I am pretty sure what I discuss here is an age old business strategy, it looks like common sense to me.
I hope some of you might have realized the power of Free and how it works. FREE EBook, Free Giveaway, Free Noodles – People see it and they rush in. Anything Free is good.
I would like to discuss a real situation where we could apply the power of Free to sell other Premium products.
I get emails from Premium WordPress Theme Publishers asking me to help them promote their products or join their affiliate programs. What I have observed is that, often they start promoting their themes too early.
I think, it is important to have a bunch of themes ready for the user to grab especially when you are using the Theme-Club model; where you pay for a yearly club membership and you get access to all the themes in there for free. A popular and cheap example is Elegant Themes where you get over 24 Awesome WordPress Themes for just $19.95.
Once they have a set of cool, and unique Themes ready, what they could do is, release some really good Free WordPress Themes. For good coders, making a Theme is only a matter of a 8 hours or less. That time would be time well invested.
These Free Themes could carry a backlink to the authors site where they have the premium themes ready. The link in the footer could be specified as mandatory.
Cool Free Themes are used all over and they spread very fast. This could bring a ton of backlinks to their domain. Also people who see the Free Theme would like to get it for themselves, they are taken to the Theme Author’s site with both Free and Premium Themes. Chances are that, they would buy some of the Premium Themes too.
Not to mention, the authoritative backlinks they would get from the Theme list posts on Smashing Mag, Noupe and many others.
It sounds like a Fool Proof plan to me, what do you think?