We all like the odd bargain or freebie, but get too many from one place and you start to get suspicious about the quality of the product or service being touted.

“Get a free e-book when you sign up to my newsletter”…

This is a pretty standard thing, you’re asking people to sign up to your newsletter and your marketing list and you want to add some value, but how many of these freebies have you ever downloaded, let alone read?

I’ve taken the free e-book off my sign up and put it on my website as a free resource, I don’t think it’s going to make any difference to the number of sign ups I get (but I’ll report back to you in a month and let you know).

Action:- Try it for yourself, take the freebie off your sign up and see what difference it makes…Leave a comment below to let me know.

Price-drop/BOGOF offers

A while ago I made a “50% off your first order” offer to a targeted group of people. I was hoping it would turn some Suspects and Prospects into clients (one offs or regulars, I didn’t mind).

This – what at the time I thought was an unmissable – offer generated one query and absolutely no business! But why?

If it look cheap, then it probably is…

I think this is the first mistake I made…Consumers/clients look at what you’re offering and think “that’s a really low price, it’s bound to be low quality, I look elsewhere”.

Devaluing myself…

This was the second mistake…By offering 50% off a first order I’m giving people the impression that I’m happy to work for that price. Why then, having paid £100 for a job the first time, would they want to pay £200 the next? It was a really basic mistake and not one I’ll be making again!

Action:- Don’t devalue yourself or your product/service. That’s not to say that you can’t or shouldn’t do special promotions, but keep them small (free P&P, 10% off your first order, discounts for existing customers or linked to seasonal promotions or holidays).

That’s not to say…

That I never negotiate on price or do a deal for a reduced fee plus a testimonial/case study because I do, but only in special cases.

For example, if someone has a fixed budget for a job, I offer them as close as I can to what they’re looking for, but so that I’m not out of pocket.

If I’m trying to break into a new market or learn a new skill.

If I’m approached by a charity.

So, there you have my take on why freebies and price slashes aren’t always in the best interest of your business. What do you think?

Author's Bio: 

I’m a Virtual Assistant providing services to journalists and authors (see Services/Terms), and I’m also a journalist/copywriter in my own right (see Journalism), so I understand the pressures you’re working under and the quality of work and type of support you’re looking for.

I have experience of working in the higher education, arts administration, social housing, primary education, retail and media sectors. All my work experience has brought me in to contact with people as their first port of call to meet their customer service or administration needs.

Outside Work

I live in Lancashire, England with my husband and our son and spend my free (?) time Scouting, knitting and reading.