Value Added Promotion Ideas
My father was tall and thin. That made it hard for him to buy pants over the counter. So, we got these advertising packets from Haband, Inc. They sold slacks, jackets, shirts and shoes for hard-to-fit men. Included in the packet was a letter supposedly written by the head of the company. In it he wrote about funny things that happened in his household or at the office, told stories about the family, and voiced his complaints. It was all done in good humor. When the monthly ads arrived, we opened that packet first, whether or not Dad needed anything.
That’s an example of “value-added” promotion. It was an advertising packet, but it was interesting to read. It made shopping with them fun. Sometimes in our effort to get out the message about our products, we forget that the person at the other end of the ad probably doesn’t care much about what we have to sell. For instance, if all Haband sent was a pack of flyers about menswear, unless I needed to buy my Dad some clothes, it would have gone in the trash. The letter added value to the advertising, so I slowed down and read the letter and browsed through the flyers.
Here are some ways to add value to your marketing efforts:
Free Samples. Nothing gets a letter opened faster than the promise of something free inside. If someone gets a taste of your product, and if the product is worthwhile, they will be much more likely to buy it than on the basis of words alone.
Humor. I think the humor found in the Haband letters made us open them and read them. There’s a company in the UK that sends out a list of clean jokes every day. Interspersed between the jokes have been ads. I know, many of my online friends have forwarded those jokes to me, and probably everyone else in their email list.
Information. Let’s say you sell gardening products. In every catalog, you can include tips for better gardening. If you use the web to sell, make your website “content-rich” with informational articles related to your product line, and your traffic will increase.
Free Gifts and Contests. Suppose you know you will get a free e-book of recipes just for visiting a web site selling cooking utensils. If you are at all interested in cooking, that can draw you to the site. If as an added bonus, you could win a free set of cookware for filling out an online form, you will probably take the chance with nothing to lose.
So, think about ways you can add value to your promotional materials, and maybe someone at the other end will open your email first even if they don’t intend to buy anything that day.