What Does Your Free Content Cost You Anyway?

Everyone loves free, other than the people who have to pay for it. This is the unsaid truth that hides behind any “free” marketing method or campaign. There is normally, though not always, a real cost in terms of time and money.

So when you find yourself tempted to offer something for free, be sure and count the cost in each and every way you need to, in order to make sure your free content, bonus gift or other promotional label you chose to give is affordable. It’s time to take a critical look at the costs you’ll bear on the road to a freebie.

What forms of “free” are we talking about here?

The most obvious places we see free work its way into our businesses is in the act of gathering email addresses. Offering a freebie is a standard operating procedure, and won't be changing any time soon. Most of the time we are offered a free ebook, report, video series, e-course, webinar or email series in return for our email address and other contact details.

What you need to understand is there are costs associated with the creation of these freebies. Let’s look at several of the actual hard costs you’ll be forced to deal with in the creation of your freebies.

  • Actually writing or otherwise creating the content - There is someone who is responsible for getting this done, and you’ll most likely need to pay them. There may also be ancillary costs that go along with this, like software or hardware to help produce your content.
  • Designing the marketing funnel pages - You can do this with software programs, but somebody has to know how to do it, and that takes time, money and talent. Then there are web designers, and that could cost a bundle.
  • Marketing hard costs - You’ll need an email autoresponder company, webinar charges, and a way to deliver your freebie, whether it’s off your site or hosted elsewhere. Someone has to set that up. Shipping and hard costs for physical products have to be considered too.
  • Advertising - You may want to advertise to get the best response possible, and indeed this costs money and time.

Using a freebie, or freemium content as people are referring to them these days, is still a very good way to build a list or audience for your products and services. We just thought you ought to know you’ll need to count the cost of “free” when producing your freebie.


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