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What is the Value of Free?

Last updated November 3, 2015

32552308_sMy question is, does telling someone that something is free but it’s really worth £x make them buy or download it? I’ve seen a particular advert several times now and it still amazes me that in a world of intelligent people we have to be told that free means £47. The advert says ‘free e-book worth £47’.

My book, The Grown-Up Business retails at £15 although Amazon and others discount it to around £12.99. It is also available on Kindle today at £6.49. It has around 76,000 words, over 45 case studies and more than 200 how to, tips and checklists and is a proper grown-up book!

Now I don’t want to be precious about the blood, sweat and tears that went in to producing it, but when I see ‘free e-book (value £47)’ in magazines and on-line, I do wonder what planet the e-book author thinks I’m on?

If it was worth £47 then why not sell it for £47? Perhaps it should be £10 or £12 or £6.99 just like any other book?

Why £47? Do they think that will make me download it in exchange for my email? It doesn’t move me into action, it moves me not to act. Except that I do chuckle thinking that they believe by adding the ‘value £xx’ actually makes a difference.

I know this is a marketing gimmick - I have several free downloadable e-books available here, but they are free. I use them as a marketing tool – FOC and will deliver different levels of value to each reader – sometimes that is zero; other times it’s a bit but occasionally a huge amount – it depends who they are and what they are looking for.

Value, I know, is in the eye of the beholder. So I for one, will let my book, or my e-books do the talking and allow my readers to decide what it is worth to them.

Related Articles: Using Pay what You Want and Discounting Tactics.

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Shirley Mansfield
Master Business Problem Solver

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