A lot of inbound marketing campaigns lately involve giving away tons of free content in the form of blogs and offers in order to generate leads. The challenge is convincing visitors of the value of your content so they download it and become a lead. Many visitors may think it involves paying for a product or service, so they are more likely to steer clear. So how do you let them know that it’s free?
Do you just tell them?
It’s actually a lot more complicated than that.
Many research firms and marketing agencies are now saying that by putting the word “free” in your emails can hurt your email statistics! How can this be? Well, HubSpot decided to find out.
HubSpot wanted to know if the word “Free” affected the delivery rates and open rates on their email marketing campaigns, so they created an A/B test to see how the numbers altered. This post shows the results of their research, and will tell you whether or not to include “free” in your next email marketing campaign.
Looking to strengthen your email marketing campaign? Contact IMPACT and learn how we can help you get started!
Now, onto the results! Let’s see if “free” helps or hinders your marketing campaign. Here is what HubSpot found:
Is “Free” Good for Your Email Marketing Campaign?
HubSpot used two methods to measure the delivery rates of an email with the word “free” scattered throughout the message, and one completely void of “free”. The most obvious method, HubSpot, reported that version A, the message with “free”, was delivered to 99.25% of its recipients. Version B was opened by 99.24% of recipients.
As you can see, this number is virtually the same. They were delivered at an extremely similar rate, so both messages performed to the same success as the other. The second method that HubSpot used was with Return Path SPAM checker. Return Path reported that version A passed 7 out of 9 filters measured by the test. Version B passed 8 out of 9, so “free” made some difference here. Based on these results, and only one minor difference, using the word “free” made no significant difference for the delivery rate of these emails.
This statistic had a much clearer result. One email had a click-through rate 17% better than to other, a huge difference!
You may be surprised to find out that it was version B, the one without “free”!
This could be due to a couple of reasons though. Either the word “free” really turned leads away, or all the email addresses on HubSpot’s endless list know that all HubSpot does is give away free content. I guess when you are nationally renowned for giving away tons and tons of free content, the word might not be as effective as expected. Regardless, an email with a huge flashing FREE sign lost to its lack-luster counterpart, which is surprising.
What Does This Mean for My Email Marketing Campaign?
Basically two main points can come HubSpot’s test. The first is that the word “free” won’t hurt your delivery rates or make you email stand out to SPAM filters. The second is that the word “free” might not be the most effective term to use in your emails. More specific words that can relate to your offer might be better as well.
How has the word “free” helped or hindered your marketing campaign?
Interested in learning more about how to get more from your email marketing campaign? Contact IMPACT and learn how we can help!