Online incentives are great list-builders but don’t overlook the offline freebie possibilities that are available.  A good example would be re-labeling bottled water with your marketing content and website URL on them.  Contact local gyms to see if they’ll allow you to pass out free bottles of water.

Granted, there will be some cost involved to buy these incentives, but if you buy in bulk and are located in a highly targeted area, the cost will be low compared to the cost of acquiring your typical email subscriber. 

It’s important that you plan out the incentives that you will give away.  To be able to create a successful strategy ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the goal you want to accomplish by handing out these freebies?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • You will know your freebie was successful when ______________________________.

Visit Smartsheet for free marketing planning templates to help you plan out your freebie strategy.

It’s just as important to track the success of your free giveaway as it is to plan it out.  You want to know what works and track your progress.  Visit Clickmagick for tracking software that can track your steps to success.

Offline Freebie Ideas

Below are some ideas of offline freebie items you can hand out:

  • Magnets
  • Stickers
  • Bottles of water
  • Pencils/Pens
  • Flashdrives
  • Can huggers
  • Notepads
  • Tote bags
  • Apparel
  • Tech bags


You want to custom select your freebie with your target audience in mind as well as the location you will be handing them out.  (Referring back to the previous example of water bottles at gyms or beaches, and pens at offices, schools, or libraries.)


Offline Freebie Advertising Resources

The other side of appreciating how freebies can grow your list is using free advertising resources.  Yes, there are places you can advertise for free if you know where to look.  Your expenses will be minimal with any cost being only in your business card, flyer, or your time.  However, your audience will not be targeted as you would like.  The following are some places you can check into for no-cost advertising:

Local Saver Papers

You can normally find saver papers that consist of local ads and coupons such as:

  • The Budget Saver
  • The Thrifty Nickel
  • The Thrifty Saver

The local paper can be a jackpot of free (or very low cost) ads that can reach a good deal of people and be a great resource for free leads.


***Be sure to get permission from the bookstore for this one or you will end up getting banned.  That is definitely NOT the way you want to promote your product! 

Get bookmark-sized or postcard-sized ads printed that you can slip inside books that are relevant to your target audience.  Place them on the inside front book covers.  This way the purchaser of the book will eventually see your ad along with it being viewed by dozens of book browsers as well.


If your product has mass appeal, then hotels and motels can be an excellent subscriber source for you.  If your product is relevant to travelers then you’ve hit the double bonus!  The ideal location for your ad would be on the inside of the nightstand drawer or desk.

Whether you’re handing out freebies to promote your products or utilizing free tools and resources, it’s smart to use all the offline freebie tools you can!

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