Understand Your Buyer > How To Convert > The Free Gift Effect


What is it?

Offering a “free gift” with a purchase can encourage a client to buy because they feel like they’re getting a “better deal”.


Why does it work?

It works because we all want value for money and to feel like we’ve had a lot more value than we’ve paid for.  When we buy something and get a “free gift”, often that gift is not related or is essentially worthless to us, but the principle of getting “something for nothing” can drive us to buy.



How can you use it?

There are a couple of ways:

Free information products

Offering free information is a “zero cost” thing to do, has a high perceived value and is scalable. It also helps to create more trust and respect in the relationship you have with your clients.

Free physical products

In a physical product world, offering something for “free” that costs you money can seem counter intuitive.


If you could increase your conversions by spending another £1/£5/£10 on a “free gift” it will have more impact than discounting by that amount.

As an added bonus, the “free gift” could be merchandise branded with your name, or products another company provide to you for free, to promote their business.

Free support

Offering ongoing “support” for a time period after purchase can encourage a buyer as they feel that you genuinely care about them and their purchase. If the client does call on you for support it’s your chance to shine and perhaps sell them something else. If they don’t then you’ve lost nothing. Win. Win.

Free “upgrade”

If you have a higher priced offering, then rather than discount it, you can offer your clients a “free upgrade” to that offer for the price of the offering they were going to buy.

For example you sell umbrellas – one is a basic £5 model  and one is a £10 deluxe model.

In this scenario you could offer a “free upgrade” to the deluxe model for all purchases before XYZ date. This allows you to close the client, still make a margin (albeit a lesser one) and create word of mouth referral for your time limited deal. (see the Scarcity effect)


See also


10 alternative ways to discount your offering:

  1. First purchase– Discount the first purchase a buyer makes with you.
  2. Follow up offer – Follow up those who didn’t buy with an incentive.
  3. Cashback – Don’t discount, but provide cash back to those who pay full price.
  4. Themed Sale – Create an event or reason to hold a sale.
  5. Price Match – Offer to match the genuine price of a competitor.
  6. Buy more – Incentivise buyers to spend more with ascending discounts.
  7. Free gift- Offer a free gift with purchase.
  8. Early bird – Offer a discount for those who buy/pay in advance.
  9. Flash Sale – Hold a flash sale
  10. Budget version -create a naturally cheaper version of your offering to appeal to lower spending buyers.


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