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.’”

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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