A little freebie goes a long way

I guess everyone knows it’s easier to make more money from existing customers than to entice new ones. So if you’re into online sales and eCommerce, let’s explore ways to get some repeat custom from those fabulous customers of yours!

Your fulfillment process probably goes something like this:


1. Order comes in

2. Order get processed (product in bag/box with receipt)

3. Customer is notified of dispatch via email

4. Order posted/couriered


Where I think the process can be really strengthened is at stage two. I order lots of things online and usually I just get what I ordered and a receipt, in a bag. Of course that’s perfectly fine, but it’s on those rare occasions when a merchant throws in a little ‘value add’ freebie that I feel quite grateful and much more tempted to contact them with a little testimonial.


Some examples of unexpected freebies I’ve received include:


  • A postcard (showing the city of the business I bought the product from (in this case Chicago) – nice touch!
  • Shoe polish (came with the shoes)
  • A pen (branded of course!)
  • Ear plugs!


Ok, so they’re little and knick-knacky – but they left an impression.


By the way, what have you received that we can add to the list for inspiration?


One site which took it a little further was www.KidzBrandz.com.au, where I recently bought a little outfit for my daughter. I really liked the way that there was care in the way my package was packed and that they included a brochure, and promo flyer and a fridge magnet.


Seriously, that’s such an easy, obvious and cheap thing to implement into your fulfillment process. There’s a branded fridge magnet at home (yep, on the fridge), the brochure showed lots of other products and a promo-code encouraged me to repeat purchase.


So let’s recap:


1. Throw in a fridge magnet, a pen or a mouse mat printed with your web address (hopefully these will be in close proximity to your customers computer). Use your imagination!

2. Pack products carefully and thoughtfull. Gift wrap if possible, as presentation is so important. Of course, you should try and do it in an environmentally friendly way.

3. Offer a reward such as a promo-code – something to say “hey, thanks” and please buy from us again! 

One final note, another customer of ours has implemented a really neat way to catch and convert potential customers who didn’t make it to the end of the conversion process. What the developer did was capture and store email address data (from the beginning of the order process), and spit out a report which shows all the folks who didn’t go all the way through the cart to purchase.


This allowed them to shoot an email as a follow-up with a “free offer” to encourage them to complete the process, with surprisingly stunning conversion rates. Very nifty.


Chris Thomas heads Reseo, a search engine optimisation company which specialises in creating and maintaining Google AdWords campaigns and Search Engine Optimisation campaigns for a range of corporate clients.


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