Tuesday, April 03, 2007

 

The problem with free

Way too many marketers with bad intentions are ruining the word "free" for the rest of us.

Do a quick Google search for "free press release distribution" and you'll find more than 15 competing offers, all promising to promote your press release for "free" on search engines, to interested reporters and more.

Alas, few are free. Those that are somewhat free essentially do no more than host your press release on their Web site, with zero distribution or visibility to anybody that will care.

Oh, you wanted reporters to actually SEE your press release? That will cost you...

Kevin Dugan tackles the problem of "free" as well, going as far as to say that any level of registration for a particular "free" product or service means it isn't really free. There's a cost to giving up your email address, a cost to diluting your anonymity online.

Any marketer that disingenuously offers something for free (that isn't really free), is damaging their own credibility and longevity. Tricking customers into paying for something they thought was free is no way to start a new customer relationship.

Consumers today are skeptical enough. This isn't helping.

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