After reading lots of information regarding how free can earn revenue, it definitely came to light that you have to be careful with it. Obviously it can forever diminish the value of a product.
One key point that I gleaned were that it is important to find ways that people will WANT to pay a little extra. Another is that it needs to be valuable enough to not only get people to take the time to select your free product, but it is best if they tell their friends and associates about it.
One valuable thing for people is to save their time, so upgrades should include some time saving features. Another way to make paid for products valuable is to offer free support for them and keep free product support limited to automated methods. The best thing is to have supplemental products that make the setup easier. In our case, we are considering offering a free digital signage software product, and we will have a pre-configured set of hardware that makes the installation quick and easy.
Getting people to talk about it is a tricky area. There not only needs to be a good reason to talk about the free product, but it is beneficial if they can make money, recognition or some other value for them to talk about it. Getting the word out to existing customers is a starting place. Advertising can be beneficial to get the buzz started. Using the social networking mediums can do some, but again, it is better to have hundreds (or better still millions) of people using those mediums rather than you. The key is to add value to everyone who “gives’ your product away. We think we have got an interesting approach – but that is confidential until the day we announce it…
More to come I suspect! Have a great Easter everyone.