The Power of Premiums
It's not clear whether all this is a smokescreen or whether these dead-enders actually believe this stuff. But they aren't letting the facts get in their way—one group in Arizona has even demanded that the President "release the microfiche" of his birth certificate.
Sadly, I don't have any microfiches on hand, but we have the next best thing: In honor of birthers everywhere, we're re-releasing the campaign's limited-edition "Made in the USA" mugs.
Donate $20 or more today and we'll send you one—complete with a reprint of the President's birth certificate on the side for everyone to see.
I sent $20 and I enjoy my morning coffee out of this official Barack Obama Birth Certificate Mug, just as I do from the collection of mugs that that I have accumulated from all over the world. (Click on the first image in the media player at upper right and you can see the "Made in the USA" mug.)
The Obama Car Magnet—Yuck
In my Yahoo! inbox on June 1 was the singularly unamusing offer of a tacky little Obama car magnet—mine if I contributed $10 to the campaign.
This was the most cheapsy-weepsy little nothing imaginable—an unbelievable offer, considering that Team Obama has access to the mother lode of drop-dead desirable premiums.
What Is a Premium?
"Premiums and bonuses drive sales," writes legendary direct marketing guru Dan Kennedy. "Too often the premium is an afterthought. I think it's at least as important as the core product."
"A premium is a bribe to say 'yes' now," wrote the late Dick Benson.
It was Max Hart, beloved development director of Disabled American Veterans who wrote:
Use premiums—long one of the most powerful incentives employed by nonprofits to increase their results.
First, let's define or differentiate between a front-end and a back-end premium. Front-end premiums—also known as freemiums—are inserted in the mailing package and a contribution is not required in order to receive the premium. In the case of a back-end premium, it is necessary to respond in order to receive the premium. Many nonprofit organizations do not have the pulling power to succeed in their fund raising effort through a straight appeal solicitation (letter, reply form, brochure and reply envelope), so they must turn to promotional techniques such as sweepstakes, matching check programs and premiums.