The Marketing Law of Reciprocity and Why I Want To Give You Free Stuff

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You and I, we live to connect. We pursue connecting with others constantly. Business is essentially a series of processes and relationships that working together create value. In fact, as a business, you cannot create value without a customer. You can create the potential, but without relationships, you haven’t actually created any value.

I would argue that most people live their lives to Connect, Create, and Achieve. This is the deeper workings of the pursuit of happiness.

Marketing, is primarily about communicating value, but it’s really about nurturing relationships.

There is a common truism in the marketing world called the Law of Reciprocity which states, “When You Give To Others, They Feel A Deep Rooted Need to Give Back To You.” This law is not only at work all the time if you just look around, but it works in reverse too. So many people do things for others with the single intention of motivating that other person to reciprocate. No matter how far fetched it seems.

In SEO, we see this with linking to other websites or commenting on them. While we do this to provide value to our audience, we also buy into the fantasy that they might reciprocate and link to our website, or comment on our blogs. Usually, these efforts are shallow and easy to see through, so the law of reciprocity might not work as well.

However, give a free gift to a client, give free advice to a prospect, share information that is otherwise not available, and you will create a deep desire in the recipient to reciprocate and buy your product or service.
People want to connect, and reciprocation is the primary form of connection. Due Unto Others as You Want Done Unto You, does not just mean treat others as you wish to be treated, it means, IF you Give To Others and Do For Others, They will feel compelled to do for you and give to you. It is a law of nature.

Giving creates a chain reaction, and the more you give, the more you shall receive. Again, seems biblical to me, but in reality is in hard-wired into human nature. We need to stoke our egos. When you give to me, you are saying, you are important, I appreciate you, I will give to you with no expectations of anything in return. You Just Ignited the Fuel to Connect. Your giving is an invitation to connect. It is saying, “I am taking the first step and want to connect with you.”

How Could Anyone Resist Such an Open Invitation For Something They Deeply Desire.

Receiving Feels Good. Giving Feels Better.

Relationships are the LifeBlood of Businesses, so Give and You Shall Receive.

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About David Melamed

David Melamed is the Founder of Tenfold Traffic, a search and content marketing agency with over $50,000,000 of paid search experience and battle tested results in content development, premium content promotion and distribution, Link Profile Analysis, Multinational/Multilingual PPC and SEO, and Direct Response Copywriting.


  1. Free stuff is always the thing that gets me excited. I’ll sign up to a mailing list to get a free ebook and I’ll re-tweet and facebook your website for a chance to enter the competition your hosting to win something I can probably do without but want anyway. Considering how well the law of reciprocity works in day to day life, it truly is very valuable in the terms of business, to entice your customers and imbed that desire to pay you back in some manner. It’s why when people question the idea of giving something away from free, I like to point out the benefits, like what you mentioned on another post on your blog. You give away 90% because you know that people will buy the other 10% when they need it and they already trust your skills.

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