How to turn FREEBIES into SALES

Kathryn Reinhardt

Our gut reaction when a product isn’t selling is to slash the price. It’s easy to assume people don’t want to buy it because they don’t think it’s worth it. But wait! Before you assume that and devalue your product, let’s look at some alternatives of how we can capture the sale with running a promotion. When done correctly, promotions can be the deciding factor in whether a customer is ready to make a purchase.  But do you know how to run a promotion?

Let’s ask some questions:

Do you want to capture new customers?

Do you want to bring back some previous customers?

Do you want customers to purchase in greater frequency?

Do you want your customer to try a new product?

Do you want to increase purchases on a certain time, date or quarter?

Pick your goal and establish some KPI’s. We need to know what success looks like for this type of promotion and what tools you will need create the demand. Do you want to capture customer contact information? Do you want to sell a certain quantity of units? Having a clear outline of what you want to accomplish will allow you to know if this promotion is really worth your time, money and energy. Or maybe it’s not.

Trinkets: (Pens, keychains, stickers)

We love free stuff. Sometimes that free stuff can be an icebreaker between two people and sometimes it can be an item that reminds them of your brand. Unfortunately, neither one sounds like a sale, huh? It’s ok to spend money on trinkets and in certain market spaces this can be an “expected item” a customer wants to have before they will even open up a conversation to buy.

$5 Giveaways: (Etched and embroidered)

These items can be hats, t-shirts, branded quality items that can be used as a BOGO (Buy one get one) offers. This is a smart way to keep the price point of your product and giveaway a small prize to reward the customer on the spot. Another option is the send the gift by mail so it allows you the excuse to capture their email, their address and connect with them again.

Value Added: (Exclusive big ticket items)

When selling a sizeable product it can be helpful to have a value added motivator. Customers love exclusive free gifts they can only get if they buy this specific product. Consider purchasing branded merchandise that can make the sale for you. (Coolers, Backpacks, RC cars, etc). People want to know they got the best deal and that they were rewarded for it.

Loyalty: (Points and bulk buys)

We love it when customers buy from us repeatedly. Let’s tell them ‘thank you’ by running a promotion that incentivized them to buy more and receive points after orders for a chance to win a grand prize giveaway. This can run months on end or even for the year. The reward doesn’t have to be a discount, it can be some quality time with your two companies and it can be a team building experience they will cherish. Use this loyalty program to take them to a ball game, take them to a race track, heck take them to SEMA and see the show from your eyes. This is also a great way to show the difference between you and your competition in terms of relationships.

Try me: (New and improved)

Using a promotion to push a new product line or new vendor is a great to show your customers you are on top of new trends and you have a depth of products for them to choose from. Show off your new products by collecting data on customers who want more information before the product is ready to ship. Give them the exclusive.

Timing (Sales during offseason)

Winters can be tough for the aftermarket. It may be good timing to run promotions around items consumers can stock up on. It can also be advantageous to run promotions around seasons, holidays and back to school dates to show your consumers what they need for those yearly events. Set a time limit for the promotion, no better time to buy than today.

In today’s market we all face tough competition on selling products. Promotions now play an increasingly key factor in offering a competitive advantage without discounting product revenues. Manufacturers spend a lot of time, money and staff producing new products and work on marketing the value and features of the product. The last thing anyone wants to do is devalue a brand and lose money on the sale. Also, no promotion does well unless you get the word out by advertising the promo with flyers, email blasts, mailed post cards, website and social media announcements. You also need to show your customers the results. Show them how many purchases they need to make until they qualify, show them a progress report and show them visuals of what the prize is. Dangle the carrot and let’s see if your promotion takes off.