The Definitive Guide to Generating Leads and Growing Your Business with Free Plus Shipping

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As a new business owner in today’s fast-growing business landscape, attracting your target audience and converting them into lifelong customers is the most crucial step for overall growth. However, due to the competitive nature of today’s market, finding and executing the right strategy for acquiring customers has become increasingly difficult. Even when you have the right strategy, competition has made it more challenging and expensive to acquire and retain customers.

Today’s businesses and entrepreneurs are seeking unique ways to acquire new customers, build long-term relationships, and drive growth. One of these unique ways is the Free Plus Shipping strategy. In the past few years, Free Plus Shipping has emerged as one of the most powerful marketing strategies to generate leads, acquire new customers, build long-term relationships, and achieve business goals.

I. What is Free Plus Shipping and Why Do You Need It?

But what does the term “Free Plus Shipping” really mean? In essence, Free Plus Shipping is an offer where you sell a product to customers for free, charging only for shipping. This approach offers a free product or resource but requires the customer to cover the cost of shipping. While it may seem counterintuitive from a business standpoint, offering a free product entices customers, while the shipping fee makes them commit to the purchase.

The next question you might have is, why is this necessary? Why can’t I just use a free lead magnet? Well, while using a free lead magnet is okay, it leads to you having a list of people who are not committed to buying your product. Most of them are more interested in getting your free offer and moving on. This means most won’t respond to your subsequent offers.

If you’re like me, you want to build a relationship with a list of engaged subscribers who are committed enough to buy future offers, people who are already poised to buy. That’s why this strategy works really well. You not only get people into your list, you get engaged buyers who have already made a commitment by paying the shipping fee for your free plus offer. This makes your job of nurturing and converting them into long-term clients easier.

Moreover, the true value lies in the lead generation potential. By offering a “free” product, you incentivize prospects to provide their contact information while also gauging their commitment. This allows you to build your email list, nurture these leads, and convert them into paying customers over time.

This is why Free Plus Shipping should be a part of your strategy:

  • Attract New Customers: The offer acts as a gateway, enticing prospects to try your product and potentially discover your other offerings, helping you reach a wider audience who may not have been familiar with your brand before.
  • Build an Email List: This strategy helps you capture valuable contact information like email addresses, allowing you to connect with potential customers directly, empowering you to build targeted marketing campaigns, share valuable content, and ultimately nurture leads towards conversion.
  • Proven Buyer Intent: Freebies often attract freebie seekers—those who just want something for nothing, with no intention to buy. The small shipping fee acts as a filter that prevents freebie seekers from joining your list. This ensures that your list primarily consists of individuals with genuine buying intent.
  • Unlock Profitability: While the core product may be free, the shipping fee plays an important role in covering expenses and, maybe, even generating a small profit. This not only ensures a steady flow of qualified leads into your business but also enhances the overall profitability of your marketing efforts.
  • Boost Sales: Although the initial offer may be free, it can indirectly drive sales in several ways. Customers may be enticed to purchase additional items alongside the free product, increasing their overall order value. Also, nurturing leads through targeted email campaigns can ultimately convert them into lifelong customers who will stay with you for a long time.

Other Benefits of Free Plus Shipping (Beyond Lead Generation)

While helping you build a list of ready buyers is a significant advantage that the Free Plus Shipping strategy offers, this strategy offers a lot of benefits for businesses that extend far beyond qualified leads.

Now, let’s take a deep dive into the core benefits mentioned earlier, exploring them with specific examples and use cases.

1. Building Brand Trust

When you offer a valuable product for free, it demonstrates a customer-centric approach, prioritizing customer satisfaction over immediate profit. This helps you garner trust and goodwill, encouraging your prospects to view your brand favorably.

Example: Picture a fitness coach offering clients a free challenge kit or binder containing all the necessary materials, such as worksheets, checklists, and access to additional resources, already printed and organized. This approach enhances participants’ engagement and commitment to the coach’s brand, increasing the likelihood of them purchasing the complete program or other offerings in the future.

2. Gathering Valuable Customer Data

During the signup process for the free plus shipping offer, you capture essential information like email addresses and potentially gather additional details such as demographics or preferences.

The data allows you to:

  • Segment Your Audience: Categorize leads based on shared characteristics, enabling you to tailor your marketing messages and future offers to resonate better with specific groups. For instance, you could segment customers based on their age, gender, or interests.
  • Personalize Marketing Campaigns: Leverage the collected data to craft personalized emails, product recommendations, or targeted content that caters to individual needs and preferences.

Example: A career coach might categorize potential clients based on their career stage, such as college students seeking employment, seasoned professionals aiming for advancement, or individuals considering a career change. This segmentation enables the coach to tailor targeted email campaigns that effectively address the unique needs and aspirations of each group.

3. Building Brand Loyalty

When you give a positive first impression through a free offer, it sets the stage for building strong customer relationships. When customers experience the quality and benefits of your offerings firsthand, they are more likely to become loyal brand advocates.

Example: A coffee subscription service offering a free trial pack of their coffee beans allows potential customers to experience the unique flavors and quality of their product. This experience can convert them into loyal subscribers who appreciate the brand and its commitment to customer satisfaction.

Now that you know that the free plus shipping strategy not only helps you generate ready buyers but also helps you build brand trust, gather valuable customer data, and build brand loyalty, let’s dive into how to set it up.

II. How Does Free Plus Shipping Works(The Core of FPS)? 

The core substance of a free plus shipping offer is relatively straightforward. While the product itself appears “free” to the customer, the real cost of producing the product is put into the shipping cost. For instance, let’s say you were planning on offering a free book. If it costs $3 to print the book and maybe $4 to ship the book, you can offer the book for free and ask the customer to pay a shipping fee of $8. Because it’s a printed book, the perceived value is high, and the customer feels it’s a bargain, so they are excited to buy. This may not be profitable at first, considering you are going to have to promote the offer, but the profitability lies in the potential upsells and future purchases from the generated leads.

Here’s a breakdown:

Cost Structure:

  • Product Cost: You add this to the shipping cost.
  • Shipping Cost: The customer pays the shipping cost + product cost.
  • Marketing Cost: You invest in promoting the offer through various marketing channels.

Profitability:

While you may not actually generate real profit on the front end, the true benefit comes from the acquired email list. Remember that the list is effectively a list of buyers because they have shown commitment by paying for the shipping fee. All you have to do is leverage this list by nurturing leads through targeted email marketing campaigns, potentially leading to:

  • Upsells: Encourage customers to purchase a higher-priced version of the same product or related items alongside the free offer.
  • Future Purchases: By nurturing leads with valuable content and building trust, you increase the likelihood of them converting into paying customers who purchase your other offerings in the future.

It is also very possible that you could turn a small profit by offering complementary products and order bumps on the offer.

Now that you understand the core of a free plus shipping offer, let me take you through the mindset of the customer.

Customer Journey

  • Encounter the Offer: Prospects discover your free plus shipping offer through various marketing channels, such as:
    • Social media ads: Targeted ads reach specific demographics and interests.
    • Email campaigns: Existing email lists can be utilized to promote the offer.
    • Content marketing: Valuable content can attract new leads and introduce them to the offer.
    • Landing Page: They are directed to a landing page that clearly explains the offer, highlighting its benefits and showcasing the free product while showing the shipping cost. The landing page also provides clear instructions on how to claim the offer.
  • They Claim the Free Product: The customer completes a user-friendly signup form, providing their contact information in exchange for the free product, and they pay for the shipping.
  • Become a Lead: Upon signup, they transition from mere prospects to leads with buying intent. They receive an email confirmation with details about their product and a welcome email sequence introducing your brand and offerings.

Understanding the core of the offer and customer journey will allow you to visualize how to effectively generate qualified leads, foster long-term customer relationships, and grow your business.

III. What You Need to Create a Free Plus Shipping Offer

To create a successful free plus shipping offer, ensure you have the following components in place:

1. The Free Product:

  • Value: Offer a product that provides significant value to your target audience, addressing their specific needs or pain points.
  • Alignment: Ensure the free product aligns with your brand and gives a glimpse of your core offerings, building trust and interest.

2. Well-Designed Landing Page:

  • Clarity: Clearly explain the offer, its benefits, and how to claim it using concise and compelling copy.
  • Call to Action (CTA): Include a strong and clear CTA that encourages visitors to take the desired action, such as “Buy Now.”

3. Email Marketing Strategy:

  • Content: Develop an email marketing strategy to nurture captured leads with valuable content, such as informative blog posts or exclusive offers.
  • Personalization: Segment your email list and personalize messages based on individual interests and past engagement for relevance and engagement.

4. Tracking and Measurement:

  • Metrics: Implement a system to track key metrics like:
    • Lead generation rate: Measures the rate at which leads are generated through the offer.
    • Cost per lead (CPL): Tracks the cost associated with acquiring each lead.
    • Email open rate: Measures the percentage of recipients who open your emails.
    • Click-through rate (CTR): Measures the percentage of email recipients who click on a link within your email.
    • Conversion rate: Tracks the percentage of leads who convert into paying customers.
  • Analysis: Regularly analyze and interpret these metrics to evaluate the performance of your offer, identify areas for improvement, and optimize your strategy for long-term success.

IV. Setting Up Your Free Plus Shipping Offer

Before you set up your offer, there are some crucial steps you must follow:

1. Identify Your Target Audience

Before attempting to build or go into the specifics of your offer, understanding your target audience is important. This involves creating your ideal customer profile (ICP), including their demographics, needs, preferences, and challenges. You then tailor your free plus shipping offer and messaging to resonate with that audience, significantly increasing the effectiveness of your offer.

Why is this important?

  • Relevance: A well-defined target audience allows you to craft an offer that directly addresses their pain points and interests, making it feel relevant and valuable to them, which increases the likelihood of engagement and conversion.
  • Efficiency: When you target the right audience, you optimize your marketing efforts and resources, reaching individuals genuinely interested in what you offer.

How to identify your target audience:

  • Customer Surveys: Conduct surveys through email blasts, social media polls, or on your website to gather direct feedback from existing customers. Ask questions about their preferences, challenges they face, and what they value most.
  • Market Research Reports: Invest in industry-specific market research reports or utilize free resources to gather valuable insights into broader market trends, competitor analysis, and potential customer segmentation based on demographics, interests, and purchasing behaviors.
  • Social Media Analytics: Leverage analytics tools provided by social media platforms to gain insights into the demographics, interests, and online behavior of your existing audience on these platforms.

Once you have your target audience figured out, the next thing you need to do is decide what you want to sell.

2. Choosing the Right Product

Choosing the ideal product for your free plus shipping offer is critical to your success. The product plays an important role in attracting attention, building brand perception, and driving lead generation. Here’s what to consider when choosing a product:

Key Characteristics:

  • Appealing and Relevant: The product should be appealing to your target audience, captivating their attention and generating excitement about the offer. It should also be relevant to their needs and address a specific pain point or challenge they face.
  • Low-Cost: Maintaining profitability is crucial. The chosen product should have a low production and shipping cost to ensure you don’t charge huge shipping fees, which will turn customers off, and also make sure you can break even.
  • Brand Alignment: The product should align with your brand identity and product offerings. Offering a product that clashes with your brand image can send mixed messages and confuse potential customers.

Product Ideas and Research:

To guide your selection, consider these strategies:

  • Industry Trends: Analyze industry trends and recent developments in your market to gain valuable insights into the types of products customers find essential or are actively seeking. Identify products that address common pain points or emerging needs within your industry.
  • Customer Needs: Conduct thorough research to understand the specific needs and challenges faced by your target audience. By offering a product that directly helps them address these needs, you significantly increase the perceived value of your offer and encourage them to buy.
  • Competitive Analysis: Research free plus shipping offers implemented by your competitors. Analyze what products they are offering, their effectiveness, and identify potential gaps in their strategies. This can inspire you to offer a unique and compelling product that stands out in the market.

3. Best Product Types for Free Plus Shipping

While the best product depends on your business and target audience, several types have proven effective for free plus shipping offers:

Samples:

  • Description: Offer a condensed version of your popular course in a printed format.
  • Benefits:
    • Enables customers to experience the quality and advantages of your course firsthand, fostering trust and brand recognition.
    • Ideal for course creators.
  • Example: If you have a course on how to sell with Facebook ads, you can include some strategies from the course in a physical book.

  • Description: Package some of your most effective strategies in a physical workbook or planner.
  • Benefits:
    • Allows your prospects to experience what it’s like working with you and what they will receive, helping you build more trust.
    • Ideal for coaches and consultants..
  • Example: A coach or consultant can offer something like “17 Steps to Get You Out of Debt in 7 Days.”

  • Low-Cost Physical Products:
    • Description: Choose items with high perceived value and minimal production and shipping costs. This could include:
      • Branded merchandise like journals, mugs, or t-shirts.
      • Accessories related to your core offerings.
      • Small consumable products relevant to your industry.
    • Benefits:
      • Offer physical items that customers can use and keep, strengthening brand awareness and recognition.
      • Maintain profitability due to low production and shipping costs.
    • Example: A personal development coach might offer a free deck of branded affirmation cards that align with their philosophy.

4. Adding Upsells and Order Bumps

In addition to generating qualified leads from the free plus shipping offer, there are additional ways to maximize the revenue potential of your offer through upsells and order bumps:

  • Upsells:
    • Upsells encourage customers to purchase a higher-priced version of the same product or a related product alongside their free offer. This can significantly increase your average order value (AOV) and overall revenue.
    • Types of Upsells:
      • Product Upsells: Offer a premium version of the free product with additional features, benefits, or larger quantities at a higher price point.
      • Order Value Upsells: Suggest complementary products that enhance the functionality or value of the free product, encouraging customers to spend more overall.
      • Service Upsells: Offer additional services or subscriptions related to the free product, such as extended warranties, priority support, or access to exclusive content.
  • Order Bumps:
    • Order bumps give customers the opportunity to add additional items to their cart at a discounted price alongside their initial purchase. They are typically presented at the checkout page, offering a convenient way for customers to add impulse purchases to their order.

Implementing Upsells and Order Bumps:

  • Strategic Placement: Carefully select the placement of your upsells and order bumps to maximize their effectiveness. This could be on the product page, landing page, or during checkout.
  • Clear Value Proposition: Ensure your upsells and order bumps offer clear value to the customer and are presented in a way that highlights their benefits and justifies the additional cost.
  • Limited-Time Offers: Consider implementing limited-time offers or limited quantities for upsells and order bumps to create a sense of urgency and encourage immediate decision-making.

When you use upsells and order bumps in your free plus shipping funnel, you can enhance the revenue-generating potential and contribute to your overall business growth.

V. Building Your Free Plus Shipping Funnel

To build your s free plus shipping offer, you need Studiocart, Here We’ll work you through the process of actually building the offer,  showing you how to easily launch a free + shipping product with just a few clicks using Studiocart.

Use Studiocart to create a Free + Shipping Product

First things first, you need to get StudioCart.  It’s the simplest way to create your free + shipping offer. StudioCart helps you build optimized checkout pages and sales funnels on your wordpress website without any coding.

Watch this video to learn how to install StudioCart.

Once you’ve installed it, go to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to the Products section in Studiocart.


Click on Add New Product

In this case we already created a product

 If you’ve already done so, click on the product to begin editing.

Enter the product title or change it to your preferred title if you’re editing.



Navigate to product settings in the left corner under the title, click on “General”. In the general settings, click “Disable single product page” if you have designed a custom checkout page for the product. If you haven’t, leave the toggle unchecked.

Next, click on “Payment Plans,” then click on “Add New.”

You will see a drop-down menu; set the price to $0


You can tailor your payment plan as much as you like.
Here is an example. We have to set the Price to $0 for the free + shipping promo.


Next, click on Payment Methods and select your preferred payment type.



Next, navigate to “Shipping,” click the “Enable Shipping” toggle, and set the shipping amount.

Keep the amount as low as possible to reduce the barrier of entry for your customers and increase the likelihood of conversion.


Next navigate to Form Fields & Settings.



Enable display address fields.



Customize your address fields.

Now, you can Save the page.

The next step is to optimize and customize the checkout page to clearly communicate the Free + Shipping offer. You can do that by using the checkout page designs in our template library.

To access it, navigate to your StudioCart dashboard and click on “Resources.”



Then, click on “Get Templates.” You will be directed to the Template Library. Make sure you are logged in, and you can use any of these templates.


Here’s an example of a built-out Free + Shipping offer page.

VI. Promoting Your Offer

To reach your target audience and generate leads with your free plus shipping offer, consider utilizing various marketing channels:

  • Social Media Advertising:
    • Platforms like Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads offer powerful targeting capabilities based on demographics, interests, and online behavior.
    • Use these platforms to create targeted ad campaigns that showcase your offer’s benefits and reach individuals most likely to be interested.
  • Email Marketing:
    • Leverage an existing email list to reach a warm audience.
    • Create compelling email campaigns highlighting the offer’s value proposition and providing clear instructions on claiming the free product.
  • Influencer Partnerships:
    • Collaborate with relevant industry influencers who resonate with your target audience.
    • Partner with them to promote your offer through sponsored content or social media posts reaching their established follower base.
  • Content Marketing:
    • Create valuable content related to your offer, such as blog posts or videos, that attract potential customers interested in your solution.
    • Utilize SEO to optimize your content for relevant keywords, improving organic search visibility.

By effectively promoting your offer through these channels, you can increase awareness, attract qualified leads, and drive conversions.

VII. Other examples of Free Plus Shipping Offers

These are two prominent examples of free plus shipping 

Here’s another example:



These examples demonstrate how different industries can leverage the free plus shipping strategy to attract leads and drive conversions. Tailoring your offer to your specific industry and target audience is key to its success.

VIII. Measuring Success and Optimization

Tracking the performance of your free plus shipping offer is crucial for optimizing your campaign and achieving your business goals. By analyzing key metrics and customer data, you can identify areas for improvement and refine your strategy to maximize lead generation and conversion.

Key Metrics to Track:

  • Lead generation rate: Percentage of website visitors who convert into leads by claiming or buying the free offer.
  • Cost per lead (CPL): Average cost incurred to acquire a single lead through the offer.
  • Email open rate: Percentage of leads who open your marketing emails.
  • Click-through rate (CTR): Percentage of email recipients who click on links within your marketing emails.
  • Conversion rate: Percentage of leads who eventually convert into paying customers.

Utilizing Data Insights for Optimization:

  • Refine Your Offer: Use customer feedback and engagement data to adjust the free product, pricing, or messaging to better resonate with your audience.
  • A/B Testing: Compare different variations of your landing page elements, headlines, visuals, and calls to action to identify what generates the best results.
  • Channel Optimization: Analyze which marketing channels generate the most qualified leads and adjust your budget allocation accordingly to maximize ROI.

Conclusion:

The free plus shipping strategy is an effective marketing tool for businesses of all sizes to generate qualified leads, increase brand awareness, and boost sales. By continuously monitoring and optimizing your offer based on data insights, you can ensure long-term success and growth for your brand.

Ready to harness the power of “free plus shipping” for your business? Say goodbye to outdated marketing strategies and attract eager buyers with Studiocart. Experience the game-changing power of Studiocart, the all-in-one tool that makes launching your free + shipping offer a breeze. Build your funnel, manage payments, and watch your audience transform into a thriving community.

Click here to try Studiocart today!

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