What kind of free stuff you might ask? There are tons of options that come to mind.
In this blog, we introduce you to a particular technique and incentive to increase your eCommerce conversions and sales:
A good value eBook offered for free along with your product.
It is! But first, you need to understand the rationale behind the technique and the dynamics of the online environment you are working on. In this case, the world of Amazon retailing.
The Psychology of Free Stuff
One of the best marketing strategies to augment your sales is to provide incentives to your customers. Incentives are things that encourage a person to act immediately. In this case, it influences the buying decision of the visitor. This is very common in both online and walk-in stores.
Incentives can be price based, offer-scarcity based or offer-urgency based. The latter two, as you might’ve guessed, involves advising your potential customer that the special promotion is offered on a limited basis only. Price based incentives on the other hand encourage potential customers to purchase a product for financial gain, more commonly in the form of savings. Examples of such is the infamous buy one, take one or the free delivery strategy. Another example, which is the focus of this blog, is to offer up a freebie. (Read more on the different kinds of incentives to help you decide which one best aligns with your business plans.)
Why is offering free stuff an effective means to convert your visitors to buyers?
You might’ve heard of the “zero – price effect”. The zero – price effect is a phenomenon seen as a strong inclination to action (overreaction) when faced with a no-cost pricing.
A study on the true value of free products iterated that the zero – price effect is hugely influenced by affect (Shampan’er and Ariely, 2006) which is the idea that options with absolutely no drawbacks induce a more positive effective behavior as compared to options that involve both benefits and costs. In simpler words, offering up free stuff can elicit a positive response from your potential buyers.
What are value eBooks and how can you use it to increase sales?
You’re probably wondering why we’re suggesting value eBooks in particular. eBooks can always provide value when the contents are substantial and are presented soundly enough to meet the needs of the reader. Non-fiction eBooks such as cookbooks, self-help and practical life tips are good examples of value eBooks.
A value eBook should ideally be related to the product for which it will be given along with. For example, if you’re selling kettle bells, you might want to add in a value eBook on the proper exercise postures and positions when using kettle bells.
How should you offer your free value eBook on Amazon?
Offering free products on Amazon can be a bit tricky. The types of promotions allowed on seller central are free shipping, percentage off, external benefits (points), buy one – get one ,and social media promo codes only, with none presenting plausibility to offer free extra items along with your products. Beyond such allowed promotions could mean a breach in your TOS. Nonetheless, this does not mean that you cannot throw in an extra item or two for your customers. There are two (2) ways that you can hand in your free value eBook to your customers.
When you ship your product to your customer, you can throw in a thank you letter along with the instructions as to how he/she can claim the free eBook.
This could also come as an opt-in / opt-out feature much like what you see in landing pages. If they want to receive the eBook, then they provide you with their email address or other contact information. If they don’t want the eBook, then they have the choice not to notify you.
Write and produce your own value eBook with an easy to use eBook creator, publish it on the Kindle Direct Publishing Platform and give your customer a promo code that could give them free access to your kindle value eBook. You can provide them with the promo code along with your thank you note as well. This may be a more expensive option considering the additional charges of Amazon to the publishers. On a brighter note, you can earn from Kindle royalties at the same time.
Things to keep in mind
- When designing your eBook, make sure that the structure is clear and cohesive. Use simple and straight-to-the-point subheadings or chapter titles. In addition, generate a table of contents to make it easier for your customers to navigate directly to what they want to know. A lot of people are very selective only of what they need. We recommend also to make your entire eBook visually appealing with just the right amount of graphics.
- If you’re tight with your budget, there are many portals where you can source out your value eBooks from. However, make sure to double check copyright measures before utilizing them in your business. Creating your own value eBook is a safer option for you for two main reasons: you can do anything you desire with it and you can optimize its content for the benefit of your business. You can actually apply this in both Option A and B above.
- You can convey to your customers that you offer a free value eBook before they purchase your product, you just cannot articulate the fact that it’s free in the product listing / title and description as per Amazon’s terms of service. You can convey it through other channels however. This includes social media outlets.Do adding value eBooks really increase conversion rates in Amazon?
The answer is yes! Although Amazon makes it a bit of a challenge to throw in value eBooks, it is not absolutely impossible. The keywords here are capitalizing on the zero – price effect, reciprocation, online customer reviews and product recommendations. You know already of the zero-price effect as discussed above. Deals or offers such as price-based incentives catalyze conversions. At one point, it was found out that more than half of millennials aged 18-34 opted to search for a deal or offer before making a purchase online. And with regards to reciprocation, people in general may tend to feel the need to give back when they are offered with something beneficial. After you give them free access to the value eBook, asking for a review in return might not be as difficult as it could be. The point is . . . Increasing your conversions (and hopefully your sales) on Amazon doesn’t have to be complicated and tedious. Offering up and creating incentives for your visitors, like a free value eBook is easier than you might think. Check out (below) the ebook design samples from Glorify. All you would need to do here is replace the text with your own, and customise the product and brand colours to match your own. And all it takes is a few clicks.