Envato, what is the point of free file nominations

Envato, what is the point of offering free files in the hope that it drives traffic to authors’ portfolio, only for the buyer to be met with the Elements banner. New traffic that authors generate that has an unrecognized IP address will have the Elements banner trying to divert traffic away from authors profiles and portfolios.

So, asking the question again, what is the point of offering free files.

Who does this actually benefit?


Good question!

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You still need to pay for an Element subscription. And a free file is generally FREE. Plus additional advertising to the author. Is it bad? I think this is a very good bonus for a freelancer.

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I realise that a free file should be free from any fees however my point is that even if the process is meant to stimulate traffic through your profile, it will be consumed by the aggressive advertising of the Elements banner.

This, I am afraid, is not a good bonus for the freelancer as the situation currently stands.

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Codecanyon author here,

The pushing of elements has been going on for years now & it is truly sad that only now authors are starting to wake up.

There have been numerous threads and messages in the past as well, but it seems that they were and still are not enough for Envato to give some proper explanation on this and solution for the Elements push.

As a new visitor, you are ALWAYS greeted with a top bar banner that points to element and that is just the beginning, as links and buttons to Elements are everywhere.

I wonder if Elements ever points back to codecanyon or other markets :rofl:

And yes, in my opinion, Free files are worthless. Its a way to get more sign ups from people that want free stuff, but not necessarily convert to actual buyers (but ultimately, envato knows their stats better).


I don’t know how it is now, but about a year ago, my item was selected as a free file.
By the way, there were the Elements already then.
What advantages did this event give:
1.My item hangs on the first page for a long time - great advertisement
2.During this time, the views of my page and the entire portfolio have increased many times over.
3.This free file was used by people to visit my portfolio and buy music of other styles.
4.Increasing sales in general
5. Even after removing the item from the first page, they looked through my portfolio for a long time and, as a rule, made purchases of tracks.


I was selected for a free file in 2012, I think, and it helped push my portfolio forward even after the month was up. During that month I had a lot more sales, and even sold the free track twice (standard license price). After that, for the next 3 or 4 years I had traffic coming in from an article that featured the track. Back then it was really helpful, but I’m not sure being selected for free file of the month today would have the same impact, especially with Elements cannibalizing our clients.

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Hi Graham. Sorry for the late reply - it’s a fair question to ask, and I’ve been following up with some of the teams that use the free files as I wanted to give more information.

Free items serve a few purposes on the Envato Market sites. Broadly speaking, those relate to customer acquisition, conversion, and retention. Initiatives like the Free WordPress Themes landing page are primarily aimed at acquisition, getting new customers in by targeting high-volume search engine traffic. Most of the regular Market free files help with conversion and retention, though.

On the conversion front, a free file is often the first real item experience a new visitor has. Before they’re confident enough to make a purchase, they download a free item to see what it’s like and check out things like the download experience (what’s in the ZIP file, how easy is it to use in that format, etc). People who’ve downloaded a free item are more likely to make a purchase, and more likely to purchase from that author. That’s why we try to set a high bar for the quality of free file nominations.

Customer retention is the other big role for free items. Many customers only ever buy one item, but there’s obviously a lot of value in getting more people to return and make additional purchases. Email is the biggest channel for this, with free files being presented to customers in multiple places.

One regular email series promotes the “Free File of the Month” items at the start and end of each month, to a large list of engaged customers (currently ~1.2M for each email). We can see from our data that customers who return to the site to check out the free items often buy more items during that visit.

Specifically for AudioJungle, there’s another series of emails that highlights new items. The Audio and Video versions both include any current audio free files. These go to a highly segmented list of customers interested in those item categories, so there’s another opportunity to reach the customers most likely to purchase on AJ.

More generally, all new Envato customers who subscribe to Market Mail receive a welcome email. These have just been redesigned to include a free files link in the top navigation area. Unlike the “Free File of the Month” emails, the welcome series is always active, and so it sends a steady amount of customer traffic to the free files throughout the month.

I hope that’s useful context on where the free files are used, and the types of customers they’re presented to in each case.


Thank you Ben for the comprehensive reply, however what I was really alluding to was the continued advertising of Elements within Audiojungle hence what is the point of trying to promote one’s profile if traffic is going to be beseiged with Elements banners including Author profiles and portfolio’s.


Ben knew exactly what you were alluding to.