When Is Free Too Highly Priced?
Business organizations in various sectors are constantly offering something or the other for free to attract and; hopefully; retain customers as well.
- You can get a free gift when you sign up for their membership programs.
- Some freebie can come your way when you purchase goods and services worth a certain value from them.
- An extra percentage of the product volume or quantity thrown in – maybe as an introductory offer.
- Or a 1 + 1 offer or some other combination of numbers – where you buy 1 item and get 1 free and so on.
But you can rest assured that nothing is ever truly free. A business organization has to remain profitable and will factor in the costs of ‘free’ things into its overall costs as well.
If you were to narrow down this focus on free things to the world of networking events then it gets even more interesting to answer the question – “When is the price of free too high?”
Even though most people automatically associate the term social networking with the online world, the good old fashioned social networking in the real world exists as well! Social gatherings of various kinds are immensely popular during holiday season. These events can be generated from:
- Local businesses.
- Friends and acquaintances.
- Businesses that are opening up new premises in the locality.
- Shop owners who want to up their brand presence and so on.
What do they offer?
Such events definitely offer a chance to network among various groups of people. But it is even more interesting to delve into the kinds of tools that the organizers use. Among other things, the organizers of such events use the tools provided by social networking sites for the event. They can also use free online RSVP tools for event promotion.
What does this mean for a business owner?
If you are a business owner and are looking to organize and promote an event, the availability of these free tools can be enticing indeed. Under most circumstances, business owners, especially small and medium businesses, would like to avail something that is free of cost and yet helps them meet various business goals. So here are a few things to keep in mind when evaluating the various aspects and angles associated with something free coming your way.
Does it fit your image?
A business is built with its brand image and there are a lot of things that you must be careful about when it comes to events. When you get a free online RSVP tool, you should look at how the customer interacts with it. Every tool and facet of your online presence should be customized according to your image.
Sometimes, unfortunately, ‘free’ will translate into:
- Stock offerings which cannot be customized to your needs.
- No opportunity for you to put your brand on the tool.
- Limited functionalities.
- Narrower choices when it comes to features and so on.
So, should you opt for them?
Undoubtedly, free online RSVP tools are useful – mainly because they are free of course! With such functionality, you can keep in touch with your ‘non-formal’ client list. You can also handle a very basic RSVP management online for almost any event. If you are planning a casual social gathering then you may benefit from the using such a free and basic tool.
Being professional about it
Size does not matter when it comes to professionalism! Even a small business owner takes his or her brand very seriously and would like to stay with all the right strategies to present an effective and valuable brand image. Every aspect of communication that goes out from the business organization needs to reinforce this professionalism. Obviously then, using a free tool may not serve the purpose every single time. This is exactly when you may come to the conclusion that using something for free may come with too high a price.
The features you need
Evaluate the kind of features and functions the tool is offering and then compare the same with what you need from the event. Your use of an online RSVP tool should result in:
- A comprehensive system to capture information about attendees.
- Track payments and donations, if any.
- Powerful support for promoting the event.
- Track the progress of your event as well.
So if you do not get such support structure from the tool, then you should not invest time and effort in using the same.
So what should the solution deliver?
Primarily, it should deliver support for helping you conduct a successful event. It should also be a strong proponent of your brand and corporate image. User friendliness is another important aspect that you should look at with such a free tool. It should help you create and sustain strong customer relationships too.
So, in a nutshell, if such a solution costs you a bit of money then it could be leaps and bounds better than a free tool.