Do you get those offers in your email? “Get a free $100 Starbucks Gift Card“, just click a few buttons and you’re there … etc? Well … I gotta admit I used to fall for those emails. You know, when you’re honest it’s hard to assume dishonesty from everybody else.
Most of the time those offers are just a bate to get your email address and other contact info so that the company behind the offer gets to contact you and sell other things to you. And no, it’s not Starbucks or whatever the gift card says, it’s a third party marketing company and they use the gift card to sort their “leads”.
I’ll explain it to you:
In our marketing business (yes I am a marketer and if you click any link on my website and fill the form I get paid) we have different types of targeting. One of those targeting types is based on demographics.
For example, let’s assume that Starbucks customers are mostly rich females, ages 18-44, with a college or a grad school degree, no kids, and either Asian or Hispanic. When we offer a free Starbucks gift card to the public we filter those rich Asian/Hispanic, young, highly educated women into our mailing list.
Those rich women will have the money to spend with less resistance. And they will be interested in things that go with their financial and educational level. For example they’ll probably have, or will be interested in owning, a luxury car or a new house. Also expensive accessories and cosmetics sell well to this kind of audience.
So, when you see one of those offers again (like the one on this page) remember this: this is not really free. They want to sell you something later.
So if you are ok with the idea of receiving a more targeted advertising, or just want the card and will never pay attention to those commercial emails, then you can go ahead and fill the form.
Usually when the card value is less then $50 it’s more likely to involve taking a bit long survey as a part of a market research conducted by the offering company. High value cards, on the other hand, usually involve a draw. Just keep in mind that it’s not a standard in the industry, both sides could flip and change.