Do you give them away free, no strings attached, or do you only give them away free with a qualifying purchase?
FREE, NO STRINGS ATTACHED
The upside to simply giving them away is that you will surprise and delight your customers in an unexpected way. They will be talking about your generosity to their friends.
The downside is that you likely won't garner any extra sales and you may end up giving them to people who don't need them.
FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE
The upside for GWP is that you are using the freebie to help close the sale of a related product. Plus, you are getting the freebie into the hands of someone most likely to use it.
The downside is that the only word of mouth it generates is them talking about the good deal they got (that others might not be so lucky to get).
Here are some questions to ask...
- Do you want them to talk about your generosity or the deal they got?
- Do you want to put them only into the hands of people who will use them?
- Do you want to surprise & delight or close the sale?
Ask the right questions and you'll get the right answer.
PS Door #3 is that we just sell them at a discounted price, take the profit and run. The only question is whether you can get more profit using the freebies as a marketing tool than you would by simply selling a low-cost item you didn't want in the first place. My guess is marketing tool pays more dividends in the long run.