In our Lead Generation series, we’ve spoken about contact forms and newsletter subscription forms. In this setting the freebie forms, which we are going to discuss today, are champs of the lead generation forms evolution chain. Many businesses name these forms as their most effective lead capturing instruments. They are well incentivized, therefore expect for entries to pour in.
But what do we mean by freebie campaigns? Well, as we all know, life is oftentimes about learning how to give and take – mother taught us so. Freebie marketing itself revolves not far from these terms. It is an exchange of value spurred by people getting an item for free or largely discounted. Whenever you find it’s a good moment to start a simple freebie campaign, the easiest tool to help you take off is an online freebie form – and we’ll tell you exactly how to do it.
Things look simple at most parts: you think of an item or service you can give away that already bears value for people, create added value by embellishing it in a catchy offer, then ask for something worthy in return. That “something” represents lead contact data, larger sales of other goods in your offer, or simply and generally put, your customers’ loyalty.
At this point, you might say: “But hold on, won’t the freebie campaign diminish the perceived value of my brand?” Well, if you balance it with an irresistible product range at low prices, it will just make your merchandise look more accessible and inviting – and also bring customer love, the kind of love that leads to long term relationships. Just think of the famous Gillette motto: “Give’em the razor, sell ’em the blades”. Put a smile on your face: freebie campaigns generally are positive experiences with the potential of generating brand virality. Everybody loves freebies after all, isn’t it?
Of course, you need to make your freebies worthy – we cannot stress this enough. This is because nowadays customers are flooded with free offers everywhere, and they have started to sense the marketing push from far away, deducting that there will be a point where they will be asked for something in return that they do not want to give, be it just their attention or time. To keep your feet on the ground, don’t just throw a free offer in the wind, but think a whole marketing strategy that will nourish your “freebie” leads to the point of closing sales.
Will it be an e-book for free download? A creative of yours, such as a song or an image? A ticket for an event? Anything you may think of can make a good offer if it relates to your brand and creates a strong impression over visitors. By far the most widely used freebies in the online marketing world are ebooks and discount coupons for various services. To sum up, your task is to pinpoint exactly what you want to give away, and of course what details from your customers you need to collect with the freebie form.
When you implement any freebie online marketing campaign, you will need a way to catch visitors’ details, while leading them to the freebie itself. This is where the freebie form comes in handy. Let’s imagine you plan a freebie session for downloading an ebook on a business’ website, strengthened with a social media campaign. The main points you should pay attention to are:
Form content – in your ebook download form include fields that ask for reasonable details that define your lead, such as people’s essential contact data. And why not leverage the opportunity of inviting people to subscribe for your newsletter?
Branding – make it soft, but convincing. Use your distinctive colors and any badge or logo that makes the offer identifiable. In the case of an ebook, you can include the logo of your business and an image that blends with the topic of the ebook (or maybe even its cover photo).
Redirects – after a visitor fills in the form, she should receive the link for downloading the ebook. You have 3 options for handing the link over: the thank you message that appears on the screen after form is submitted, the form redirect to an URL (provide the download URL and it should start automatically) or a form autoresponder. The last is my personal favorite, as it allows for inserting text, images, videos, links, coupons and basically any type of marketing material you might want to give.
Form placement – it should be visible on your website as well as on social media. Use 123ContactForm’s embedding options to incorporate the form seamlessly onto your webpage, and leverage the form link for inclusion in your website footer, email campaigns, signature and virtually anywhere you cannot embed.
Form sharing – make the offer social. With our form social sharing buttons, you can let form users disseminate the form easily and talk about your offer with their friends. If you have a Facebook page, you can use the 123ContactForm app for Facebook to place a nifty page tab containing your freebie form, which you can customize with a tab photo and calls-to-action. Also make sure you check out our HootSuite app that helps you share the freebie form on all of your social networks in just a few clicks.
The backend – once you’ve collected those leads, you need to send them somewhere practical for further use. You may find our Submissions section handy for viewing all data in an organized manner. And you can also link the form with mailing systems such as MailChimp, ExactTarget, AWeber or Constant Contact to feed your email campaigns lists. Your form shouldn’t be statical and standalone – make it a hub of integrations and you’ll save precious time on your side.
What freebie campaigns are you planning to build? We love freebies too and we might be interested 🙂 Share them with us on Twitter!
And don’t forget that if you want to find out more about conversion tips and lead gathering, you can sign up for our free webinar from March 26th: “10 Ways You’re Killing Your Form Response Rates – And How To Fix It”.