Everyone loves free things. Most of the time, it doesn't matter if you have to provide your email address or purchase another item to get it. Anytime something comes at no cost is a good one for consumers. However, can the same be said for the businesses that provide them?

Free items benefit companies
As it turns out, the answer is yes. Offering freebies to consumers drives business and gets people to return. Not only is this a marketing strategy to encourage people to buy your product, it also makes them feel obligated to purchase more, Time magazine explained. Samples are usually smaller sizes than their on-sale counterparts, which mean that if people like the items, they're going to buy the regular size. This is due partly to the feeling of reciprocity, according to the source. You've done them a favor by giving them something at no cost, so they feel they have to do the same by purchasing something from your business. While it may not be the best option, anything that drives traffic to your company is a good reason.

One of the best strategies for providing free items is to combine it with a more expensive product. When it comes down to it, people are willing to pay more for something they feel is worth it. Pairing it with another item gives consumers the perception that it's high quality; therefore, it's worth the money, Time explained. The same thing happens when they can get more of something for what they think will be a lower cost. It doesn't matter whether it's slightly more expensive. Consumers will almost always choose the free item over a discount, even if it's not economically in their favor to do so.

No matter what the deal is, freebies get people talking. When your customers feel that you've done something nice for them, they won't be shy to spread the word. Word-of-mouth marketing may be one of the most successful strategies. People love to get recommendations from their friends and family members, which means if they hear something good about you, they'll plan a visit. In this case, marketing and advertising come at no cost to you, which mean there may be more money in your business banking account to play with.

Providing the right freebies
Of course, just because you can provide free items doesn't mean you should do so without careful consideration. There are right ways and wrong ways to go about it. The latter is going to be fiscally irresponsible in regards to your financial plan. People don't want items that are riddled with logos or that look cheap, Event Manager Blog explained. You should also try to stay away from what everyone else is giving out, such as pens, key chains and water bottles. Printed items also won't go very far beyond the trash. Consumers will skim them once and be done with them. Find something that represents your company and makes you stand out.

Electronics, nice-looking clothing and anything for children are normally successes at conferences and with consumers, according to the source. If you're going to spend the money, make sure you're using it on something that people will want to keep. It also doesn't hurt to offer bonus items to the first 100 customers or attendees. If people know there's a chance of getting something of higher quality and value, they'll make the attempt to show up at your company for their goody bags.

Free items are great for promoting business. However, if they don't have any value or are covered in logos, they won't be big hits with your current and potential clientele. Keep things simple and useful as opposed to cheap and complicated. Your bank account and your consumers will appreciate it.