Back in the early days of the Internet, a few folks thought that ads could support giving away free dial-up Internet access. Juno and NetZero were among them. Of course, eventually that free access dwindled down to practically nothing and different ways of making money had to be found.
I’m guessing the folks at United Online, owners of the two ISPs mentioned above, along with Classmates.com and other sites, had the domain for FreeInternet.com left over from those days. Recently launched, the site has nothing to do with free Internet access. Rather, it’s a site for freebies that you can get on the Internet – things like coupons, free shipping, free trials, product giveaways and the like. Given the state of the economy, coupon sites are doing pretty well these days.
If you search for “internet” on the site, you do get two free dial-up access offers – NetZero and Juno, of course, offering ten hours per month, complete with ads.
And, the site has quite a bit to offer as far as selections. There are a ton of products available, though I have yet to figure out how a company gets products listed. All I have been able to find so far is a help e-mail address. I sent a question regarding product inclusion for a client, but have yet to get an answer back. Being an SEO, I tend to trust sites that are more upfront about contact information.
Naturally, you have to register to get stuff. They ask for basic information like address, phone and give you some choices of interests. So far, I haven’t been deluged with e-mail from them, for which I am grateful and give them a big thumbs up for that.
Lots of offers to chose from, but many are not free. I give them a thumbs down for that. A lot are simply 10% or 20% or whatever off of products. As I write this, the newly added offers on the main page (pictured) are mostly for so many dollars off rather than free stuff. Coupons for various product offers are generally codes that you can use at the product web site.
Trials, sweepstakes, samples are all offered. I love the idea of having all of this in one easy to navigate place, but I’d really like the site to stay focused on free and not on all of the so-much-off-when-you-buy-so-and-so offers. I, for one, tune those out when I’m looking for FREE.
I’m sure a lot of others will, too.
There’s also the opportunity to review the offers. I’m not seeing too many of those yet, but as mentioned, the site is new.
So, in a nutshell, I think FreeInternet.com is off to a pretty good start. They’ve got lots of products, a clean interface that’s not junked up with too many ads, no bombardment with e-mails (yet) and they don’t ask for too much personal information.
Now, if they could remain focused on free stuff and provide some merchant inclusion and contact information, I’d give them another thumbs up.