Freebies That Build Your Subscription List

There are a great number of "free" things available on the Internet. Some of the offers are real and some aren't. There are legitimate reasons for free offers. Sellers give away free samples, for instance. That's why there are wine-tasting rooms, test-drives for cars and the opportunity to try on shoes before you buy them! Sellers want you to buy their products and are willing to let you try them out to some extent to convince you to buy. And so there are promotions of various types out there, which can be a good deal for the participants. But tread carefully! There ARE nuggets to be found, but all that glitters is not necessarily gold!

For example, a search on "free antivirus" at www.dogpile.com, yields 100+ hits. They run the usual spectrum of most free offers, from genuine giveaways to outright "sucker traps" that just want your address so they can drown you in spam! They can be categorized as 1.Genuine, 2.Free but donation requested, 3.Time Based, 4.Free but paid for by others, 5.Free Sample, 6.Marketing key word tricks and 7.Bait and Switch address thieves. Let's look at each of these categories.

1. Genuine. For anti-virus software there are some programs out there that are really free, just for the downloading. Some perform very well against the well-known annual-fee offerings, even beating them in various ways.

They give good advice, "...when picking out your antivirus solution...first of all you want to make sure you get an antivirus program from a trusted source. Doing a little research on the internet(websites like this) will help you identify who the trusted providers of antivirus software are. Always find multiple sources of information, that way you are more than likely to find a software product you can get help with and that won't be filled with spyware and adware."

2. Free but donation requested. These are free, but they ask you to make voluntary donations. Also in this category are those that offer a limited capacity version, such as do Note Tab (text manager) and Zone Alarm (firewalls) for free, then try to get you to upgrade to the paid version. These are legitimate marketing ploys, and maybe the free version will be all you really need.

3. Time Based. Free to try for 30 days, $30.00 if you decide to keep it! Not unreasonable. Like a test drive. Many software products use this approach. Some will just not work after the trial period; others will periodically degrade their capacities, encouraging you to buy. For example, www.goodsol.com has a solitaire program that starts degrading after 30 days. After 60 days or so they shut down the take-back-the-last-move feature! Maybe by that time you are addicted to the game and go ahead and buy the full-capacity version. Or maybe you just play VERY carefully!

[Part 2 of this article is continued on the next page. See the link below.]