What is the Difference Between “Free” and “Complimentary”?

Education, Search Engine Optimization, Web Design Comments Off

What is difference between free and complimentary?

Rarely do we see the F-word (free) by itself on a website.  Of course, complimentary has a feeling of a gift coupled with the purchase.  Free can mean detached… possibly even the skimming of the freebie, without a supporting purchase.

But, there does seem to be some power in the word.  Let’s quantify the search terms, “complimentary” is spelled out  246 Thousand times per month in the US.  To contrast, Google sees “free” searched 185 Million times per month.

You know the definitions and you know how you would use the two words in a conversation or a presentation.  But, do you know how your visitors respond to each word?  Do you have more than one audience?  Do you know how each audience responds to these two words?

Find out by using your website to run a mini marketing study.

1. Make your offer.  Your offer and and the conversion opportunity.  The conversion opportunity can be a purchase, a contact form.  All we need is a simple redirect.    Setup Time: 2 hours?

2. Write two versions of your copy, link, or headline.  Case A contains the word “free”, while case B uses “complimentary”.  Everything else is the same.  Setup Time: 1 hour

3. Ask your favorite web developer to code a quick A/B Test.   The hard part?  Not really.  Case A is shown 50% of the time.  Case B is shown the other 50% of the time.  Setup Time: 20 minutes.

4. Come back.   Depending on the frequency of your conversions, you may need two hours, two days, or two weeks to give the test enough traffic to be statistically significant.

Your redirect count, purchase count, total dollars, or contact count will clearly show you which word is the winner.

Now you know.   Are you an Alpine client?    Try one this week.

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On July 6, 2012
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