How to Market Something that is Free

My friend, Dr. Aniruddha Malpani, wrote to me requesting assistance on an innovative idea. Perhaps you can give some suggestions. Here is Dr. Malpani’s post.

HELP is a free consumer health library we have been running for over 10 years now. The website is at

While I am happy to fund the library ( which means we do not need any financial assistance), we do need help to increase awareness about the unique services HELP offers, so that more people will make use of our services. We do not have a marketing budget; and are having a difficult time marketing HELP.

Logically, one would expect this would be easy to do. We offer a unique service, which no one else offers; and because we help patients to talk to doctors and provide free Information Therapy, to empower patients to get the best medical care, one would expect people to be very happy to use our free services. We have no hidden agenda; are not looking for money; and are trying to improve the doctor patient relationship and to heal the sick Indian healthcare system by making sure patients are well – informed – all of which are laudable goals !

While the media does write occasional article about HELP, the fact still remains that we have not done a good job in marketing HELP, because not many people know about the services we offer.

Part of the problem is that because our services are free, they are not valued ! ( After all, if you get something for free, you don’t think it’s of any importance). I am quite certain that we do not want to charge for our services, because I believe patients need to have all the information they need and want, if they want to get the best medical care; and this is part of our mission.

We offer free online Ask the Librarian services as well, where we provide reliable authentic information to users by email, thus acting as infomediaries who are Information Therapy specialists.

I would like suggestions as to what we can do to market HELP ! We need help in marketing HELP !

You can email Dr. Malpani directly, or leave a comment here.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.