Let’s face it, people like free things. It’s a simple fact that people love to get things for nothing, even if they don’t immediately have a use for whatever they get for free. Because of this simple fact, using promotions where a company gives away a free product to promote something can be a very effective way to market. However, it is possible to use this tactic incorrectly.
There is a right way and a wrong way to use “the power of free” to generate sales and make your direct mail marketing campaign a success.
Make sure what you are giving away relates to the product you’re promoting
This is a problem that has been seen many times in free promotions. Companies have given away products that have little or even nothing to do with the product they are promoting. For example, one company that was trying to promote a line of hair products gave away socks as a promotion. Nothing says shampoo and conditioner like a nice warm pair of socks that go over your feet right?
The item needs to have as direct of a relation to the product that you are promoting as possible. Some good examples in recent years include self-published authors giving away the first books in a series to promote their other books, or a snack food company giving away small bags of chips to potential customers to promote their new chip line.
Free t-shirts, post cards, and other things that have your company or product logo on them are also not bad ideas.
Make sure the free item does not overpower the item you are promoting
It is a great idea to make sure the free item you’re giving away is really interesting and draws customers toward your promotion. However, don’t let the free item be so amazing that it overshadows the item(s) that you’re trying to sell. What you want to do with your free item is pique your audience’s interest enough to get them to purchase your product. If a free product is amazing enough, your audience will forget the item you are trying to sell and just take the free item and go.
Make sure your free product has a call to action
A call to action means that someone has to do something in order for an event to take effect. This is a tactic that has been used successfully in marketing for many years and combining this tactic with “the power of free” has yielded great results.
Some great ways to use this tactic with a free product promotion through direct mail is to have the customer have to send you a letter to get the free product or perform some action that puts them one step closer to buying your product. Calls to action are usually accompanied something that makes the reader think he or she has to act immediately, such as only offering the free product for “a limited time only.”