Archives for : August2012

Direct marketing & Promotional Products

For many businesses, the advantages of direct mail are significant. With direct mail, you can customize your messages, target smaller audiences, physically put your messages into the hands of your audiences, and better measure the effectiveness of your marketing effort through tracking actual inquiries and coupon submissions.

The use of promotional products or promotional incentives in direct mail offers additional advantages to your business. Indeed, studies have shown that the inclusion of a promotional product in a direct mail campaign can increase the response rate by as much as 50 percent, and the use of promotional products as an incentive to respond can generate four times as many responses as a sales letter alone. In fact, using promotional products can actually lower overall marketing costs because when used as an incentive to respond they reduce the cost per response by two-thirds.

So suppose you’re planning to send out a promotional mailing and you put together a focus group to find out what they think about your business. Through careful selection, you’re able to put together a good representation of the so-called “average” consumer. Maybe you have some suburbanites and some urban dwellers. Maybe you include a small town family, some college students, and a retired couple.

Now suppose the group leader shows these participants the items from your latest promotional mailing and asks them to use one word to characterize them. What would you want them to say?

If you’re like most business owners, the last thing you want to hear when people describe your product is the word “cheap.” Rather, you want to hear words like “quality,” “superior,” and “value.”

The fact is if you try too hard to cut costs when sending out promotional mailings and if you send out products that recipients don’t value, consumers will come to associate your brand with cheap products and service, and when it comes time for them to open their wallets and take out their credit cards with their purchasing decisions, they will turn elsewhere. And once you’ve earned a reputation as a “cheap” product or service, it can be a difficult and often costly process to earn a reputation for value.

You don’t have to break your budget when sending out a promotional product direct mail campaign, but as the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Your promotional product mailing should include something valuable enough that the recipients will want to keep and use it. Research shows that women are more likely to keep writing instruments and men tend to respond better to clothing items. When selecting a pen or a shirt to send out, for example, try to choose a product of a quality such that it will last for a while. Remember that the longer the consumer keeps the product, the more opportunities your business has to make an impression.

Direct mail campaigns with promotional products or promotional incentives are a great way to build your brand, but too much emphasis on cutting costs can undermine your efforts. Choose quality products that consumers will value for the best response rates. Not only will doing so build your reputation as a quality brand, it will increase the life of the promotional product in the hands of the consumer, thus increasing your visibility.