearly see the value in upgrading to a paid service. In other words, if the customer can get by without paying, they’ll stick with the free product and you’ll never get their business. This may be okay if you’re starting out trying to gain market share and loyal customers, but at some point, you’ll need paying customers.
There are two basic approaches to the freemium model, both of which have distinct benefits and drawbacks:
1. You give a basic version of your product but users must pay more for additional features.
2. You allow users full access to your product for a limited time, then require them to pay after their trial.
The first approach is more likely to draw in large numbers of consumers, some of whom may develop brand loyalty, but it can be more difficult to wean your users from the free version of your product to what you want them to buy. The “free trial” approach may deter some consumers, but if they develop a need for your product they will be more inclined to buy. Both of these methods have similar challenges when it’s time to convert your leads into sales, such as:
- The user doesn’t feel they need the premium features to gain the benefit of the product.
- Users go to a competitor when the free offer expires.
- The user doesn’t understand the premium benefits well enough to make a purchase.
- Users purchase but drop the service after a short period of time.
In order for your freemium product to be a success, you must be selective in what you offer for free. You can also adjust your freemium offers over time to better engage existing users or attract new ones.
If you’re freemium content isn’t producing the results you’d like, talk to a digital marketing specialist at Tucker/Hall. We can help you strategize and develop a plan for continual growth and marketing innovation.