13 Feb 12
07 Feb 13 6:48 am
Yes, iandille101, I think that's very true.
I also did something else. Used to be that I used freebies as a reward or bonus (an "incentive") for a desired action on the part of visitors, like signing up for my mail list. But as I study the principles of Social Psychology, I find that this is not so good. It establishes a "quid-pro-quo" in the mind of the visitor -a transaction.
Transactions are voluntary and easy to turn down. There is no social force that says we have to complete a buy or barter offer.
Now I'm making all my freebies totally free, "no strings attached". In this way, I'm giving something away and asking for absolutely nothing in return. I think this should invoke the Social Psychology principle of Reciprocity. That is, the recipient feels obliged to me because I've provided value and asked for nothing in return. There is considerable social pressure for the visitor to do something for me to "return the favor".
If they do not, there is a social threat (at least to their self image), in that they want to avoid thinking of themselves, or being thought of as a "parasite", "moocher", "free loader", etc.
Because social reciprocity has helped societies to survive through thousands of years, by cooperation between individuals, it is a strong force, with strong censures. My experience on another site, where I have many freebies, is that this decoupling of freebies from any offer will lead to more traffic (everybody likes freebies), more mail list signups and possibly more info product sales than if the same freebies were used as incentives.
I like being a "good guy" by providing real value. And if that coincides with a Social Psychology marketing power play, by "pushing people's buttons", I guess that's OK too - even if not so altruistic.
Hope this helps...