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Offering samples and free trials of your course/membership - how NOT to do it

Who doesn’t like FREE stuff?

Me - I don’t like free stuff.

Or more accurately I don’t like finding free stuff being offered on the same page you’re trying to sell from.

I love a cheeky cube of free cheese off the deli counter at the supermarket. 🧀🧀🧀

But I would think it’s mighty odd if when I made it to the checkout, ready to pay for my 0.5kg hunk of cheddar (I like cheese), the sales assistant questioned my selection and offered me either a small sample of cheese to try over the next few days, or the option to right now, purchase a year’s supply of cheese so I could save a few quid.

And yet, over and over again I get to the bottom of sales pages and see two options:

a) Try this for free/super cheap (a free lesson, a 7-day trial)


b) Get 12 months for the price of 10.

Or….and this feels worse…..there’s one single call-to-action all the way through - a strong a straightforward ‘buy’ button with the pricing…
…and then…
…tucked away beneath the FAQS….
…the last ditch freebie.

Quietly lurking at the bottom of the page, this offer of a free trial/sample is the equivalent of that time I threw myself around the ankles of my husband and begged him not to leave me in charge of two toddlers for yet another day (bit clingy, bit desperate).

So that’s how NOT to do it.
How should you give your people a tempting taster of what you have to offer, without sending mixed messages, distracting from the full-price sale, or frankly confusing the f*ck out of them?

The Amuse-bouche

This is the online equivalent of the vial of perfume that came sticky taped the cover of Just Seventeen.

Find a way to get in front of your target audience, and throw a freebie at them to try out. This is for brand awareness. To titillate their tastebuds. To help them fall in love with you.

The Main Attraction

If you’re offering a free trial, or a free course why not make this your star attraction? Funnel all your traffic to a landing/sales page designed to do ONE thing only - get people to take the freebie. Then you can follow up on those leads, and make sure that by the time the trial ends, they’re so hopelessly devoted to you, they’ll stick with the full-priced version.

The Stalker-Style Gift

Re-target people who go to your sales page but do NOT buy at the full price, and offer them a free trial instead.

You can use Facebook Ads targeted at an audience of people who have visited a particular page on your website.

Or you could follow up with people who clicked on a sales page link in your marketing email.

Or make a list of your warmest leads and follow up with them one at a time (yep, the old-fashioned manual way) and offer them a free trial.

Show Me Yours

Want me to take a look at the way you plonk your free thing in front of your potential customers?

Head over to this Facebook post and shove it in the comments.

Learn The Same Thing Via Video

Prefer to hear words come out of my mouth rather than my fingers?
Here’s the live version:



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