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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.

Use Low-Cost, High-Value Giveaways to Create Sales Opportunities (Part II)

Last week, Fire Enterprises (FEI) marketing whiz Marka told Zoot how offering inexpensive giveaways in FEI’s direct marketing promotions can lead to new sales opportunities. This week, Marka and Zoot come up with some creative giveaway ideas. Remember, fire = print.

Zoot took off his Thinking Cap. “Marka, I got it,” he said. “Most of our customers love grog. We could offer everyone who responds to our postcard a $10 Drachma gift certificate to Hercules’ Grogaccino Palace.”

“You’re on the right track,” Marka said. “But how will offering free grog make our business look smart? I suppose customers will think we’re nicer. But we can do better than that.”

“What do you suggest?” Zoot asked.

“Let’s hold a raffle,” Marka said. “To enter, recipients must scan a QR code on our postcard and enter their contact information. The winner gets a copy of our award-winning book 101 Fire Tips.”

“I’ve heard when Pyro at Pyro’s Maniacs Fire Store holds raffles, he just awards the prize to whomever they’ve got a large bid in with at the moment,” Zoot said. “Last month he awarded a free O-Pad2 to Agamemnon from Agamemnon’s Grape Bar. Pyro just happened to have responded to an RFP from Aggie hours before—as did FEI.” 

“Yep, but who ended up getting that job?” Marka said. “FEI did. Aggie told me that after winning the O-Pad he had no choice but to turn Pyro down. Otherwise, it would’ve felt unethical.”

“Clearly, choosing our top prospects as ‘raffle’ winners can backfire,” Zoot said.

“But it’d be naïve to deny that Pyro and many other businesses do just that,” Marka said. “All I can say to those companies: be careful how you describe your giveaway. Avoid using words like ‘raffle’ and ‘drawing,’ which imply a random selection. Instead, say ‘We’re giving away a free O-Pad2 to one lucky customer’ or ‘We’re choosing one lucky customer to get a free O-Pad2.’”

“In any case, the raffle is a brilliant idea!” Zoot said. “Now we’re providing value and associating our brand with useful info! Plus, this book can double as a selling opportunity.”

“Bingo,” Marka said.

Three weeks later, the O-postcards were mailed to 500 carefully chosen customers and prospects. Forty recipients entered the raffle. From this list, Zoot randomly selected a winner—Androcles from Androcles’ Crepe Cafe—to receive 101 Fire Tips. Two weeks later, Androcles called Zoot, gushing about how much the tips had improved his business. Later he bought two kilns.

“That giveaway was genius,” Zoot said to Marka. “Guess I should leave marketing to the marketers, huh?”

“Oh, come on, Zoot,” Marka said. “This mailer couldn’t have happened without you.”

“Don’t get mushy on me now!” Zoot teased.
Next week: Marka and Zoot discuss how including low-cost “stuffers” in job invoices can help FEI win more business. 

Today’s FIRE! Point

Use inexpensive giveaways to drive responses and create sales opportunities in your direct marketing campaigns.

FIRE! In Action: Moosejaw Uses Social Media Giveaways to Boost Sales
The outdoor gear and apparel company ran a series of giveaways on Facebook and Twitter. They were able to tie this activity to a 15 percent sales increase for the items they gave away.

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