←back to Blog

Contractor Marketing Tip: Using “Free” in Your Ad Copy

Contractor marketing has changed a lot over the last 10 years. It used to be that giving something away for “free” was enough to motivate a potential customer. Free was the magic bullet in marketing that moved passively engaged shoppers into buyers. But I am afraid it no longer carries the weight it once did. Sure, it’s still a trigger that some people will respond to, I mean who doesn’t like getting something for free?

Using FREE in your copy wisely

Using “Free” in your copy will motivate some, but you have to use it by creating a value for it. In other words, very few contractors I know charge a fee for estimates. There are some areas and industries where charging for an estimate is acceptable, but for the most part “Free Estimates” can be found on most contractor marketing materials. therefore, “Free Estimates” has no meaning to most consumers who expect their estimates to be free.

Make the “Free Offer” something of value

In order to trigger the response you want (people who are prepared to pay you for your service) you need to make it clear in the advertising piece exactly what it is you are offering. That way your consumers are interested not because of the “Free Offer” but because you made a specific offer that appealed to them.

To get the absolute most out of the word “Free”, make sure it is highlighted in your copy by using it in your headline as well as in your opening paragraph. Put it on the coupon and sprinkle it throughout the rest of the ad as well. To really punch the offer use ALL CAPS and a different color to draw attention to it. But remember, in the end your best results will come from providing a legitimate “Free” offer on top of a well-defined ad.

How do you use “Free” in your advertising?

2 responses to “Contractor Marketing Tip: Using “Free” in Your Ad Copy”

  1. BrewCity_Fisk Avatar

    Great article Darren. I see a lot of contractor ads offering little value and putting too much emphasis on “Free”. Even manufacturers are guilty of the same thing. It is definitely better to use a value proposition than just something for free. Thanks!

    1. Darren Avatar

      First of all, thanks for stopping by! I appreciate it. Don’t forget, free is a great tool to use, but even in a down economy it doesn’t hurt for contractors to be a bit picky with who they work with too.