Every day, it seems harder to get consumers to respond, and with marketing budgets continually getting slashed, offering premiums can seem like a dicey proposition. But Carolyn Goodman, managing partner and president of Goodman Marketing Partners, a San Rafael, Calif.-based direct marketing company, says premiums can provide an added boost to response. “I think today’s consumer is less willing to give you something for nothing,” she says.
Goodman offers these tips to make a premium campaign worth your time and money.
1. Know your audience, and make the premium something it values. “Think about premiums that … touch the hearts and souls of your target audience,” says Goodman. A premium won’t invoke any positive reaction if it’s not of interest to the consumer, and it definitely won’t result in response.
2. Make your premium unique. “Greed is the No. 1 motivator in consumers,” asserts Goodman. “So find something that they can’t get anywhere else.” For instance, Goodman Marketing Partners offered a T-shirt as a premium for a KCSM-FM mailing, but it wasn’t just any old T-shirt. It was personalized with the donor’s name among the names of jazz musician legends to create a one-of-a-kind image—something donors couldn't get anywhere else.
“We do a number of premiums for different clients, and they’re always things that you can never get anywhere else,” says Goodman. “We’ve done customized chocolate bars that inside the wrapper is a secret code [and] they go to a Web site to see if they’ve won something else. We’ve done playing card decks that every card is unique to the client in a very fun and interesting way. And it’s the kind of thing that you bring out in front of other people, and they go, ‘Oh, cool. Where’d you get that?’”
3. Don’t overemphasize your brand on the premium. It’s important to keep your brand top-of-mind, but don’t overdo it, Goodman suggests. “If you’re thinking about premiums, you’ve got to do something and take the extra step to make it unique beyond what the object that it is, without making your name, the brand name, so prominent that it destroys the value of the object. We’ve all gotten premiums that we think, ‘Well this is pretty cool if they didn’t have that logo slapped on there in 85-point type.’”