A killer app – “Free” + “Social Proof” + Now!

A killer app – “Free” + “Social Proof” + Now!

By Rajesh Setty on Sun 07 Feb 2010, 12:01 AM – 4 Comments

The other day, I was at the Campbell post office standing in the line waiting for my turn. It was a long line so (as usual) I was busy browsing a book. The person in front of me brought me out of my dream when he stepped out asking me to hold his place. I nodded and continued reading.

I couldn’t help notice what the person did.

There was a box to drop off a business card to win a prize at the end of the month. The person dropped off his business card and walked back. I looked at the box again. There were probably 200 other business cards in the box.

Not fully believing what I just saw, I struck a conversation with the person in front.

I asked, “So, what exactly is the prize they are promising?”

He said, “No clue on that one.”

I asked, “But you put in your business card in there…”

He said, “Yeah, what’s there to lose. There are hundreds of them who have already put in their business card. They can’t be wrong.”

We both smiled and ended the conversation there.

I couldn’t help thinking about what happened.

1. There is something “free” that is promised. Don’t know what that is.

2. Around 200 other people thought it was good to get that “free” thing and opted in to the offer

3. A new person thought that if 200 other people are not wrong, he can’t be wrong.

4. It takes only a second (and a business card) to opt-in to the offer

5. The new person takes the bait and opts in to the offer.

Just a simple example that the combination of “Free,” “Social Proof” and “Now” is a killer combination.

Have a great day.

Other articles on the concept of “Free”:

1. Jan 3, 2010: The case for “Free” (again)

2. Jan 12, 2010: The “Free” Dilemma – Bits vs Atoms

3. Feb 3, 2009: The business case for giving away your best work for free


Related Articles:

Posted in the Business Models, Compelling Offers category.

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4 Comments so far, Add Yours

Magan Rak  on February 7th, 2010

Hey Rajesh

It is a shocking story, and true

I have recently had a conversation with a senior coach from one of the best firms ( success, personal development areas) out there, and what happened was that:

we talked for a while, and then he asked if I was going to follow my coach, do everything they wanted me to do

and when I answered : “no, how can I know whether it is moral or works well with my integrity”

he hung up angrily

what do you think, what should be done to teach people independence?

Rajesh Setty  on February 7th, 2010

Magan (or whoever you are using that name)

I simply removed the link to your site which is an advertisement to a seminar.

The reason I retained this comment was to show people that these “tricks” don’t work in real-life.

This is a canned comment that you are posting without thinking about the content of the blog post with a goal to get a link back to your seminar advertisement.

All the best with your work.



Magan Rak  on February 8th, 2010


it is a personal message this time-

the link- I didn’t know that it violates your rules, I cherish the person who created this seminar- it teaches independence of though, it is a rare quality and exists only sometimes, so keep my apologies

and my answer to your post- the example you had written about brought this story to my mind, two examples- two people,

a man dumping his card, and another man who teaches dependence, they are one,

it usually scares me in people, and gives me this question – what makes them loose their deepest core?

do you know the answer?

Rajesh Setty  on February 8th, 2010


Thank you for the personal message.

For me, a good teacher is one who helps the student discover the answers rather than blindly following what is taught.

Have a great day.



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