Rethink Your Marketing With This Unorthodox Concept

Rethink your marketing with this unorthodox concept. I was born in London, my mom was born in India, my dad was born in Uganda. When I was a baby, my mom and dad wanted to move to America. So, we ended up making our way to sunny California. Now in India, my mom had a teaching degree, but here in America, her degree was not valid. So she had to go back to college and take some classes, so she could be a teacher. And once she did that, she still struggled to get a job. People just didn't want to hire her, no matter how hard she tried. So what did my mom do? Give up? no. She went to the local preschools and said, hey, I'll teach for free for six months. And if you like me, hire me. If not, you don't have to hire me. You get me for free for six months.


One trend that I've seen over the years, is marketing is continually getting more and more expensive. This is also partly because companies figured out, how to generate more revenue per customer. So over time, they're willing to spend more money on marketing.

Now, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't do marketing. You should do it because it can be extremely profitable. But another cost effective alternative strategy, that you can use is giving away something for free of value. This can help boost your conversion rate, and help you bring down your cost to acquire a customer, even though you're eating the cost, of giving away something for free.

Let me give you an example of how I use this strategy. In 2017, I bought a company called Ubersuggest for $120,000. I removed the ads, improved the tool, and gave it away for free. A portion of those visitors were interested in our ad agency services. So we sold them on marketing services. It was an effective strategy that my ad agency, Neil Patel Digital used, and it helped us grow, to be the 21st fastest growing company in the United States, according to Inc Magazine. You can also run the same approach with a physical product, like an e-commerce site.

Have you ever heard of the company Orabrush? They would give away a free tongue cleaner. You just had to pay for shipping. They would then make their money, by upselling you on things like toothbrushes, mouthwash, and even toothpaste. This strategy worked so well, that they got acquired by a company called Dentek, which then got acquired by a larger company owned by GTCR, which is a private equity company, that has roughly $29 billion under management. It doesn't matter if you're selling a physical product, or a service, there are things that you can offer for free. The key with this strategy are a few things.

First, whatever you offer for free, must have perceived value. For example, if I were offering pens for free, it wouldn't have much value, because you can find pens anywhere. You can probably find them on the ground, on the street. The higher the perceived value, the better it will work.

Second, what you are giving away for free, can't be too expensive for you. If you're giving away a free Tesla, for example, that's expensive. It's hard to make the economics work. Tesla car costs over $30,000. It would take you forever to make that money back, and you probably wouldn't make it back. The lower the cost, the better.

Third, you need something bigger to sell those people on. For example, if you're giving away something for free, that costs you a dollar, you ideally want to sell something, that can make you hundreds of dollars, if not thousands. At Ubersuggest, we give away software for free, that most people charge $20 for or a $100. Sure, we have some paid plans, but majority of the software's for free. We upsell people to consulting services. Consulting services can cost millions of dollars a year. That's how we make our money back. You see how it's worth giving away, something really affordable for cheap, so you can focus on something bigger?

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33 Responses to Rethink Your Marketing With This Unorthodox Concept

  1. RAJENDRA RAMSUN October 3, 2022 at 2:06 pm #

    Thanks for the incredible video

    • Neil Patel October 3, 2022 at 3:31 pm #

      My pleasure!

  2. ingrid w October 3, 2022 at 2:14 pm #

    Love this!!

    • Neil Patel October 3, 2022 at 3:32 pm #

      Thank you!

  3. RiTCHIE H October 3, 2022 at 2:21 pm #

    Awesome Neil ! Always Practicle Easy to Implement WISDOM Shared, says TripAdvisor Top 1% . Thank You

    • Neil Patel October 3, 2022 at 3:32 pm #

      Happy to help 🙂

    • WhatsApp† ①⑨①⑨⑥ ⑦④⑦⑨⑧② October 4, 2022 at 11:18 pm #


  4. Blind Guy, His Wife, Their Life October 3, 2022 at 3:22 pm #

    The freemium model paired with value is definitely an effective one✨️

    • Neil Patel October 3, 2022 at 3:32 pm #

      No doubt 🙂

  5. Andrew Titcombe October 3, 2022 at 4:04 pm #

    A moving story Thanks for sharing, Neil. Good advice as usual

    • Neil Patel October 4, 2022 at 3:20 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed it

  6. Ali Badar October 3, 2022 at 5:27 pm #

    Hey Neil.. I am starting pursuing my digital marketing career at the age of 42 and I am confuse in which one to choose SEO or Paid adds. Can you please guide me which one I choose?
    PS: I do have interest in both.
    Waiting for your kind reply.
    Thanks and Regards

    • Neil Patel October 4, 2022 at 3:20 pm #

      It’s up to you, friend 🙂 Both are great options! Paid is a quicker win, but it costs money. SEO is a long term strategy, but is free.

  7. Debranjan Hazra October 3, 2022 at 5:44 pm #

    I will try this method….I absorb this technique from you

    I need one help Neil, for SEO how much time should I give to practice theory + practical

    • Neil Patel October 4, 2022 at 3:21 pm #

      SEO can take months to start seeing traction in the SERPs

  8. Manoj Agadi October 6, 2022 at 8:08 am #

    Amazing Real-Life Marketing Example Sir(About Your Mom). Congratulations To Your Mother Sir.

    • Neil Patel October 6, 2022 at 3:53 pm #

      Thanks 🙂

    • WhatsApp† ①⑨①⑨⑥ ⑦④⑦⑨⑧② October 7, 2022 at 1:38 pm #


  9. Sebastian Velasquez October 8, 2022 at 3:12 pm #

    Neil thanks so much. What would you recommend for an apparel company with a spiritual niche? We also have some accessories …

    • Neil Patel October 10, 2022 at 3:29 pm #

      Maybe offer a free item with a purchase 🙂

  10. David Gilbert | Professional Voice Over Talent October 8, 2022 at 9:05 pm #

    Not a new concept but I’m curious how you would incorporate this for freelance voice actors like me? The pricing in my field can vary greatly based on what it is, where it is being used, for how long, etc. So, what would you consider as I wouldn’t want to spend my days just doing free gigs in case the offer is too good. Thanks!

    • Neil Patel October 10, 2022 at 3:34 pm #

      It’s hard for me to say without knowing that industry very well. Just try to think of something that would bring customers in without over offering.

    • David Gilbert | Professional Voice Over Talent October 11, 2022 at 8:03 pm #

      @Neil Patel Thanks, Neil. I know it’s a challenge – much like other creative freelancers where the “work” is done by the freelancer (ie graphic designers, photographers, etc.) and is almost always project-based. In a sea of many people doing the same “functional” thing, standing out is the biggest challenge we face.

  11. Shikha Gupta October 10, 2022 at 8:37 am #

    Hi Neil. How can I incorporate this strategy in the company I am working for? It is an e-commerce company selling electrical wires and cables and other electrical stuff.

    • Neil Patel October 10, 2022 at 3:22 pm #

      It’s hard for me to say without knowing your business that well, but think about something you could offer of value that would be useful to your customers 🙂

  12. Mike Forgie October 10, 2022 at 12:18 pm #

    Thank you for the tips! I checked out code canyon but didn’t find that great of tools. I do SEO and Google Ads, so wanted something attractive for that type of niche. Any suggestions on where to find some good free tools to purchase and whitelabel on my site?

    • Neil Patel October 10, 2022 at 3:24 pm #

      I’d work with a web developer to create a tool 🙂

  13. Vandemonian October 10, 2022 at 6:08 pm #

    I offer music production services, what kind of freebie would you suggest?

    By the way my SEO is through the roof this past year thanks to you!

    • Neil Patel October 11, 2022 at 3:37 pm #

      It’s hard for me to give you an idea without knowing your business. You just need to consider your audience and what would draw them in without breaking your bank 🙂

  14. Javier Velázquez October 12, 2022 at 12:09 am #

    Good advice and great storytelling…, thanks Neil!

    • Neil Patel October 12, 2022 at 8:56 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed it!

  15. BeyondTshirts October 16, 2022 at 5:48 pm #

    I’ve bought a couple of my own t-shirts and donated them to our church’s raffles to raise funds for our youth ministry. I always boost sales that way because they always put my website on the raffle box and I include two business cards in with the raffle package.

    My husband does the same thing with his custom mason jar lights. He’ll make one or two specifically for the raffle and includes his business cards.

    Gotta supplement this social security somehow! LOL

    • Neil Patel October 17, 2022 at 3:28 pm #

      Very nice, my friend 🙂 That’s great!

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