Within the world of premiums, information is a hot commodity. Whitepapers, guides and other educational items have steadily gained in popularity over the past few years, supplanting baseball caps, tote bags and myriad tchotchkes as the go-to response boosters for many mailers, particularly those in the publishing and B-to-B sectors. To wit, in the second quarter of 2006, 24.3 percent of premium mailings collected by the Who’s Mailing What! Archive contained informational freebies; that number jumps to about 32.4 percent if you take the proprietary loyalty programs offered by financial services companies out of the equation.
With so many educational premiums in the marketplace, it becomes all the more important, especially if you are in sectors that rely heavily on such items, to make your informational premiums stand out. Quality content is the number one way to accomplish this, but an often overlooked secondary tactic is presentation, using different formats to make sure your content cuts through the informational clutter. As consultant Robert Bly explains in his recent e-book, “The White Paper Marketing Handbook,” there are a number of formats to choose from:
• Tips and tip sheets.
• Special reports.
• Resource guides.
• Multimedia presentations that include two or more of the above.
So, for example, if your competitors are using whitepapers, you can incite interest by offering a DVD. If everyone in your sector is offering multimedia premiums, you can stand out by going old-school with a special report. You can even change things up within your own program, spinning a year’s worth of newsletter tips into a special edition tip sheet. By featuring quality content in fresh ways, you’ll get the most leverage out of informational premiums.