Why People Aren’t Taking Your FREE Stuff


What price is FREE?

It’s strange, isn’t it? You can give away something for FREE… and even then, not everyone will take you up on it.

Actually, it’s not so strange when you recognize there is something we ALL have that is even more valuable than money – and that’s time.

There are no rich and poor time owners. All of us have exactly the same quantity of time to play with each day – 1,440 minutes.

When you offer something to somebody for free, there’s still a cost attached. It’s the cost of time. You might offer the most wonderful 38 page ebook as an enticement for capturing their email address, but they have to determine whether spending a few hours of their life reading your ebook is worth their time.

Whenever I give away free information, I tend to follow two rules of thumb:

  1. Give them exactly what they want.
  2. Give it to them in bite-size chunks.

For example, I’m in the process right now of creating presell material for a product I’m launching soon called Presell Mastery. The presell material includes several short (8-12 page) reports, that focus on specific topics a reader might want to know about.

For example, a person might ask, “How do I presell as an affiliate marketer?” Well, I’m writing a report to answer that specific question.

I settled on 8-12 pages because it means the report can be read in one sitting, giving THEM exactly what they want quickly, while giving ME the opportunity to presell them gently on a product or two.

Of course, there is a skill to effective preselling, which is precisely why I’m creating a product called Presell Mastery in the first place – but the important thing here is to remember that even FREE comes at a price – the price of time.

That’s why you must still demonstrate VALUE for the things that you offer for free. And I don’t just mean slapping a “$27 value” label on it. Tell us WHY it has a $27 value. What’s in it for them, to spend their valuable time reading or watching your free content?

Give them strong reasons they should spend part of their precious 1,440 minutes listening to YOU. (Oh, and I hope you got some value here! If so, let your Twitter buddies know about this place.)


  1. Nice article. I’m sick of all the huge courses out there and I’m sure a lot of other are too.. who really has 1440 minutes to spend listening to audios and watching video’s anyway? Your product sounds interesting. Best of luck with it.


  2. Hi Stuart

    Thanks for your comment. I agree, some of those courses are huge, and I think a lot of people find it difficult to take in AND apply such large volumes of information.

  3. Hey Paul,

    Glad to see you posting again!

    I wrote a post earlier this month on the same subject. I agree, people don’t realize that no matter how valuable the free stuff they’re giving away is, they need to sell it.

    Because they’re asking for for something more valuable, peoples time.

    Keep ’em coming.


  4. Recently, I conducted a study on freemium pricing policies and found that much of the value build in free offers is drained off by the “time cost”.

    Barry Schwartz, author of “The Paradox of Choice” also has an interesting perspective on the dilemma consumers face when they buy. In his argument, the increasing availability of choices increases the opportunity cost of any one choice that is made, increasing the anxiety that what one is spending time and money on might not be exactly right.

    Imagine what such a dilemma looks like in the information business with its attendant information ubiquity!

    Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Hey Gogo, great point… choices can increase anxiety. I’ll have to check that book out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *