Home > Marketing, Small Business > The Power of Free

The Power of Free

McDonald’s Corp. said global sales rose 6.9 percent in April based partially on sales of the new McCafe line of coffee beverages. McDonalds promoted the new line by offering free small coffees for a period in April. The cost of the free coffee to McDonald’s is fairly insignificant, but the perceived benefit to the customer relatively high, especially if that customer is someone who is buying a coffee every morning as many of us do. Nobody illustrates that better than Photographer Chris Jordan who’s series Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait demonstrates the immense scale of our consumption.

His 2008 piece, Paper Cups, depicts 410,000 paper cups, equal to the number of disposable hot-beverage paper cups used in the US every fifteen minutes.


A stunning representation of the market McDonald’s is trying to capture with their new brand of cafe style drinks.

So the question becomes, what can your business afford to give away for free? What can you provide potential customers at little cost that is of relatively higher value to them?

In Chet Holmes best-selling book, The Ultimate Sales Machine he talks about Education Based Marketing. Specifically, offering to teach potential clients something for free as a tactic for turning them into paying customers.

We all have something to teach, think about how giving away some of that knowledge could convert leads into customers.

Categories: Marketing, Small Business
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