Free Google advertising?

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Today I’ve received a voucher for 75 pounds to use in Google AdWords

Is it free money? Not really. At least not for me

The letter

Firstly, mail was send to my company but it no longer exists. But who will check this if a campaign that I create has anything to do with this company? Nobody.

Secondly, I don’t have a business that needs advertising. So I almost throw this letter away to the bin. But then I thought: “you have a blog , maybe you can drive some traffic there?”. It was launched recently so it may benefit from few more readers interested in the subject of home made juices.

Lastly this marketing letter is obviously addressed to people that either don’t have a Google account or are new to AdWords. Unfortunately I have Google account with AdWords – although never used it.

But I’ve decided to give it a try

Process

I’ve followed instructions from the nice leaflet included inside the letter. As I suspected I could not use my main Google account because I already have AdWords there. But recently I’ve created another account for the purpose of blogging. I’ve entered those details and they were accepted.

I don’t know all ins and outs of AdWords so I followed next screens guided by my gut feeling. In normal circumstances I’d perform extensive research to know exactly what keywords to use and what CPC (cost per click) should be. But hey! Here the money is “free” so I’m not worried much about this.

I filled in the campaign details, list of keywords, targeted countries and languages. And then there was a payment screen. Post billing and prepaid billing, bank or credit card details? But where is my “free” advertising then? I’ve selected credit card as a payment to test it, pressed Continue and here it was. On the bottom: input box to type my voucher code. But it didn’t accept it until I give also my payment details. So I stopped there.

Doubts

So what’s the catch?

First of all it is not free money. You can’t use this voucher without giving your bank/card details that will be used to collect future payments.

The idea behind this marketing action is based on fact that people forget about things. For example: forget about running ad campaign that was “free”, forget about direct debit ect. So once the promotion is over our campaign may still run and cost us £75 (or more) each month.

It is targeted towards inexperienced audience. But you have to know what you’re doing. Otherwise you will lose money, real money this time. I once was a witness of a situation where company had to pay 3rd party “SEO marketing consultancy” £100 000 for AdWords bill. But this campaign only brought few customers because of lack of communication, understanding of client’s business and needs.

You can stop AdWords campaign, sure. But I don’t know if this can be automatically after we exhaust our budget or does it need to be done manually? If first is true than probably many people (like me) don’t know how to do it. In my case I’m just to lazy to check it because it’s “free” money so I can afford loose it. If you need to stop campaign manually it means that you need to make an effort to monitor it, check your remaining balance and once its 0 then stop it. This effort will be too much for more than few people.

Suggestions

Use it if you know what to do.

Throw it away if you don’t or have no need for it.

It’s no use for anyone already using AdWords.

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