“Freebie” is a term that gets thrown around quite a bit in the marketing and small business world. Some businesses tend to think that if you make something free it somehow attracts the right type of customers. That isn’t, always, necessarily the case. Sometimes it just attracts those who are looking for free stuff, and who many not utilize your services at all. However, just because a couple of freebie items may fall on deaf hands and ears, does that mean they shouldn’t be a part of your marketing plan? No, of course not. You just have to know how to use them appropriately and what types of freebies work best for your business.
Here’s a list of some of the best freebie items and how to use them:
- Pens—Pens will never cease to be an optimum freebie for your potential customers. Now, we aren’t talking about your run-of-the-mill bulk pens, the ones that lose ink thirty seconds into your note taking. Don’t buy the cheapest version, or else you’ll see your marketing logo in the trash bins all over town, and your name will become synonymous with low quality. You don’t have to buy Montblancs for your customers, but do spend a little extra on that order of writing utensils so that your logo has staying power around town.
- Bags—This is another item that people will utilize daily. However, unlike the pens, quality isn’t such a big deal. As long as the bag is simple and works well, you can bet it will be utilized to some extent. We live in a culture that’s ever appreciative of the chance to reduce our carbon footprint; providing bags is a great way to show you support that cause and that you are concerned with making life simple for your potential customers.
- Magnets—This is an often forgotten freebie, but honestly, it’s one of the best ways to ensure your logo and contact stays in the prominent eyes of your customers. Not only will customers appreciate the extra help in keeping those prized photos on the refrigerator, but it will also be a prominent ad for visiting guests. Who knows who you’ll reach.
- Coffee Cups—Make sure that the to-go cups you have for your customers prominently display your logo. Then, ask them if they’d like a refill before they leave; you’ll have your logo walking among the city—take that Starbucks!
- Treats—Nothing says hospitality more than having a treat on hand for customers. Not only is a snack a welcome item when a customer is running errands but it’s also a way to let them know you consider them part of the family. If you’ve got a team member that enjoys baking, have them bring in a plate of cookies; if not, you can always go by the store and set them on a nice tray!
A couple of Don’t’s:
Don’t stick your ads on the windshields of cars. It’s a dated marketing approach that only serves to annoy your potential customers.
Don’t label your freebies with “One Per Customer. Please”. It’s off-putting; freebies are about hospitality and getting your name out into the community. If you can’t sacrifice a few extra pens here and there then it might not need to be a “freebie”.
These “freebies”, as cliché as they may have become, will never go out of style in the marketing world. They are a cheap way to get a lot of potential business–if and only if, you use them effectively.