Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Word of Mouth Gift Campaign tutorial

On Monday I showed you this Valentine Card from Krispy Kreme.
Today I'd like to tell you how you can create this kind of promotion for your own biz, blog, or shop.

If you're just joining us, you may want to go back and read Monday's post to learn the basics of this kind of promotion.

In Monday's blog post, I suggested different kinds of items you could give away for this kind of promotion. Since cards are easy, though, let's explore that avenue.

You can use your own images to print greeting cards at Flickr (check on Extending Flickr,) Photobucket, Vistaprint, pretty much any online photo storage site, your local photo printing shop, a local copy shop, or if you have a high-quality printer you could print your own. (Be careful about using your own printer, though. These cards cannot look cheap.) You could also get blank greeting cards at a craft store and use a quality photo adhesive to attach printed photos to the cards.

If you make your own photo cards, be sure to sign the card under the photo, just like artists sign their work. This elevates the perception of quality and makes the card more "exclusive." Besides, you need your existing customers to be excited about the cards, want to send them all out, and feel good about sending their friends a quality item.

Of course, make sure your photos are clear, professional looking, and appropriate for the card. You also need to make sure that you have the rights to use the photos. (Please always respect copyright laws.)

Just so you have an idea of the cost to print cards
, the cards at Flickr (via Moo) are $24.95 for 10 greeting cards or $10.99 for 16 note cards. This is just one example in many many many options out there. You will need to do a little research (try Googling "Print your own greeting cards") and find one that is a good fit with what you're doing.

If you make cards or enjoy scrap booking, you could whip up a set of your own handmade cards, as well.

Add your coupon code to the back of the card with easy to follow instructions on how to redeem it.

Here's an example of how your promotion would work:
(I'll use my plates business as the example.)

When someone buys a Pass It On Plate Lite at the current full retail value of $29.95, they receive 5 photo birthday cards (that I made at Flickr) to send to their friends. The photo cards have a beautiful food picture on the front and the recipe inside the card on the left. On the back of the card is a coupon for a free PlateWrap (and free shipping, of course.)

If my customer sends out all five cards, and all five people redeem their free PlateWrap, here's what it cost me to acquire each new customer:
  • While I'm not going to reveal my cost vs. retail price, let's just assume my cost for each PlateWrap is $10.
  • I sent my customer $12.50 in greeting cards. (10 cards for $24.95)
  • They send out all five cards, each of whom redeem their free gift. (My cost is $10 per gift.)
  • A $10 item cost times 5 people = $50 in free merchandise
  • $50 in free merchandise + $12.50 for greeting cards = $62.50
  • $62.50 divided by 5 people is $12.50. ( interesting coincidence.)
  • My new customer cost only $12.50 to acquire. Now I can continually market to this customer and (sit down for this) send them my regular snail mail newsletter.
Compare my $12.50 spent to find a genuine customer to the amount of money normally spent on advertising where you're hoping to generate some interest. I have done craft shows where the table cost me $25 and I only had one customer by a $5 item. That customer cost me $20, and because they paid cash and weren't interested in signing up for me newsletter, so there's no way I will be able to market to them.

$12.50 is a bargain.

Please leave comments here if you have questions about how you can make this work for you. Also, if you try this, please post links to your site or blog where you announce this promotion. I'd love to see what creative idea you came up with (and I'll do a little advertising for you.)

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  1. I need to sit down and read all that you are sharing here! Lots of "food for thought" and proven tips for promoting oneself....and we all need to do that! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi Pam!
    I love your card idea! I am just trying to see how I can make it work for my business. Right now I am waiting for a Spa to be finished being built, so I am limited as to what services I can provide. I am currently waxing, applying makeup and performing permanent cosmetics.
    My wheels are turning! I am thinking a complimentary makeup application or brow wax with one or the other.
    What do you think?

  3. Thanks ladies!

    Vanessa, that's a great idea. I'm not well versed in spa offerings, but bet if you used this promo to offer some kind of service that's viewed as a "treat" for oneself instead of something that might be considered more like "maintenance" you'd get a ton of new clients coming in the door.

    To everyone, some kind of free sample or collection of free samples put together in a nice package that you don't normally offer to the public would also be a good idea to give away in this kind of promo. Just make sure they understand this sample isn't something that just anyone can walk in and get. Think Clinique or Estee cosmetics - buy $20 get a free gift... of samples. Something like that.


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