Freemium Digital Strategy Can Help Build Your Business


Have you even heard of the term “Freemium“? According to Wikipedia, its a  business model that includes a free service but a premium is charged for advanced services. This includes software, media, games or web services today but if you think about it, direct marketers-many of whom have migrated over to the Digital side have been using freemiums since the Sears catalog was invented(free shipping with purchase).

If you are reading this Blog, chances are good that you already have used one or more freemiums such as:

  • LinkedIn is free, but they have great value added upgrades especially for job seekers.
  • Zoho is an excellent free CRM and online meeting tool, with lots of optional advanced features like CRM and  unlimited meting attendees.
  • Most businesses use WinZip which includes a free 30 day trial with upgrades to full service package.
  • How about Google AdSense who frequently and regularly gives anyone who wants to open up a new Adsense account $100 to spend on a paid search  test. Once your test is cooking and shows promise-most people are hooked and can easily type in a budget you want to  spend to expand your test and everything else is already done for you. Google is like eating peanuts-once you start, it’s real hard to stop!
  • Norton anti-virus software and its competitors started out by giving away Free Trials on disk, with an easy to upgrade to a paid service. This model has become a problem with the advent of freeware like a free download of  Microsoft Security Essentials and others.
  • Words with Friends-who hasn’t played this popular game by downloading the Free app on their smart phone only to finally concede that its better to pay for the game than be constantly interrupted by ads?

Then there are some of my favorite retro freemiums like the Gillette razor. With Gillette, they will give you the razor for free…if you but the blades! Acme’s summer of 2012 Sweepstakes promises cars, boats and a million dollars free if you buy their groceries and your name is pulled out of a hat with a gazillion to 1 odds of your actually winning. Webmasters can use stock digital images free…if they want to create a mockup with the photo credits superimposed in a watermark, and they agree to pay a licensing fee based on the number of exposures online. Entrepreneurs, consultants, doctors and lawyers typically offer a free initial consultation and once you get a taste-they charge you top dollar. And then there is the ubiquitous buy one get one free-just another form of freemium!

So now you have a new word in your vocabulary and maybe you will be inspired to consider how to use a Freemium for your business.

Enjoy and Prosper!

Steve Emory, co-author DM Deja vu

President, Managing Partner Emory Digital

Explore posts in the same categories: Digital Strategy, Online Marketing

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