Sometimes, giving something away is the best way to make money. Case in point: free software giveaways.

A smart marketer can give a niche-relevant software tool away to those who sign up for his or her mailing list. Using the freebie tool as an inducement is a surefire way of increasing sign ups. Even those who may only be marginally interested in your or your products at this moment may find it hard to resist a free program that seems relevant to them on some level.

If the idea of building your list at a faster clip doesn’t excite you, it may be time for you to take another look at the power of list marketing. There’s a reason you can’t get through an article about lists that doesn’t say “the money is in the list”. It’s true.

The money is in the list. When you aren’t capturing leads, you’re only getting one chance to convert each visitor. When you snag an email address for permission marketing via email, you get multiple bites on that apple. Would you rather have the chance to put an opportunity in front of someone once or seven times? Which option is going to improve your sales the most?

The answers are obvious. What isn’t quite as obvious are the other ways that free software distribution can help you and your IM business. In this article, we’re going to mention just one of those other benefits. Backlinks.

We all know that the search engines are the best way to generate traffic and it goes without saying that we’re all obsessed with traffic (and for good reasons). That’s why we like the idea of optimizing our sites for good performance in the search engine results.

And distributing free software can help a great deal in that regard. You can distribute your free tool to the many freeware and shareware software directories online. When those sites list your app, they’re going to provide you with a free backlink

Those non-reciprocal inbound links are just what the doctor ordered to improve your search engine traffic numbers. The engines reward sites that are getting plenty of incoming link love. Your little giveaway program could net you hundreds upon hundreds valuable links.

When you consider the list building possibilities of software distribution, the idea starts to look good. When you add in the fact that you can use the software as a way of significantly improving your site’s performance on the search engines, it becomes clear that it’s a fantastic idea!