Give your service away for free (well some of it!)

Australian carsharing company Flo CarShare took a risk that paid off when marketing their service. They had a lot of people on their database who were “interested” – but who hadn’t coughed up the $50 to join as a member and complete all the paperwork (to then get access to the cars at an hourly rental). Yet once people were members, they always rented one of the cars in the first month.

So at the request of one of the directors, they ran a short term promotion where they waived this initial $50 fee – and got FOUR times their normal membership conversion. So the barrier to purchase was removed and they had a big jump in their members, who are far more likely to rent the cars.

So what is a new, eager to buy customer worth to you. What might you “forgoe” in order to gain a long term benefit?