Get More out of Your Giveaways

It’s time for some free no cost, standalone content! After all, people like free, and when it’s content that supports your site or services–that’s a win-win for you. But how do you not only let people know you have it, but get them to access it? And for that matter, what sort of content should you provide?

To begin with, just checking various types of content, you can find a clear winner.

  1. Whitepaper
  2. Case study
  3. Ebook
  4. Report
  5. Newsletter

Whitepaper is 10.6 times more likely to show up in a successful ads. Its next competitor, case study, only appears in 3.3 times successful ads as unsuccessful. And, of course, it only goes down from there. So, it’s obvious: if you have to give something away, it should be a whitepaper. You can use white paper, if you want. But something as simple as that space in the middle makes its value drop dramatically along with the rest.

We know people get tired of newsletters; any site you go to wants you to sign up for theirs, and it’s just a hassle. It makes sense that it’s at the bottom. Ebook stands out as an odd one to sit in the middle; how often do people give away Ebooks? Don’t you usually expect to pay for them?

And that’s just it; ebooks aren’t free, not usually. So what happens when you adjust the phrase for “free ebooks”?

  1. Whitepaper
  2. Free ebook <<<
  3. Case Study
  4. Ebook
  5. Report
  6. Newsletter

Whereas before, case study was 3.3 times more likely to appear in successful ads, free ebook is 5.2 times more likely to appear in successful ads. That is a dramatic jump up the hierarchy.

So, what about the others? Will “free” help them just the same?

Unfortunately, no. With whitepaper, case study, report and newsletter, every single one of those keywords beat out the same keyword with “free” at the beginning.

From this, we can conclude that when you expect something to be free, the redundancy is detrimental. But when you’re not sure, being told “Yes, it’s free! Come get it!” gains you a massive boost. This is good news for free content; you don’t need to waste extra characters on something your audience already knows.

But can we be sure? Let’s take a look at some other examples.

“Trial” beats “free trial.” (4.3x)

“Sample” beats “free sample.” (3.4x)

“Demo” beats “free demo.” (5x)

So these are all things we expect to be free. But look what happens when we go to something that often isn’t:

“Free shipping” beats “shipping.” (1.8x)

Turns out we were right! Shipping is dubious, so letting people know it’s free  is an instant boost.

From here, it looks like it’s fair to say that if it should be free, then redundancy is a no-go. But if there’s even the slightest chance your audience would be uncertain? Add “free.”

There’s always exceptions to the rule, however. Whitepaper does beat white paper and free whitepaper, but that’s where the predictability ends. In fact, free white paper is marginally better than the leading contender. And what completely blows the rest of them out of the water? The phrase download free white paper today! And, if you are wondering, yes, that exclamation point is important, and we can help you decide when to use those, too.

So, if you just want to be certain: use Convertasaurus. We’ve done the work, why not enjoy it in your “free time” (which beats “time” by 2.8x)?


Posted in Case Studies