Last Minute Gift Ideas

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, many people look up from their turkey filled haze and realize that we have officially entered “the last minute” for Corporate Gifts!  You want to say “thank you” to your best clients and employees (to fix the appreciation gap), but you know you have to hurry! We get it.  We do the same thing!  So here is a quick list of “last minute” gift ideas that will leave a lasting impression!

Presidio Backpack:  If you want a gift that is stylish and functional, this might be right fit for you and your team.  The Presidio Backpack is vintage inspired with modern day features and it comes in denim or black.  Very cool.  To learn more go here.

42 Can Coleman Cooler:  I love this cooler so much I wrote an entire blog about it!  You can check that out here.  But the fact is, this will be the only cooler you need!  It’s a good size to hold all you need…and it will keep ice 36 hours.  Learn more here.

12 x 18 Year At A Glance Calendar:  This is simple.  Functional.  And we print this in house!  If you want to get your contact information up all year long on your best customer’s wall…and provide them value…this might be the answer! Oh…and we also have a new 12 x 18 Calendar product that is nearly indestructible.  It’s water proof and so tough to tear.  This is THE product you want to have on construction sites, manufacturing, food, healthcare and more.  Let us know if you need more information!

Pyramid Copper Vacuum Insulated Tumbler:  This piece has a cool design, a great quality and a quick turn around time!  It’s all you need in a gift for the holidays.  Check out colors and details here.

Urban Peak Drinkware Gift Set:  This has plenty of “wow” factor because of the great packaging and the different styles of drinkware.  Oh…and did we mention you can do a really cool imprint on it?  Learn more here.

So those are 5 quick ideas.  Need more?  We can help!  But time is of the essence.  Please email us here and we can help move you in the right direction! Make sure you never miss an update!  Sign up to be on our VIP list here!  

Add Proven ZIP To Your Direct Mail

add zip to direct mail

 Gary Vaynerchuk said “Marketers ruin everything!”  Keep in mind that Vaynerchuk is a marketing guy.  But he points out that as soon as marketers find something that works, they (we) tend to use it to death until it becomes a nuisance.

Consider email.  We used to get excited each and every time we got an email.  We read every single one!  Now we can’t wait to hit the “delete” button so we can get rid of the nuisances.

The same can be true for many forms of Direct Mail.  Direct mail is historically a great marketing tool for small businesses.  It still can be.  The problem is, this is a case where some marketers have ruined it for the rest of us.  We know this as consumers.  Where do you open your mail?  Many of us answer that question, “Over the trash can.”  We are standing there (mentally) hitting the delete button on marketers.  Tell the truth, you are probably almost stunned these days when you get a real, sincere piece of mail!

So what can you and your company do?  You can stand out…that’s what.

One way you can stand out is to get noticed before you hit the “circular file.”  To do this, some marketers will create direct mail that looks like a real card.  Some will even go to the lengths of having someone hand write out the envelope.  This is a good news/bad news proposition.  The good news is, handwritten envelopes DO tend to get opened.  And if you have a small group you need to send a message to, this is a great way to make sure they see it.  The bad news with this tactic is if your customer opens mail thinking they are getting a personal piece of mail, and it’s just an ad, it can backfire.  You seem disingenuous, and the customer will likely (sometimes subconsciously) resent you and your company for it.

Another obvious way to get your message seen before it hits the trash pile is to scrap the envelope.  You can send a colorful postcard or a flyer without putting it in an envelope.  I actually like this tactic for some campaigns.  But this idea too, has shortcomings.  First, you are usually limited to what you can include on the space you have to imprint (especially with a postcard) AND you are never quite sure what condition your marketing pieces is going to arrive in!  Again, sometimes this is fine.  But sometimes these limitations are just too annoying.

One of the best ways to ensure a successful direct mail campaign is to incorporate promotional products WITH your direct mail.   The results of this math equation should really get your attention. Direct Mail + Promo = Marketing Gold! But why does this combination work so well?  Let’s get to it.

Getting It Open

First and foremost, using a promotional product can help you create what I call “bumpy mail!”  Bumpy mail (or dimensional mailers) are packages that are odd shaped or bumpy.  This unique shape calls to the customer or prospect “open me!”  Curiosity will help you “kill the cat” because your potential client will want to know what is in the package.

But don’t just take my word for it!  Let’s take a look at a study done in 1993.  This study, done by Baylor University, sent packages to 3000 school administrators.    They were divided into three groups.  The first group received an envelope with a sales letter, sales collateral and postage-paid business reply card   The second group received an envelope with similar contents plus a promotional product.  The third group received all of the contents listed above, delivered in a box with a die cut slot, instead of an envelope. The results (as you might expect) were impressive.

Those who received a promotional product in a dimensional package responded at a rate that was 57% higher than those who received the same promotional product in an envelope!• Response rates for the dimensional package recipients were 75% higher than for the group who received only a sales letter! In case you were skimming, you might want to read that last line again.  Response rates for the dimensional package recipients were 75% higher!  Wow!

Now I can hear those “Yeah-But” folks now.  “Yeah but the cost of shipping is going to be higher for that piece.”  Of course it will be!  But how much is a 75% increase in response rates worth to you?  Remember a key word here.  This is not a 75% increase in OPEN rates.  This is RESPONSE rates!  If you can’t increase your sales (and overcome in the increase in shipping) with that kind of response rate, you need to seriously reconsider your sales offer!

The Lasting Impact

Here’s the thing…if I ended the post with the above information it would be enough.  But the best part about adding a promotional product to your direct mail is I get to say “But that’s not all folks!” I have always wanted to say that! The fact is, when you add Promo to your Direct Mail, you get all of the other benefits of promotional products AFTER your customer opens the offer!

  1. Remember the Rule of Reciprocity: Customers feel good about you and your company when they receive something from you.  By adding something of value to the direct mail offer, you create a sense of value.  This creates a better opportunity to sell to this client long term.
  2. Totally Targeted: This promotional piece is still super targeted. You have reached directly into this prospects home or office…and are communicating to them there.
  3. Lasting Impression: You have now created a long term advertising message (if you chose the product correctly) long after the postcard, letter or flyer has been thrown away.

Find Your Watermelon

Years ago I was in a sales training seminar with a Promotional Products Industry expert, Cliff Quicksell Jr.  He told a story about a young industry professional that needed to get a message to only 6 people.  She needed to get it to them…and she needed to make sure they did NOT throw the letter away by mistake.  This young pro, as Cliff tells it, took a Sharpie and wrote the message on six watermelons…and sent them! “She had a tough time with the post office,” Cliff said.  “But she finally got them to take them. So I ask you.  You come in Monday morning and there is a watermelon on your desk.  Do you read it?”

I love that story!  The message is clear.  Find your watermelon! While you may not have to send giant fruit (though that would be awesome), you better stand out.  Promotional products can help you do that in a cost effective, results-based way!

This post is an excerpt from the book Delivering Marketing Joy. You can purchase that here on Amazon. 

Consider the Cost of Bidding

When creating a promotional campaign, you want a creative powerful promotion that will wow customers and affect human behavior.  That is what a great Promotional Products campaign can do…affect change.  The best campaigns can create an increase in direct mail opens, engagement on social media, create a safer work place or increase sales!

But in addition to making sure you create a campaign that “hits the mark,” most organizations want to make sure they are getting a fair shake on price.  No one wants to over pay…and no one wants to be taken advantage of!   In order to solve this concern, many organizations create a bidding process to ensure the best price.  While this is understandable, in theory, it’s important to consider the cost of such a campaign.

Yes…there is a cost.

First, it’s important to note that if the first part of this equation is NOT true (you have an effective promotional campaign), then the second part (the cost) really doesn’t matter.  You are now just spending money to spend it.  No good would come from that…agreed?

So if you have a trusted promotional advisor (and if you don’t, we can help!) then their job is to help you create those effective campaigns.  The best relationships like this are like partnerships.  You share the themes, goals, and budget with them (if you don’t create them together) and they provide you ideas that help you reach those goals.  It’s a win-win, because you get great ideas (hopefully) and they get the business.

But when you take their creative concepts and bid them out on the individual products, it’s a different relationship entirely.  The relationship becomes entirely transactional.  That is fine (if that’s what you want) but you start to rob yourself of the value of the advisor.

If you take your partners ideas and bid them out, they are not likely to bring you ideas again.  And if they do, they won’t put the time and effort into them.  After all, you have told them (by your actions) that the ideas are not what you value.  So they may decide not to provide you ideas at all.

“Let me know when you decide what you want,” they might say.  “Then we will be glad to provide a bid.”

What does that mean, in dollars and cents?

Let’s say your hourly rate is $15 per hour.  In order to get a creative and effective promotional campaign, you could easily spend a day looking for ideas.  Then you might spend another day going through bids to make sure they are accurate (and comparing apples to apples).  So that’s two days of your time.  In most cases, pricing between competitive promotional distributors is going to be close.  So you might save a nickel per piece.  If you ordered 1000 of whatever promotional item you decide on, you have “saved” $50.  But you spent $240 to do it.

Of course this does not factor in your creativity.  It doesn’t call to attention that a good partner is probably attending industry shows (and seeing the latest and greatest promotional items) and you are not.

But at the end of the day, you have lost a free, trusted, creative, outside source.  It’s a choice.  And it’s yours to make.  Of course if you don’t have that trusted source, that’s a different conversation.  But if you do, you might be wise not to drive them away.

So just ask yourself…what is your time worth?  Because, my friends, there IS a cost to bidding.

Want to make your marketing better?  Sign up for our 5 Day Marketing Course here.  We teach you how to find the perfect customer (right when they need you) and how to tell your story to them.  And if you want more content just like this, head to our blog page nearly every day.