Thursday, 30 November 2006

Free is as free says...

Have you seen the offers for free IPODs? Run a search on Google, Yahoo, AOL, or any search engine for the key word IPOD, and you will be presented with a flurry of offers for free IPODs.

With the soaring popularity of free IPODs this offer definitely seems very alluring. After all, who wouldn’t want a free IPOD?

The truth about these offers for free IPODs is that there are very clever marketers behind them. These marketers are willing to give you an IPOD for free in exchange for your email address. Your email address holds allot of value for them. Through your email address they can make offers to you for various products and offers, which have lucrative pay outs for the marketers.

By having you agree to share your email address they will be able to send you offers withouth being accused of spam. If you decide that you no longer want to receive future offers you simply opt out and the offers will stop coming.

But with the price of an IPOD starting at $300, how can those marketers afford to give everyone a free IPOD simply in exchange for their email address? After all, someone could register and then opt out right after receiving their free IPOD.

In reality the marketers are counting on two important goals. They are hoping that a high enough percentage of respondents will participate in the offers they receive, making it worthwhile to run their marketing programs.

Second, before giving away the free IPOD the consumer is required to participate in a few trial offers. Every time the consumer participates in a trial offer the marketer is paid. But if a consumer does not fully participate he would not receive the free IPOD.

In other words, the free IPOD is only given out when the consumer has taken actions that will compensate the marketer for the free IPOD.

This can be a win-win situation for both the consumer and the marketer. The marketer gains by having a consumer participate in trial offers, for which the marketer is paid, and the consumer gains by having the opportunity to receive a free IPOD.