Promote Your Business Using Promotional Products

Question: How can you use your current customer base to increase sales and build your future customer base? Answer: By using the most cost-effective form of advertising, Promotional Products!

By giving Promotional items to current customers you will create long-term relationships with them. You will create new customers by word of mouth advertising from your current customers by handing these out. You will increase sales by using them as a free give away when someone buys a certain product or service and you will also increase return visits from your current customers.

Here is a scenario of how giving a current customer a ” freebie” can do just that. You own an Auto Parts Store, it’s the beginning of the year, and you want to start the new year off with a bang. You tell every customer that comes in to your store that you have a January special ( or any type of special you want to present) on product “X” ( this is a targeted product you offer, it could be a product that is popular, not expensive, or something that could be bought a couple of times throughout the year like a bundle of rags, pack of batteries, auto air fresheners, or even when they spend a certain amount of money on their transaction, you choose). Let your customers know that you are offering a free gift with every transaction made. Now when that customer buys that product, or spends a certain amount, they will receive a free Collapsible Can Coolie that has your business name and logo along with the current NASCAR schedule printed on it. So, what just happened?

First, you got your customer to most likely buy a product or service, or spend a little more money that was not on their original list when they walked in your store. This has created an “up sell” and you accomplished it without pressuring your client.

Second, you just gave away a Promotional Product that is reusable for your customer for the rest of the race season, and in many cases even longer since it is a something they can use besides just during the race season. This means your customer and possibly other potential customers will be seeing your business name and logo every time they use that Can Coolie. This is more “free advertising”.

Third, you have a customer now that is anticipating the idea they might receive another new cool gift on their next visit to your store, and they may even bring in a friend or family member just to get an extra gift for themselves or to give to someone else. This would be a Promotional Product you give away for the “February Special”, Valentines Special, or what ever the occasion you want to present. Customers love to get something for free, especially when they were planning on buying something from your store in the first place. This helps create “repeat business” from your current customers.

Here’s your part two of the above scenario. It’s Sunday morning and your customer is preparing for the big NASCAR race. He or she has the barbecue going, a cold refreshment in their coolie, thanks to you, and their friends have just arrived. One of the guest notices your client is sporting a cool collapsible Can Coolie. That’s when they ask, “Hey, where did you get that, and how can I get one?” Your customer then responds with “I got this at (your business name) for free when I bought (product X or service X)”. What just happened?

Your current customer just gave you free “word of mouth advertising” for your business to a potential new client, who will hopefully stop by your business so they too can get a free collapsible Can Coolie for the next race party. Now you have “up sold” two customers, possibly created more free “word of mouth advertising”, and picked up a new customer who will likely help you gain more new customers down the road. And the process continues on and on. This is only one of many scenarios that could take place with just one Promotional Product you hand out.

This kind of interaction could take place in a park setting, at a ball game, on a fishing expedition, taking a road trip, just working on a car in the garage, or so many other simple scenarios that take place in your customers everyday life. Imagine if you used six to twelve different Promotional items or apparel through out the year for a monthly special. A special gift to celebrate your sixth month, first year, or annual business anniversary date,. A Seasonal “free give away” for the beginning of Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall.

You could support your local Little League Baseball Team with hats, High school Football Team with shirts, the towns Women’s College Volleyball Team with season magnetic schedules, or your big time Professional NFL, NBA, or NHL Team with key chains or cups showing their schedules.

You could give a Promotional Product for each holiday through the year, to celebrate New Years Eve handing out a mini pom pom. On Valentines Day try handing out a heart shaped box of candy. St Patrick’s Day is always a perfect time to try beer mug or shot glass.For Easter mini baskets with goodies are always a big hit with the kids. Mother’s Day could be a coffee mug saying Your a #1 mom with us at… Then your logo. Father’s Day can be a big one by handing out a nice tape measure or really cool tool pen. If you really want create a buzz in the community, hand out a BBQ utensil set for Fourth of July. When Halloween rolls around Trick or Treat tote bags are always cooler than mom’s pillow case. Thanksgiving is a perfect time to start handing out next years wall calendars. Then you got your final Holiday ” Freebie” of the year, where you can print “Seasons Greeting or Happy Holidays on so many different cool things to hand out.

Every time you hand out a Promotional Product, you just gave a current or new customer a valid reason to continue to choose your business over your competitor’s business. You have given your business an opportunity to create new customers through “word of mouth advertising” from your current customers. You have created more sales by offering a special that most likely was not on your customers list to buy. What’s really exciting is you will begin to build and maintain a custom base that will look forward to doing business with you for years to come, and maybe even build a friendship or two that will last for years.

Don’t forget that while accomplishing all this, that Promotional Product that you handed out is a very cost-effective form of advertising, a tax write off for your business, and a “thank you” to your customer for their business.

When you sit down to plan your advertising budget for your business this year, think about what a simple promotional give away can do for your business. Be creative and use Promotional items and apparel that do the following;

Will appeal to your customer base? Is it a product that your customer can use more than just once, and is visible to other potential new customers?

Does it fit with what your business has to offer? If you have an auto repair business try a License Plate Frame, Pocket Screw Driver, LED flashlight key chain, or Ice scraper. If you own a Hair Salon, maybe a hair brush, compact mirror, sample sanitizer, or day planner for your client to keep future hair appointments in.

Will your “Freebie” create a buzz with others, like “Hey where did you get that 12 inch Giant Rubber Grip Pen, How can I get one of those Tee shirts or Caps, etc.

Does your “free give away” have all the right information printed on them? Your business name & logo, a phone number or address to find you, your website, and a personalized message to your customer like “A special thanks from… ” “We appreciate your business at… , your #1 with us at… , or ” Happy holidays from… “. A little message can go a long way and be remembered by your customers.

Think about how many Promotional Products you will need to order. How many people visit your store on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. figure out how many are usually return customers and how many are potential new customers. This way when you order for a certain special giveaway like a “January Special” or Holiday, you have enough to hand out through out the entire month. You don’t want to order too many products, but you want to make sure to can cover the entire month or close to. You can always find a way to hand the extras left over from a certain “special” you ran. You can give them to your local schools, boy & girls club, YMCA, shelters, charities, or save them for the next special you run.

Make a plan on how you are going to distribute your Promotional items. Hand them out with every transaction made. Give them away when the customer spends a certain amount of money or buys a certain product. Send one out with every mail order. Donate to local schools, charities, fun raisers, and events, this is a great way to delivery a mass number of “Freebies” very quickly. An example would be rulers or #2 pencils for elementary schools, schools can always use extra school supplies to hand out to their students and parents appreciate your kindness and community involvement.

Always ask your Promotional Merchandise Sales Person to give you ideas and figure out these questions if you need help. If you have an experienced sales Person who knows what they are doing and wants to keep you as a long-term client who continues to re order, then they will be happy to help you.

Just in case you don’t see the big picture about how Promotional Products can help you do more than just advertise your business, here is a little reminder of a GREAT Promo item success story in 1979 the McDonald’s restaurant began using a toy presented as “The Treat of the Week”, offering a different toy each week in a Card Board Lunch Box to help create sales for the kids Happy Meal. McDonald’s has been one of the most successful businesses in the history of promotional merchandise selling over 3.5 Billion Happy Meals to date.

Since 1979 every young child in the WORLD that passes by a McDonald’s with their parents or loved ones demand to stop and get a Happy Meal, usually because they want that toy. Just imagine the word of mouth, up sells, and new customers McDonald has picked up over the years from a simple Promotional Product idea.