Everyone loves something for free…

At one point in my career, I worked for the medical field. I remember countless of drug reps coming into the office, giving away free pens, office supplies and other free stuff covered with their logo. Just a little token to remember them by. Ironically, it worked! We couldn’t remember the name of the drug when we were asked, but because of the little pen we wrote with every day, it triggered our memories.

What is promotional marketing? Think anything that you “give away” to bring clients/customers in the door. Coupons, buy one get one frees, punch cards, store credit for each purchase, contests, samples, and giveaways. For the amount your business spends, the ROI can be quite worthwhile.

Here are things to consider when implementing promotional marketing:

  • Are you planning on collecting names, emails, addresses for leads? Ask your customers when registering key questions that will help you determine their interests.
  • What incentive works best for your products or services? For tangible items, consider coupons or buy one get one free. For services, maybe discounted rates or a free consolation.
  • What’s your budget? Clearly you don’t want to give away everything. If you do offer a discount, consider only discounting certain products vs your whole inventory.
  • How will you determine your success? Is there a way to track who uses your promotions?
  • How will you advertise? Will you have a website, print marketing, or hire a marketing agency to promote your giveaway?
  • Is your promotion in compliance with federal and state laws? The Federal Trade Commission states “when a “free” offer is tied to the purchase of another product, the price of the purchased product should not be increased from its regular price.” Any contests or sweepstakes offered by a company that require a purchase to enter are illegal in the United States. Check your country or state government agency to make sure you comply with regulations and laws.
  • Are there any “catches”? If so, be sure you inform your potential clients/customers. For instance, if the product is listed for “free” but requires shipping, ensure your clients are fully aware so there is no confusion.