Thoughts on Freebies and Giveaways on website


I work for a company that makes BI type software that runs over ERP systems such as Oracle e-business and JDE. It produces reports on the efficiency of companies finance processes, manufacturing processes etc. Clients are typically middle sized companies (500-1000 people).

We've just launched a new website ( and have been thinking about ways to attract traffic from existing and possibly new customers. We have thought about offering giveaways / freebies of some form.

Do you have experience of offering freebies on websites.

Anyone have any useful insight into the kind of things that work most effectively?

Our primary goal is to attract traffic from people who could be interested in buying our software.
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Geoff KenyonConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Give aways and contests are a good way to get a fair amount of links quickly  if they are done well; there are a lot of sites that promote give aways and contests.  So if you give something away make sure you try and get it listed in these 'free stuff' directories/listings.  These are pretty easy to find just by doing a Google search for 'Free _____'

 If you do a contest/give away, you don't have to give your product away, but you want to make sure you give away something related to your product.  

Two reasons for this, the first is qualified traffic - everyone wants an iPod, or some other popular give away, but if you give away something relevant to your product the people that the contest will draw will tend to be more interested in your product.

The second reason is links; if you are giving away something related to your product, or your product, the anchor text will be more appropriate and useful than anchor text that is about iPods.
AnonymousConnect With a Mentor Business Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Yes, a lot actually, at the hands mostly of clients. One overriding thought continues to permeate my thinking on this subject: One gets what one pays for. Freebies, by the way, are different than trial periods to my way of thinking

I do take advantage of trial periods when I have researched a thought and come to a conclusion of what might work for me. Then I install the trial, and assuming I like it, I go back and get a license. I don't consider this to be a freebie.

I have very little free software running on my own computer, because I what my software to work properly and reliably and I want access to support when I need it.

In terms of what works effectively, nag screens do not work for me at all. If it is not free, say so up front, use the trial period concept, and do not nag me until a day or two from expiry of the trial. If it is free, find some unobtrusive way to advertise. In your face, pop-up advertising is terrible marketing and I usually delete software that gets in my face and exit web pages that pop up in front of me.

From my own selfish perspective, I pay my way, get what I want, and I don't get bothered much. I even pay here to avoid the marketing screens. ... Thinkpads_User
When you mention "freebies" and "giveaways" are you speaking about having contests for prizes with a real, tangible value or free ebook downloads and whitepapers?
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molarAuthor Commented:
Hi all

By freebies, I'm pretty open about what that would be:

We do have some whitepapers on our website which highlight the kinds of issues that there are with ERP systems that our product solves.

We do offer trial licence keys, though the tricky thing for us there is that it requires around 0.5 a day of install and configuration to get our software hooked up to a clients ERP data, so the trial may not be something that would be attractive to someone who was browsing casually, and had not seen our software before. Typically when we offer a key, we go to see them and demo it on site.

I suppose the giveaways are about getting people to the point where they could be interested in a proper demo.
gwkgConnect With a Mentor Commented:
In that case I would write up a report on the x number of things your business needs to know before buying "BI type software that runs over ERP systems such as Oracle e-business and JDE"


How the wrong choice in choosing "BI type software that runs over ERP systems such as Oracle e-business and JDE" can bankrupt your company (or cost your company millions) whatever the most extreme circumstance is you can show.

of course I have no clue what "BI type software that runs over ERP systems such as Oracle e-business and JDE" is so they are just raw ideas =)

You need to try to appeal to the person you feel will be reading your report, though.

If its the IT guy, then your emphasis would be saving time and generally making his job easier.

If its executive level, then you would emphasize the cost benefits.

Eddy LimPersonal Times Corporate GiftsCommented:
I would perhaps do what others suggested here. There are a lot of working strategy that would led you to get those target leads including giving corporate gifts to a contest via social media. Order cheaper tangible custom giveaways from Personal Times Business Gifts or other similar websites to save you from the hassle. Tangible giveaways not just increase your branding but as well provide consumer loyalty.
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