Freemium Marketing Strategy – the Good, the Bad and the Villain!

Freemium marketing (mashing up “free” and “premium” words) consists in offering your services (normally) free of charge, usually on a standard version, and with it hopefully trying to make a name for yourself in the market and building your database. After that the aim is to introduce your new acquired data base with upgrade premium options that need to be paid for of course!


The Bad Freemium

I´ve always been a little disappointed about freemium products and the whole freemium approach. It seemed that all the different approaches I´ve crossed eyes with, where either:

  1. Too light, which meant that the offered free service was not compelling enough and therefore failing has a customer acquisition and market awareness tool;
  2. Too heavy, meaning it delivered too much for free, failing to leave your database asking for the premium stuff;


The Villain Fremium

Freemium games are, for me, one the biggest villains in the freemium marketing approach!

One example: League of Legends generated in 2015 almost 1 Billion in microtransitions revenue. Get this, some players have complained of spending has much as $2,000 since they first began to play. And there’s stories of teenagers stealing mom´s credit card to pay for the upgrades and “champions” buy out.

Remember the not so old phrase “if the product is free, you are the product”?

Do you get why I call them the freemium villains?


Apps are the world of freemium and by the looks, they’re here to stay.

Apps: Freemium rules!!!



The Good Freemium

Of course, the best for last! Some freemium´s are actually very good!

Let me present you with 3 examples that rock:


  1. The Take it App

They’ll let you print 5 polaroid style photos for free, and after that you get to mail them all over the world for $2,95 (2,7€)……nice!!!

They state that “prints are in 3.55 x 3.95″ (9 x 10 cm). They’ll remind you of the timeless Polaroid prints. Your message is printed at the back of your prints.”

The freemium part ends after 5 photos, and believe me when I say it´s addictive enough to catch on!!!


  1. Google Penalty Checker

This one is for SEO geeks! They let you freely check up to 2 domains, but for more you got to pay. Pretty smart don’t you think? This is a tool designed for web agencies. Have you heard of online web agencies with less than 3 customers?

Already drooling over the tool? Check it out and give me your thoughts!


  1. MailChimp

This one we all know. If you have less than 2,000 subscribers, they’ll let you send up to 12,000 monthly emails for free! But the fun part (email automation, database connectivity, segmentation and the best reports) are paid. Gotta love Freemium!!!

I’ve personally tried the free stuff and it works just to the point when you start thinking in the premium version.


And this is it! Hope I’ve managed to help.

See ya!!!


Increase Online Sales – what to do!

For the last years, again and again I´ve been approached countless times and asked the same exact question:

  • What should I do to increase my online sales?

If you´re an owner, sales manager or eCommerce manager, I´m pretty sure you have already asked yourselves this questions at least a couple of times too.

It’s simple “to do” math:

  • Offline Sales are generally decreasing, and has been so for the last years,
  • Online Sales are now the biggest growth driver, with very consistent increases for the last years and no expectancy of slowing down;
  • Online Sales are often associated with higher margins & better average rates;


So back to the above question, what´s my answer? I´ll divide that in 4 parts:


  1. Have a strong, complete and reliable sales reporting

It sounds 1st grade stuff but the truth is that if you want to increase online sales you need to know how much overall you´re making on all your sales channels and segments; after that is done, you need to break down all third party sales apart from your direct sales and specially your online direct sales apart from your voice or on-store sales. All “glued” with a last year, last week or last day (what better suits your business) comparison;


  1. Leverage your brand online

One of the biggest and most common mistakes with digital marketing is when you first try to go for the big buck positioning & search terms advertising. That´s like aimlessly dropping 100.000 flyers of your gourmet wine store in your local city. The odds are to spend lot´s of money and not getting lot´s of sales or even a good amount of awareness.

Being crystal clear: the single most valuable search anyone can make is your brand name. You should always aim to be present when someone (an actual or a future customer) wants/needs to engage with your brand. If they search your name, they´re likely already introduced to your brand proposition (value & promise), so be sure to be the first and most relevant result for anyone searching for you!

That takes us to the next part:


  1. Own your online space

Whether we´re talking about search engine marketing or social media, you should own the most relevant positioning concerning your brand and your value proposition to the market. Your website (don´t have one yet? Big huge mistake!) should tailored to answer some very simple questions:

  • Who am I?
  • What do I offer?
  • Why is it important?
  • Where / how do I get it now?

Your social media presence should not be an ill thought-off pit stop, but a good vibe, good experiences sharing community. Take the change to engage with your customers and prospects without the formal attitude (depends on the business of course).

Very important: create great and useful content for your market and be sure to spread it well, always aiming back to the source, you! This online content strategy tends to build awareness on the community for the type of product / service you provide and grants you with “expert opinion” that you can later leverage on.

Very important: please don´t forget about mobile! Sure your website´s desktop version is very important and you can´t afford to neglect it, but pay very attention to mobile search (meaning tablet & mobile). Mobile has been rising like crazy for the last couple of years and now represents more that half of all online searches according to Google data.


  1. PDSA Plan + Do + Study + Act

Have you heard about cycles? Cycles don’t stop and that’s pretty much the basic idea here! Plan, Do, Study and Act – ALWAYS (see image below).

To increase your online sales you need to continually improve your process. It doesn’t matter that your doing today a killer job in getting specialized traffic or you´re reaching a 20% look-to-book conversion. You still need to keep on improving or eventually you´ll be left behind.

pdsa cycle


Those are 4 very basic concepts, but they allow you to correctly setup your mindset to grow your online business and watch it getting bigger and bigger!

Did you enjoy reading this post and would like to discover some amazing tools to help you increase your online sales?

Yes? Great! Be sure to follow my blog to get all news first hand.



Online Sales Wordcloud