Freedom from FREE

By Jon Butts,

When is the last time you saw something advertised as being “FREE” and believed there was any real value there?

Thoughts like “you get what you pay for,” “what’s the catch,” or “let me read the 5-point font disclaimers to get the real story,” probably went through your mind. You’re not alone.

The term FREE is overused by companies everywhere and consumers are growing immune to “FREE OFFERS.” In addition, mistreatment of the term FREE with bait and switch gimmicks that end up requiring an actual purchase has eroded consumer trust in this term.  Not to mention, FREE offers most often cheapen your brand; if you can afford to provide a product or service for free then it must not be of any value anyway.

Let it go. Set your FREE OFFERS free.

Today more than ever, consumers are craving VALUE and their perception becomes reality. So, how do we get consumers to perceive value?

It’s all in how you frame your offer. At, we spend a great deal of time each day working with our clients to craft value-driven offers that drive strong results.  We have learned that positioning introductory offers as a purchase for less than face value really stimulates demand.  For example, an offer of “$20 for $50 worth of personal training” has real value because the consumer is clearly getting more for less. This is perceived as being no different than exchanging a $20 bill for a crisp, new $50 bill. Equally as important, this offer protects your brand value because your new client will be getting training which they still value at $50 as opposed to $0. And assuming you deliver a satisfying, sweat-producing training session that leaves your new clients wanting more, they will most likely sign up for future training packages at a higher price that will support your desired profit margins.

Take this advice: Consumers know that nothing worthwhile is free.


See the time-sensitive offer below.
Offer began March 10.



Be at the Les Mills IHRSA booth at 1pm on March 17 and you’ll be one of the first in the world to witness the brand new CX30™ program in action! Find out what this new scientifically-developed, personal training-inspired revolution can do for your class schedule, and why it’s going to be snapped up by clubs.  Find out more:


About GGFA

The Gold's Gym Franchisee Association is the independent voice of the Gold's Gym franchisees.
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