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Are you already offering giveaway items for promotional purposes? You should seriously consider this strategy, because it reaps immense dividends in terms of branding, viral marketing and exposure.

Giving away free items is a classic strategy that never gets old. In online businesses, you see opt-in pages designed to capture names and e-mail addresses with a gift as bait. Examples of successful offline implementations include Old Gillette company that gave away razors and sold a lot more blades as a result. Computer retailers give away printers so they can sell cartridges. MLM marketers give away product samples to let prospects familiarize with its quality. Even if you do not deal in products that are related or have a ‘refilling’ or ‘replacing’ characteristic, you can still give away useful items like pens, notebooks, mugs, bags, t-shirts, USB drives or some other memorabilia with your brand /company name on them. As your company grows, you can more likely afford such items because they are not really expensive. Your prospects/customers will better remember you for their gifts, thus they are much more effective than business cards. Any increase in sales growth due to these gifts means they are bringing in an ROI that is many times more than the initial expense in sourcing and printing them.

The better gift items are the ones that are used outdoors and “on the outside”. Things like bags, umbrellas, car decals etc., when they are in use, are effectively exposed with your name emblazoned on them. That gets passers-by to notice them. What should be printed? 3 essential information: your brand/company name, your tagline that gives an idea of what you do (or it can be a prospecting question), and your website URL.

Look out for every possible high-traffic occasion where you can give away your free gifts. No one can fault you for being generous! Trade shows, seminars, business meetings, networking sessions are great places to start. Sometimes you may want to be more selective of the right people to give to, so instead of unconditional giving, you could offer your item as a bonus to a purchase, as a customer’s birthday gift, or as a gift for a completed action, like filling a survey or dropping a business card. Your ideas are limitless and as long as gifting is seamlessly integrated into a process flow with good reason, it will work.

It always is in human nature to want to acquire more things. Offering free items as a promotion precisely fulfills this human instinct and in turn gets the receivers to know their giver. In their minds, you have already taken a lion’s share of the market.

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