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Using a free trail or free demo as your mainstay offer

116 Comments · SEO

B-to-B marketing has developed quite a bit more than we expected in the past two years.  Mistakes have evolved along with it.

Free trials and demo-takers are the absolute best leads.  They convert faster and more reliably into sales than leads from any other type of marketing offer.

So it begs the obvious question:  why not use this as your main marketing offer?  (In fact, why use any other offer at all?

If you have an extremely large prospective client pool (i.e., you’re probably marketing to small businesses or to all businesses), you might consider sticking with trails and demos.

Nevertheless, if you market to a niche, you’ll be in big trouble. Prospects who raise their hands to accept a trial or demo are in the last part of the sales cycle, close to the end.

By making a free trail or demo of your lead offer, you’re filtering out potentially great prospects who aren’t ready for a trail.

You’ll never get the names of people who might want a little more information, persuasion, or product education to turn into ready-to-act prospects.

Furthermore, you may be missing the crucial opportunity to educate your prospects’ colleagues and decision-making committee members.

Only one member of a typical committee may sign up for a demo, but you need to influence all members to get a favorable decision.

Widen your net a little.  Broaden your sales funnel.  You can always make that trial or demo offer once they’ve become a lead through some other offer.

Then, you can offer existing prospects a free trial and/or demo repeatedly until it’s accepted.  But you have to start a relationship with your prospect first.
We, us, our
Quick test:  Go look at a copy of your marketing materials such as your Web home page or your latest direct mail piece.  Count the number of times you see the words We, Us, Our, or your brand name.

Then, count the number of times you see the words, You, Your, Yours, or the job title that your prospects tend to have.

Which count wins the contest?  If it’s the former, then you’ve got a copywriting problem.  Switch the focus and you’ll land more prospects and conversions.  It’s so simple yet so often forgotten.


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