Merchandisers Tie It All Together
Premiums are a mainstay of merchandising direct mail efforts. In 2003, 22 percent of merchandise mailings offered premiums, and 2004 is on track to matchmaybe even surpassthat figure, with 24 percent of mailings in the sector offering premiums in the first half of the year.
So what's in all these offers? Everything. Merchandising premiums are as varied as the merchandise itself, featuring everything from steaks and CDs to phone cards and cruises, in part because many merchandisers choose to align their premiums with their products.
Merchandising efforts often have intuitive tie-ins that allow for premiums that speak directly to what customers are purchasing. Pillows make an attractive premium for someone interested in buying a bed; customers who buy luggage would love personalized luggage tags; gourmet afficionados certainly will appreciate the value of a cutlery set. In June, the Who's Mailing What! Archive received premium offers from the usual suspects of merchandising that speak directly to this point.
Often one to offer product-specific premiums, Omaha Steaks sent two mailings in June that feature the same gourmet goodies, but different offers. In the first mailing (355OMASTE0604B), the gourmet merchandiser allows customers to purchase chicken breasts, tenderloin pieces, sirloin tips and cod portions for incredibly reduced prices when making a regular order. Its other mailing (355OMASTE0604AX) offers a more traditional premium package: six burgers, a six-piece cutlery set and cookbook with purchase (for all customers), and a cutting board incentive for early purchase. Omaha Steaks is well known for making such offers, as the cutting board, cookbook, cutlery set and free food all have turned up in other mailings over the years.
Tempur-pedic, another merchandiser known for premiums that tie directly to its products, sent an offer for two free sets of Tempur-pedic sheets with an in-home trial of the Tempur-pedic bed (389TEMPED0604). In the past, Tempur-pedic has featured other product-specific premiums, including the patented Tempur-pedic pillow, decorative throw pillows, a sleep-enhancing eye mask, a travel neck pillow and a set of teddy bears.
Unlike Tempur-pedic and Omaha Steaks, men's fashion mailer Haband typically relies on products with a more
tenuous relationship to its merchandising mix. Over the last few months, Haband has used premiums that include a three-piece luggage set, a 15-piece grooming set, a six-in-one travel game and binoculars. June was no exception for the mailer, as the Archive received a package from the company's "Executive Division" (381HABAND0604A). The package, which likens Haband's clothing line to the designer threads worn by top executives, offers a 100-minute phone cardfor all of those deal-making phone callsand the "Rolling Thunder" Power Penfor all of those important meetingswith purchase.
Whether the product tie-in is overt, like sheets for a new bed, or more vague, like a "power pen" for powered execs, merchandisers love to offer premiums, taking full advantage of the leverage these premiums can offer. By featuring premiums that enhance or compliment your products, you can create offers that customers will perceive as value-added and personalized, and at the same time reinforce your products.