Give 'em a Gift Marketing | Give 'em a Gift Marketing | DMA

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Give 'em a Gift Marketing


It seems the days have gone where there was value in offering a free giveaway prize draw of items such as iPads and TVs. Either people realised their chances of winning wasn't worth the effort, or they didn't believe the giveaway was legitimate. Now it seems in order to entice receivers of your marketing to respond, things that are more tangible and realistic work best. This article will focus on the gift marketing principle from a door to door distribution angle.

The Call to Actions

Door to door distribution is a very effective way to target your specific audience and can lead to excellent returns. The purpose of the flyer is to give the receiver a reason to respond. This will typically be in the form of a call to action. There are a number of options here, including:

A special discount
A free quote
Entrance to a free prize draw
A free gift

Let's briefly look at the pros and cons of each:

Special Discount

A special discount on a flyer will often be exclusive to the flyer and include a prompt expiry date. An example would be, 20% discount with this flyer, expires... This gives people a strong reason to respond, and the prompt expiry means they will respond quickly, which gives you a quick return on investment. The downside to this is that for it to work it must be genuine, unlike a typical 'best ever sale 60% off' nonsense used by many sofa stores. To be genuine you are going to lose a lot of potential margin, or risk losing margin entirely.

Free Quote

This is very popular and often recommended for door to door distributions. All flyers should have a call to action and this doesn't cost you, other than a bit of your time. Estate agents often rephrase it to 'free valuation'. The only downside to this is that it's usually offered in industries where it's now a prerequisite to receive a free quote or valuation. As such it's not necessarily going to induce a response.

Entrance to a Free Prize Draw

You have to be 'in it to win it' as the saying goes. This offer gives people a chance to win something with no risk of cost on their part. They don't expect to win, but if they do its a bonus. However, this is no longer having the effect as before because people either don't expect to win, or don't even believe the prize exists.

Free Gift

Everyone loves it when they get a gift, especially a spontaneous one, or a non obligatory one. By offering something simple, which will appeal to your target audience, the gift can really turn your distributed flyer into something well worth responding to. The downside to this approach is that you may get lots of time wasters just out for the free gift, which could become costly; this can however be largley overcome through targeting the appropriate demographic.

Which strategy is best

My vote is certainly for the gift. Let's look at an example based on owning a car showroom with an average sale price of £20,000 and typical margin of 10%. If you were to give a percentage discount on the flyer it would need to be 9% or less to avoid making a loss. Have you ever responded to a 9% or less discount offer? I know I haven't! The free quote/valuation is only applicable for certain businesses, of which a car showroom isn't one. The days of free prize draws is long gone, so is probably a waste of space on your valuable flyer. Where as with the free gift, a simple £10 M&S voucher or bottle of wine with every test drive could generate you many more leads than a 9% discount, and based on the £20k car, would save you £1790! No brainer!

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The other advantage with the free gift is that generates a sense of obligation, so that people feel that they need to at least give you the courtesy of a few minutes of their time. It doesn't even have to be expensive -  just something desirable. (Eg, the "compare the meerkat" toys).