As the name implies, giveaways are products and services given at no cost to prospects and existing customers. Giveaways can help deliver numerous short- and long-term benefits and, if you’re lucky, they can generate consumer “buzz.”

 The many benefits of giveaways

Giving things away may seem odd to some business people. It may involve spending cash, and time and extra effort. However, the benefits of giveaways may make the investment of time and capital worthwhile.

The Ad Specialty Institute’s (ASI) 2012 Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study*, which polled nearly 5,000 consumers in 12 cities, reports that, “The investment in advertising specialties [promotional products] is modest, more targeted, and more achievable for small businesses than other kinds of advertising.”

Here’s why:

Giveaways create positive word of mouth. One friend tells another about your company’s giveaway promotion. The friend, neighbor, co-worker, or some other associate, calls your business for the giveaway, and tells 10 other friends, who each tell 10 more friends.

Positive word of mouth (WOM) is business’ best friend. It can build goodwill and drive more traffic through the front door or to your website.

To create positive “buzz,” consider low-cost promotional items that are useful to your customer or client base. 52% of recipients feel more favorable about the advertiser after receiving a giveaway. Pens, can openers, USB drives, calendars, emergency LED flashlights, and other useful gifts are more likely to be kept because they’re useful.

Giveaways have staying power. T-shirts, pens, key chains and other giveaways deliver numerous “impressions” of your business on potential consumers.

  • 50% of consumers in the U.S. own a logoed pen or other writing instrument – a promotional giveaway those consumers see every day.
  • 21% of consumers in the U.S. own a promotional calendar. If your business’ contact information appears on that calendar, that’s a potential 365 impressions a year per consumer.
  • According to ASI, the average giveaway is kept 5.8 months. With your business’ contact information seen every day, you’re more likely to make an “impression” that leads to engagement with a new prospect or customer.

Giveaways create goodwill. ASI’s study states, 31% of giveaway recipients indicated increased likelihood of engaging the advertiser who provided the giveaway.

Giveaways create business authority. If your company provides services, a FREE 30-minute consultation is an opportunity to demonstrate your company’s value to leads and prospects.

Offer good, useful advice, and at least some who contact your company will convert to long-term clients. Don’t think of free consultations as a waste of time. Think of them as the opportunity to help a prospect, while demonstrating your company’s expertise.

8 Easy Tips to Help Launch a Successful Giveaway Promotion 

Consider the needs and wants of your target demographic and provide a useful giveaway for that demographic. Sell running shoes on the Internet? Include a free pair of reflective shoelaces – something runners will actually use – with each order.

To reduce inventory through increased sales, create giveaways that require a purchase. “Buy One, Get One Free” is a strong incentive to contact your business, while boosting sales, moving inventory, and increasing cash flow.

A variation on this giveaway is the Preferred Customer Card. Each time regular customers purchase a sandwich, a cup of coffee, or some other item, their Preferred Customer Cards are punched. “Buy 5 lattes and the 6th one is on us.” Excellent for creating customer loyalty and repeat business.

Work with other local business owners for synergies in giveaway promotions. One supermarket awards “gas miles” with each purchase. You just have to purchase your gas at the filling station up the road. The supermarket creates goodwill, the filling station sees more business, and consumers feel good saving 20 cents a gallon on a fill-up.

Use giveaways at industry get-togethers to pull in more passers-by. In this case, offer logoed writing instruments, desk organizers, stress balls and other “at-work” freebies.

Use giveaways as “leave-behinds” during sales calls. Sales personnel may leave behind a couple of pens, a stack of note pads, and other low-cost items that stay on the prospect’s desk for weeks or months – making impressions.

Plan holiday and seasonal giveaways. Plan at least six months in advance of your giveaway promotion to make sure you have the right giveaway, with the right company information, ready to be delivered to prospective customers during a special time of year.  In this case, your business is the gift giver.

Whenever you plan a giveaway promotion, consider the recipient. Make the giveaway useful to be kept around. Create goodwill, brand awareness, and easy accessibility to company contact information by providing logoed giveaways.

Give things away, and grow your business.



The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.