We’ve said this before, everyone likes something for “FREE” and that’s what most giveaways are. Something for Free. If you’re considering giveaways as part of your marketing program you want to make sure that you are going to get a good return on your marketing investment. Don’t just giveaway for the sake of giving something. Have a plan that makes sense for your brand.

Giftcards Have Broad Appeal

Over the past few years using a gift card giveaway has become quite popular. One of the reasons these are so popular is that it is much easier to satisfy different age groups, gender and needs with a generic “credit card” style gift card.

There are a number of ways to use a gift card giveaway. One we recommend is to develop a program where you can have the credit card branded with your name and/or logo. We have a client that

Pre-Paid GiftCards are Always Well Received

Pre-Paid GiftCards are Always Well Received

uses this type of card for their employee incentive program giveaways. They get them in denominations from $10 to $25 to $50 so they can use them as instant gratification when an employee is seen doing something above & beyond the “call of duty” by a peer or supervisor.  It is part of their overall marketing plan to increase their employee performance. And it’s paying off in increased sales and decreased turnover.

Of course many programs will use just department store branded gift cards as part of their giveaway programs. Magazine sweepstakes have been utilizing these as of late to increase your likelihood of continuing a subscription or following one of their advertisers on facebook or twitter. I’ve been solicited by both Womans Day Sweepstakes and Elle Sweepstakes with the chance to win a wide variety of giveaways. I am sure it is part of their marketing plan to help their advertisers increase their overall exposure and interaction with their potential customers.

Contests and Giveaways Need to be Relevant

Messy Desk Contest Was Relevant and Successful for their Brand

Messy Desk Contest Was Relevant and Successful for their Brand

As you can see, contests and giveaways can be integrated in a wide variety of ways into your marketing programs. Many companies of course, are utilizing social media to broaden the reach of their contests and sweepstakes. I saw one recently on Pinterest promoting a Messy Desk Contest. It caught my eye, because, yes, I am a messy desk person. I try not to be, but I have so much going on at one time, I just move from one thing to another. But I have to say, I am an amateur compared to some that were highlighted for this contest. I’m more of a “paper piles” type person. Some of those entered were way beyond piles! But the concept was great, they increased their followers across all their social media, they also got some interesting content and the winners (two were particularly impressive in their “messiness” so they had a tie) received an ipad and this company’s app that helps to organize paperwork. As you can see, the contest and giveaway were relevant to their marketing plan!!

Another way companies are using giveaways is to actually get non-users to try the product. I’ve never attempted, but I would assume getting the Ellen Show tickets must be nearly impossible because the show is very effective in their use of giveaways. In most shows the sponsors give merchandise and gift cards to the audience daily. It’s just another way for those companies to get not only more on-air exposure but more importantly get their merchandise in the hands of new consumers for trial.

Remember, giveaways can be great for increasing trial, exposure, followers and loyalty, just make sure the giveaway makes sense for your brand!

Danette Gossett

Danette brings more than 30 years of experience developing advertising campaigns, direct marketing programs and sales promotions to her clients. Prior to starting her companies, she worked for New York advertising agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi & Lowe Marschalk.

Her corporate marketing experience included National Advertising Director for Avis Rent a Car Systems, Inc., and Director of Marketing Services for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Read More