Start Advertising Free Stuff (even if you don’t have any)

People like free sh*t.

“I got a free bucket of chum with my Dell order!!”

This is a universal truth, we have known this since we were children.  An ice cream sundae is great, but once you add that cherry on top, it becomes special.   In advertising we still make the mistake of ignoring this simple fact because: 1.     Giving stuff away can be expensive for us. 2.     Because we aren’t in an industry where we are able to give stuff away.   Convertasaurus tells us that both of these mindsets are incorrect.  Free stuff can mean basically anything you want, it doesn’t have to be expensive or even tangible. Simply the idea of a free gift is enough to drive people to your site.   Let’s dive into ways you can do this.

Give them some Bonuses!

“Free overnight shipping” is an awesome phrase in advertising.  The big game is on tomorrow, and I want a new plasma screen TV and 50lb bag of Cheetos to be delivered to my house before it begins.  “Free overnight shipping” is tangible, handy and expensive, what word could possibly beat that?? I’ll tell you what word, “Bonuses!” Yup.  That’s it.  “Bonuses!”  A completely vague word is over 7 times more successful in ads than “Free overnight shipping”.  What does “Bonuses!” even mean? In the advertising world, it can mean whatever you want it to mean and it will still gain the attention of a potential buyer.  This should come as a relief to people who are advertising any product or service.  Give your customers, “Bonuses!”and they will come.


Now if you can stretch a bit more than that, I recommend you do.  “Get a free gift!” is more specific and does beat “Bonuses!” one on one. “Bonus Miles” is better still, which is great for people in the travel industry. “Get a free consultation” is a great keyword for consultants. And “A 30 day free trial.” is better still.  People really like to try things for free, it is seen as, at best, a bonus to something they’re considering buying anyway; or at worst something that lets them try out your product for a limited time. But one of the greatest words to use is, “For your free estimate.” I believe this says a lot about the home-improvement industry and how expensive people fear it can be.  If you can tell me how much a new kitchen will cost me, you better believe I’m interested.  For an advertiser providing a free estimate on a project can possibly mean a huge return on investment.

  1. For your free estimate  <–Winner!
  2. A 30 day free trial
  3. Get a free consultation
  4. Bonus Miles
  5. Get a free gift!
  6. Bonuses!
  7. Free shipping


Understanding the Bonus:

So free stuff is good, we know this.  But you might be saying to yourself, “these are strangely specific phrases” and they are, but if you look closely you will find an interesting pattern. “a 30 day free trial.”, “for your free estimate”, and even “bonuses!” are not complete thoughts, instead they are chunks of larger ideas.  What we can learn from this is that bonus phrasing is most effective when it’s paired with another idea or service, eg: “call today for your free estimate.”  Which makes sense because that’s exactly what a bonus is! Is “free estimate” a solid keyword to use?  Absolutely, but it ranks lower than a lot of it’s counterparts, and it definitely doesn’t beat out “free overnight shipping”.

  1. & get a free estimate.  <–Winner!
  2. Free estimate and  <– Still Awesome
  3. For your free estimate
  4. Free overnight shipping
  5. Get a free estimate now
  6. Get a free estimate!
  7. Free estimate call
  8. A free estimate now
  9. Your free estimate today
  10. Your free estimate
  11. Get a free estimate
  12. Free estimate today!
  13. Free estimate!
  14. Free estimate   <—- It’s wayyyyy down here
  15. A free estimate

So no matter what you do, what you sell or what you want to market, adding a cherry on top is always a fruitful option when writing your ads.

Oh bonuses, delicious bonuses…

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