Dropbox – The Master of Freemium

 by Mohan Ramkumar  on   22 Jun 2012

Freemium is win-win. However tiny it might be, the customers are happy that they are getting a freebie. Companies get a captive userbase to spread the word, with a great shot at converting them into paying customers over time. Usually, businesses limit the size of the free tier and it doesn’t change over the years.

Initially Dropbox started that way too. Users got free 2GB storage space and 250 MB for each successful referral. It’s wasn’t a groundbreaking idea and they didn’t reinvent the wheel or anything. But overtime, they have added so many accessories to the wheel, it now is capable of powering itself!

Except for maybe mentioning the word Dropbox in a sentence, the company is doling out free space for every reason possible. Refer a friend? Grab 500MB of free space. Tweet about Dropbox? Get 500MB free space.

Follow Dropbox on Twitter? Like it on Facebook? Link it to Twitter? Auto upload images from iPhone? Auto upload from Android phone? You guessed it right, it’s raining free space. Then they hold an annual scavenger hunt online and winners are awarded with, big surprise, more free space!

There are so many ways a user can get free space, Dropbox has a dedicated page to keep track of all the tasks and the respective free space that’s up for grabs. One of the Dropbox competitors offered 50GB of free space for all iOS and Android users who downloaded their mobile app. There wasn’t even a dent in the Dropbox armor.

It’s a simple trick. There is a sense of gratification that accompanies whenever you accomplish something. Instead of dishing out all the rewards upfront, the company keeps customers engaged and pampers them every step of the way.

That isn’t all. Dropbox gets the attention of it’s customers by offering incremental rewards in return for performing simple, but operationally critical chores. For a paltry sum, they’ve successfully crowd sourced product marketing and scalability testing (via image auto uploads).

What Dropbox has mastered in an art – getting the undivided attention of customers. How ingenious is that!


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