Give Your Customers What They Want: Free Stuff!

Last week, Fire Enterprises, Inc. (FEI) marketing maven Marka told savvy salesperson Zoot and FEI tribe leader Org how plain, text-only e-mails can achieve better results for FEI than traditional promotional e-mails. This week, Marka and Zoot discuss why FEI’s marketing communications should prioritize compelling offers over flashy designs. Remember, fire = print.

One morning, Zoot found Marka getting coffee in the FEI break room.

“You know I take a lot of chariot rides, right?” Zoot asked.

“Sure,” Marka said. “That’s the only way you can reach any customers located outside Olympus. Boy, you must’ve racked up a lot of Frequent Rider Miles.”

“That’s right,” Zoot said. “In fact, before I boarded a chariot to visit Hestia’s Hearths yesterday, the customer-service person at the check-in desk told me I’d just racked up my 100,000th Frequent Rider Mile with Olympus ChariotWays.”

“Congrats!” Marka said.

“Thanks. The CSR handed me an envelope, told me it was a token of gratitude from the ChariotWays team. Once I was seated in the chariot, I excitedly opened the envelope. Inside was…a signed note from the ChariotWays VP.”

“That’s it?” Marka asked.

“It was a nice gesture, I suppose,” Zoot said. “The note was written in nice calligraphy on a fine parchment paper. But, to be frank, I had a 20-kilometer chariot ride ahead of me. What I really could’ve used was just ticket for a free grog.”

“You’ve touched upon an idea that applies to FEI’s promotional activities,” Marka said. “What makes our customers happy? Sure, they’re motivated by wanting to look good and feel special. But what really makes people happy are those little things that appeal to their simple desires: a $5 gift card to Gerta’s Grog Shop, or a free sandwich coupon at Sammy’s Sandwich Shop.”

“So you’re saying FEI promotions should feature more of these kinds of giveaways,” Zoot said. “And fewer fancy-looking pieces that don’t give our customers any reason to get excited.”

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
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