Free Plus Shipping

Free Plus Shipping is a sales and marketing strategy in which businesses offer a product for free and ask customers to pay only for the shipping and handling costs.

This method helps attract customers by allowing them to try something new without spending a lot.

The business can still pay for the product and profit from the shipping charge.

It’s a common strategy in online selling to attract more customers, collect useful information, and familiarize people with a brand without asking them to spend much at first.1

Visual Representation:

How Does a Free Plus Shipping Funnel Work


The main goal of the free plus shipping offer is to encourage people to buy from a business by offering something valuable but with little risk for the customer.

This strategy aims to increase website traffic, boost conversion rates, and build a customer base for upselling and cross-selling opportunities.

It’s also a good way to sell off old items, try selling in new areas, or make more people aware of the brand.2

How It Works:

Free plus shipping works like a bait-and-switch but in a marketing sense.

Here’s how it works step-by-step:

  1. The free product acts as a lead magnet, attracting new customers who might not have otherwise considered the brand.
  2. The shipping cost, usually set strategically higher than the actual shipping cost, covers a portion (or all) of the product’s cost and acts as a prequalification step. Customers willing to pay for shipping show some level of interest and commitment.
  3. You build an email list by collecting contact information during the checkout process. This list allows for targeted marketing campaigns promoting future sales and introducing new products to a pre-qualified audience with some interest.
  4. Some free plus shipping offers offer additional products at a discounted price during checkout. This can entice customers to spend more than the shipping cost, increasing the campaign’s overall profitability.
  5. Even if a customer doesn’t make an additional purchase, they’ve received a physical product with the brand’s logo, potentially leading to brand recall and future purchases. The positive experience of receiving a free item can also build customer loyalty.3


The free plus shipping model is used by many online businesses, from new startups to well-known brands wanting to introduce new products or clear out stock.

It’s particularly common in areas where items don’t cost much to make, like books, jewelry, small gadgets, and promotional merchandise.4


Imagine a product costing $2 to buy from the supplier.

Shipping costs range from $2 to $4, based on where it’s being sent.

In a free plus shipping funnel, you’d show the product price as $0.00 and set a shipping fee of $7 to $10.

This way, the cost of the product and the shipping are covered, and you also make a little profit.

Since the customer sees they’re getting the product for free, the deal seems more attractive than if you showed the product price and shipping cost separately.5

Related Terms:


1. Brunson, R. (2020). Dotcom Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Growing Your Company Online with Sales Funnels. United States: Hay House.

2. Pickyalex. (2023, April 10). Free plus shipping on shopify: Ultimate guide for 2023. PickyStory.

3. Judi, Author, D. D. P., Ron, Author, R. P., & Zigi. (2022, July 24). Free plus shipping method: What is it and does it still work in 2023?. Do Dropshipping.

4. Summary of Chandler Bolt’s Published.. (2022). United States: Everest Media LLC.

5. CartfFlows, T. (2023, December 8). Build a high converting free plus shipping funnel.

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