Customers Notice—and KEEP—Promotional Items

Welcome back. Today, I’d like to continue our series on promotional marketing programs. Last week, I started things off by pointing out that many businesses are missing the opportunity to build relationships with customers and prospects through promotional items. I mentioned ten great ways to do that—and promised to deal with them one at a time in more detail.

In this post, I’d like to focus on a marketing program that is close to my heart: direct mail. I believe that direct mail is one of the most effective marketing tools around, and that it is stronger than ever. And I’ve seen plenty of research to support that, including this item from the American Express “OPEN” site for small businesses.

According to the research, physical, printed pieces that consumers can hold in their hands are simply more credible, more engaging, and thus, more likely to result in a sale. They get greater recall than traditional ads and generate a stronger emotional response. And they make a more lasting impression than just another easily deleted electronic message.

Making a Good Thing Better

How do you make a good thing even better? Add a promotional item. Let’s face it—we all like to get things. (One example: on those TV quiz shows, do the contestants really want “door number three” or what’s behind door number three?)

An effective direct mail piece should be designed to promote the advantages of your business versus the competition, of course. Visuals and writing that are truly engaging will make it compelling. That’s already several steps ahead of cold electronic email “blasts” that customers can’t delete quickly enough.

But promotional marketing with promotional items multiply the effectiveness of your direct mail campaigns. That’s because a promotional item carrying your branding will work on your behalf long after the direct mail piece itself has been discarded. Wherever the item is kept—at home, the office, in the car or other places—it will frequently remind prospects and customers of your direct mail piece, and of you.

Promotional Marketing Builds Relationships

A promotional item in your direct mail piece makes a connection much deeper than merely sending it to a name on a “mailing list” might suggest. You can use it to show prospects you cared enough to understand their business, their concerns, and their interests.

Think for a moment about how each of these ideas might be received by your prospects and customers:

  1. An Industry-themed Item

Chosen carefully, a promotional item can say “I know your business, and have the experience that can help.” If you serve the music industry, for example, how about a USB drive in the shape of a musical instrument? Are your customers car dealers or long-haul truckers? Maybe a small toy vehicle for their kids (with your logo on it) or a dashboard accessory that will come in handy on trips.

Do you serve pet owners? Consider a dog toy with your logo on it. You’d be surprised at how much loyalty you can earn from a prospect by showing interest in their pets.

  1. An Appropriate Lifestyle Item

You know your target audience best. But if you are targeting a young adult demographic, an electronic accessory might be ideal. Therefore, ear buds or a universal cellphone charger could enhance your direct mail message.

If your product or service is marketed to sports or outdoor enthusiast, a small flashlight or stadium blanket could be, well, a home run.

  1. A Fashionable or Functional Gift

Some promotional items are popular simply because they are attractive. A handsome shirt, windbreaker or hat could become a prized possession, with your brand on display whenever it is worn.

Other items are loved by recipients because they are useful. A travel mug or water bottle could be used daily. An umbrella? In certain climates, your thoughtfulness could make you a hero. The connection is even stronger if you are in the security or insurance sectors. That umbrellas are another kind of protection, right?

We Can Help You Choose

For nearly 100 years, Superior has helped businesses make the right choices to build their success. That certainly includes promotional items. We have developed the expertise (and the long list of trusted vendors) to know which items work most effectively in a situation.

Our customers believe that our help makes a difference. Thanks to their positive feedback, we received a second consecutive Best of Print and Digital award. Our ISO certification should give you confidence that our systems and procedures are built to deliver results.

Contact Superior today for a promotional products audit. We’ll help you figure out where your best opportunities are. We’ll help you choose the most appropriate promotional marketing items to take full advantage of those opportunities. Direct mail can have a direct impact on your bottom line. Let’s find out how.

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