I recently flew up and back to Scotland for a business trip to meet up with colleagues. I don’t think anyone gets up for fun to catch the 6:50 but you have to do it.

On the way back waiting for the gate to open I was looking at duty free and wondering is it really free? As an internal flight I couldn’t get the supposed free element, however it had me thinking whether when it says free is it really free? For instance:

  • A free bottle of wine with your meal (2 persons)
  • Duty free goods
  • Buy on get one free
  • Get your free report

Just some examples you see at your local restaurant, supermarket and internet market website.  And of course the airport!

These are all in their ways great marketing tools, bringing in customers to either buy more or buy in the future. All look great news to the consumer however, sometimes the let’s look at them in more detail

Free bottle of wine

I am sure you have seen the promotional ads where the restaurant offers a couple a free bottle of wine with there meal.

The restaurant is banking on the couple to have more than one bottle or as a promotional event to leave a good memory of the evening, they come back for more.  If you buy one more bottle then the restaurant has probably covered their cost. In this case if you don’t come back then it would be free.

Duty free goods

Duty free does mean you don’t pay the tax, a way to make people feel they are cheating the tax man! Often or not people buy just more than one item. However several surveys show the goods can be cheaper the other side of the gates.

Buy one get one free

Buy one get one free – used to make the buyer feel they are getting a deal by selling one product at a price and then giving them one free. Its a psychological trick who wouldn’t think it great that you have a free one? In reality more often the product price has been inflated so you probably only get both at a discount!

Get our Free Report

This is used through many industries even publishing. For  example, a book by a popular author – give them the first few chapters for free, just get them to a cliff hanger moment, wanting more.

In the internet marketing world it’s the free report on a topic that is current, offering lots of information on how to do things; explaining most common mistakes; best tools to perform tasks; often these reports will give away the solution to a problem.

So what is the website getting in return? Normally the quid pro quo is in return for the report the visitor will give the website owner their email address.

Through a email service the visitor receives the report which will contain greta information and is worth the price of the email. Foe the website owner you are then able to market to them via emails! That is priceless!

So I know what free deal I want to give!



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