Free + Shipping Campaign

The FREE + Shipping Campaign


Difficulty to setup: 2/5
Effectiveness: 4/5

This is one of my favourite promotion types. I've used it on several companies to grow them beyond 10,000 initial customers. Here's how this campaign works.

Your customer is browsing Facebook. All of a sudden they see an ad for an interesting product in a marketing they're involved with. The ad claims the product is 100% free and you just have to cover shipping. The product has a perceived value of $10-$20. The free item is justified as a limited time new customer special.

Visitor clicks through and is presented with more information on how to get their free item. To proceed and find out the shipping terms the customer must enter their name, e-mail and full address info. They're then presented with the option to pay a small sum for shipping (between $5 and $10). They enter their CC details and complete the transaction.

At that point, the customer is offered the main product / service you're selling. Because he's already entered in his credit card details once, in order to purchase the main product you want to sell, all he has to do is click 1 “Add To Order” button.

You can continue to offer “upsells” and “downsells”and suggest other purchases.


The reason I love this promotion so much is because it has very very high leverage. Starting from the top… Because the item is Free, it gets spread around the web in front of your ideal customers virally. People love to share free stuff. Which means you get a lot more traffic for free.

By justifying that it is for new customers only (or any other reason, really) and giving a limited time frame they can act within, it causes people to take advantage of your order in huge #'s. It's not uncommon to see a 5-10% purchase conversion rate off cold traffic for the free item.

Because it forces customers to enter their full details (e-mail and shipping) before they find out the cost of the shipping, you build a highly targeted list of people that are much more qualified than info-seeker leads. These people are half way through the purchasing process!

The item that you're giving away can be shipped directly to them via fulfillment houses overseas such as Alternatively, you can order in bulk from and mail the free items out yourself. The items cost between $0.10 and $4 and have a perceived value of $10-$30. Shipping is often times free or less than $2 with tracking (from China).

By having a “1 click upsell” you can easily suggest any other complimentary products you may want to sell. This makes it incredibly easy to increase your average order value. A large portion of your customers will take you up on your “upsell offer”.

The combined value of the free item, scarcity to act now, built-in quality lead generation and 1 click upsell make this promotion type a force to be reckoned with. So far it's worked in almost every market we've tried it in from religion to guitar to BDSM to business. It's worked very very consistently.


There aren't many disadvantages to this business. The main one being the shipping times from China if you're planning on “drop shipping.” Or, increasing COGS from suppliers inflating their cost. Aside from that, it's extremely effective with immediate results and very little downside.

Demo Video

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Setup Video

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Free + Shipping Campaign

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