Does the FREE GIFT marketing strategy work?

0 minute read

Marketing Free Gifts

It seems now that the days of free iPad prize draws and the like have had their day. Either people didn't believe they could win or didn't believe the offer held integrity - that it was just a scam. Is there another way to create a call to action (CTA) without giving a direct discount?

Back in 2016, we first created this blog. Now (in 2021), we are updating it, expanding it, and adding new elements. These will further increase the effectiveness of your call to actions on all printed items and ultimately the growth of your business.

Is Free Gift Marketing a Proven Strategy?

The car dealership Perrys Mazda in Huddersfield was the first of our clients to embrace the idea. And despite arduous advertising stipulations imposed by Mazda, who insisted on a discreet gift, they still received many returned flyers from people claiming their free gift. Many of these people, in turn, went on to purchase brand new cars. In fact, on their first campaign, a 20k design, print and door drop delivery to specific areas within a set radius of their showroom, they sold over £200k worth of cars! How many marketing strategies do you know that generate around a one hundred times return?!

"Mr Flyer provides outstanding and extremely well-tailored service, giving helpful and honest advice from the offset. From a repeat distribution Mr Flyer have recently carried out for us, we have already sold 6 cars, what a fantastic result! We are extremely happy with the professional service provided by Mr Flyer and look forward to working with them in the future." - Neil Lawley, Perry Mazda

Does Free Gift Marketing Still Work?

The 'free gift' marketing strategy proved successful back in 2016, especially in the leaflet distribution and direct mail industries. I'm pleased to let you know, it still delivers impressive returns for our clients - providing the execution is appropriate. The 'execution' caveat forms the premise of this blog.

Lifting weights, for example, can significantly build your muscle when you perform movements correctly. Yet, those same weights can cause severe and long term injury with incorrect form. Similarly, we have had great success for most of our clients using the free gift marketing strategy. Though, as you will read, one client ignored our advice and wasted thousands of pounds. The strategy can either work for you or against you. Read on to see how this simple strategy can work for your business and how to implement it effectively.

Free Gift Examples for Door Drops

Great gifts needn't be costly. M&S food vouchers, McDonald's vouchers, a bottle of wine/champagne or an Amazon voucher. Today I discussed this with a new client who makes bespoke kitchens and bedrooms, who considered a branded custom-made chopping board. If you can personalise it, and make it relevant to your business, then perfect. But the gift of a branded pen or other tacky branded items probably won't generate the calls you are hoping for. The gift must represent value in the prospect's mind.

Do consider storage and shelf life - perishable gifts such as flowers are best to avoid. Drinks and vouchers are often the most suitable as they are easily stored, they have a long shelf life, and most people appreciate them.

The Appropriate Gift Value

The value of the gift is a critical factor in determining the type of response you attract. Generally, stick around the £10 mark. Anything below this can appear cheap, and anything above can be abused. With Mazda, they offered a £10 M&S voucher, which was redeemable upon having a test drive.

An estate agent client acknowledged the value of the free gift and chose to implement it for their leaflet drop to attract new vendors. We recommended a £10 House of Fraser voucher as that was in keeping with their middle-class target audience and linked well with people considering moving. They regrettably insisted on a £20 voucher instead, as they justified this would entice more people. They were some respects! They did indeed attract many people, but not anyone interested in selling their home! They drew time wasters, people solely out to gain a free gift thanks to receiving their flyer! As a result, not only did the client invest in our design, print and door to door distribution, they also had to purchase multiple £20 House of Fraser vouchers! This was a reputable estate agency with a well designed, premium printed leaflet, which targeted all the appropriate locations. Therefore, if they had opted for a £10 voucher instead, their fortunes could have been so different.

What Gift Is Best For My Business?

The type of gift is entirely dependent on your type of business. When we plan flyer distribution and direct mail campaigns for clients, one of our key considerations influencing pretty much everything is the target demographic. If, for example, you are targeting £20k+ bespoke kitchen prospects, a bottle of champagne is probably more suited than a McDonald's voucher! Always think about what your ideal client would most appreciate and be most enticed by.

Where possible, experiment with different gifts for different campaigns and see which generates the highest ROI - just like split testing PPC campaigns on Google. Don't worry if you're unsure of the most appropriate gift for your target audience. Our sales consultants love to get creative with you and will share insight and ideas from previous successful campaigns.

At What Stage Should Gifts be Given Away?

Gifts are most effective when given away pretty early on. Mazda doesn't give a gift with a sale, but simply when someone has a test drive (providing, of course, they present the flyer). If it's near impossible to redeem them, you will create a bad reputation for yourself. However, suppose it's available at an early stage, such as a test drive, or something similar. In that case, there's a strong likelihood you will get respondents.

If a gift was only available upon purchase of a product, that gift would need to be considerably higher in value to entice a response. With Mazda, it's doubtful someone spending over £20k on a new car is going to be enthused by a measly £10 M&S voucher afterwards. Yet, when the gift is for a non-committal action, it doesn't need to be expensive to prompt a response.

Do Door Drops and Direct Mailers Need Gifts?

It is not necessary to give anything away. Some door drops and <direct mail campaigns are not appropriate; each campaign's context must be considered. As with everything discussed in this blog, we advise you to discuss this with one of our sales consultants so they can provide tailored advice.

However, if you want to enhance the chance of improving your response rate, this is a very cost-effective method. It's much better to give away a £10 bottle of wine than offer 10% off a £20k kitchen because both offers will likely generate a comparable number of conversions. Furthermore, it easily enables you to track your leaflet distribution response rate because you will know how many gifts you have given away. Of all the methods to track your ROI from printed marketing, gifts are probably the most effective.

Action Step

On your next campaign, make sure to discuss the potential to add the free gift idea with our sales consultants. We will add it as part of the mix of your free consultation.

Contact Us Today