Basic Promotional Actions Part 4: Schwag

Have you ever given something away without necessarily expecting to get anything back? I once surveyed a total of 100 staff from various offices throughout the US on the same question. An overwhelming 79% answered “Yes” to that question. Perplexing it is when business owners don’t give anything away for free, but yet expect their business to continue growing… on its own… like a plant one refuses to water.

In this article I will be covering the last in a four part series on Basic Promotional Actions. I call this one ‘Schwag* & Bag’.

*Schwag: In a business sense, this would be small items such as pens, notepads, coffee mugs, etc that bear your company name or logo and are given away for free.

The truth is that most business owners are not really frugal, they are flat out cheap! They’ll claim it’s frugality, yet some won’t let a customer/client/patient off the hook for being .3 short on a bill, or 1.50 on a 3000.00 payment! That’s just crazy to me. They miss the boat in that it’s the little things that make a big difference.

I have a client who owns an embroidery and print company. Every customer who makes a purchase gets schwag with that purchase – a shirt, a hat, or a bumper sticker. His customers love it! I have learned a lot from Jim because he is constantly thinking in futures and has a very sane viewpoint about business and customer retention. He is always giving away schwag because he understands what comes from doing it, not to mention that he is also effectively and simultaneously branding his company logo into the minds of his customers, their friends; whomever else happens to see it.

Now to take this a step further, last week Jim held a raffle for ‘Customer of The Month’. Customers who purchased over 100.00 in printing, or embroidery received a raffle ticket that entered them to win a 100.00 gift card to ‘Texas Roadhouse’. 100.00 for a possible 100.00 back in food? Not too shabby. In one month he had 37 entries. That’s a minimum of 3700.00, correct? The actual numbers were much higher, but again we’re talking a minimum of 3700.00 in gross income. Think about that for a second. A one hundred dollar carrot for 3700.00. Would you hand over a one hundred dollar bill for services, or product (that you needed anyway) for the chance of winning something worth 100.00? Most would.

Anyway, I can’t tell you how many customers pushed to get over that 100.00 mark by increasing their orders 4.00, 11.00, even 20.00. Do you see what happened there? Every dollar counts! Walk with me here! Now there were customers who spent thousands, but the majority purchased between 100.00 and 500.00. You’re free to do the math, but I want you to see a bigger picture. For a little money spent you can dream the possibilities. It is important to realize that while we shouldn’t necessarily expect a return, a return is a pretty sure thing when you give things away. It almost doesn’t matter what it is. Maybe you’re a tattoo shop and someone comes in for a 200.00 tattoo. You could give away a piercing, or an earing, or something you paid a dollar for. The point is that people love to get schwag. If you have your name on it- even better. But the point is that you are greasing the lines and it will get your clients/customers/patients talking. One of my clients (Dentist) randomly hands out season tickets to Wet & Wild to his cash paying patients. The word on the street is that he hands out free tickets and that he’s an excellent, personable doctor. How far do you think that goes in the community? Do you think anyone has talked about getting that free pass just by being a patient? How many people do you think that one person has spoken to about his free ticket? That’s the big picture here and something I want you think on.

Thanks for stopping by! I welcome your comments and am always willing to assist with implementation. While we do charge by the hour, I do in fact practice what I preach!

Have a great week!

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