The word "Free" is thrown around by marketers like it's a silver bullet, but that's simply not true. It can be powerful, but it can also hurt conversions.
To me, the reason why "free" doesn't always work comes from the fact that behaviors online often differ from behaviors offline.
There has been a dangerous trend that considers online products, in some fields, of lower value. One such case is ebooks. An ebook can reach the top of the pile on Amazon if the author makes it available for free. I have seen it happen over and over.
I really like the idea that charging a nominal fee can remove freeloaders and bargain hunters from the equation...
Some great case studies in the post!