Product Creation: The Psychology of Free

If you have been in the online information business for any length of time, then you’ll know that your marketing campaign must provide prospects with good quality, but free, information. Often, this is in the form of an eBook via a squeeze page. We take these things for granted now, but have you ever wondered why it works?

Apart from “freebie seekers,” what is really going on in people’s minds. Why are they willing to give you their contact details in exchange for some information?

In this article, I’m going to share with you three reasons.

1. It creates an emotional debt.

There’s something about doing someone a favor that cause them to want to return it to you. That’s why government employees are prohibited from accepting gifts from anyone who is outside of their organization.

When you receive something unexpectedly, it makes you want to do something for that person.

For example, think about something as simple as open a door for someone. If you are passing through a set of double doors, that person will usually hold the next door open for you.

Why? Because they are repaying the emotional debt that you created by opening the first door.

And so, when you ask someone for their contact details, they don’t mind giving them to you because you are offering to give them something first. If you had simply ask for that information, they wouldn’t feel the same obligation because there would be no debt to repay.

2. They have high expectations about the free material you’re offering.

Maybe it’s the title of your eBook that’s attracted their attention. Or maybe it’s your description of a problem they are having that makes them want to find out how to solve it.

Whatever it is, they now anticipate that what you offer will be of value to them. And they expect to benefit from it.

3. They see that what you’re giving them, and what they are giving you, is an equal exchange of value.

In other words, in their mind’s eye, they see your freebie as being worth as much or more as their contact details. And it’s that parity that triggers the beginning of a relationship between you.

While it’s true that some people will grab the free eBook and then unsubscribe immediately, the majority who do subscribe will stay on your list unless you do something that upsets them.

You need to recognize that some of your knowledge is of greater value to your online information business when you give it away, than when you try to sell it.