4 Secrets for Prospecting with Branded Giveaways

June 20, 2017

4 Secrets for Prospecting with Branded Giveaways


Only three percent of the people searching for your product or service are ready to buy the moment they see your marketing.

That means 97% are in the process of refining their list of needs and suppliers.

How can you be in front of the right prospect when they decide it’s the right time to buy?

Today at PROMOrx, we’re going to cut through the noise about what prospecting strategy works and what doesn’t.

And we’re going to teach you a promo industry secret marketing gurus rarely talk about.

# 1 Be Different than Your Competition

You have two choices:

  1. Show up competing for prospects by looking and sounding just like your competition.
  2. Be willing to do what your competition either can’t or won’t.

Most companies look at their biggest competitor and think that by modeling their style, customers will recognize that they are big enough to compete and deliver the same quality.

Big mistake.

The quickest way to be overlooked is to look and sound like every other company out there, especially when you’re prospecting.

Prospecting tactics are a bit like fashion trends. They are cyclical in nature, so when popular methods become outdated by tech or by social convention, they are replaced. And when one method works well, everyone tends to employ that tactic.

Nothing will ever compete with an old-fashioned face-to-face meeting. You’re always going to need that fabulous elevator pitch. But right now, everyone is following the latest trend.

So what’s in fashion right now?

Online prospecting, of course! Check your inbox and you’ll see exactly what I mean. Everyone is using email to sell.

120.4 billion business email are sent per day according to the 2017 estimate by the Radicati Group. But on average, only 37% are opened, and it may be even fewer in your industry.

Your competition is likely using email campaigns, which is great. You should be, too. But remember,
email can be deleted and it’s rarely in front of your buyer when they are ready to buy.

That’s why you see the same offer repeated so many times you begin to delete before you open.

So if the absolute kiss of death is to look and sound just like your competition, you’ve got to go beyond email marketing.


Direct mail works!

Here at PROMOrx, we hear it all the time—“Direct mail is back!” But the truth is, it never left. It’s alive and well, but we stopped talking about it when email marketing hit it big.

Direct marketing allows you to personalize with something tangible in a way that email can’t compete.

According to the Data & Marketing Association report for 2017, “Customer response rates increased year-over-year by an impressive 43%, but prospect response rates more than doubled – reporting an astounding 190% increase! So it’s no wonder that brands that have never mailed before are finding it a viable medium for both their retention and acquisition efforts.”

Here’s our tip: Don’t use one or the other. Use email and direct mail marketing in combination so you can make use of both fantastic marketing strategies.

But direct mail also allows you to deploy an industry secret. The next tip is as timeless as the face-to-face meeting, and will stay with your prospect indefinitely.


# 2 Create a Trigger Device

Give potential buyers a trigger to help them remember you when the time comes.

A trigger can be anything that flips a switch in the buyer’s memory.

  • Your company tagline
  • A short story
  • Small gifts
  • A contest
  • The offer of a free service to get you hooked


Anything that sticks in their memory will work as a trigger.

Providing a gift, even a very small gift is a perfect example.

But only if it’s done right!

Getting it right is the difference between sending junk mail and sending memorable sales material that gets a response.

And we all get too much junk mail…so do it right!

Here’s the secret: When you use direct mail, sending out a small gift doesn’t work if you don’t link it to an emotion. A prospect MUST have an emotional response to the trigger, one they will remember every single time they see whatever you choose to send. And done correctly, that gift will “trigger” a memory of you and your company when it’s time to buy.

Let’s see a deleted email pitch do that!

Let me give you a few very basic examples.

Let’s say you’re sending out a sales letter and the goal is to get you prospect to sign a contract with you. It’s fine to send out a letter asking them to do just that.


You could send them a pen with your contact information printed on it. In the envelope send a short note: “Our last client saved a fortune when he used this pen to sign with us. What are you waiting for? Isn’t it time for your company to sign-up and save money, too?”

The idea is that you have painted a quick picture of a happy company saving money while they are still losing. One simple note and a pen created intrigue, curiosity and urgency.

Just how much is a fortune, anyway?
How much extra money are we losing?

And if the time isn’t right for them to act, add, “P.S. Don’t lose the pen. You’re going to need us soon.”

Every time they see the pen—even a year later—they remember you and wonder if they shouldn’t check out the savings. Frankly, even if they lose the pen, they’re still going to remember that they are probably losing money they don’t have to.

Or maybe you need traffic to a new local business and you want to increase the budget a bit to entice the perfect buyer. Target your select audience for an exclusive, invitation only event. Try earbuds in a case with your company logo along with this note: “Listen up!  We’re opening a new store at 123 Center Street. You’re invited to this exclusive, “By Invitation Only” Grand Opening and sale.

Again, you’ve tied an emotion to a trigger. It’s exclusive and there will be pre-opening special pricing. And even if they don’t make the sale, every time they use the earbuds, they remember you.

Are you starting to get the idea?

But they don’t work unless you tie an emotion and show value. Make sure to explain very clearly what’s in it for them and ask them to take a specific action!


# 3 Master the Unforgettable First Impression

It doesn’t do any good to send direct mail if you can’t get them to open it. You MUST learn the art of making a first impression to get them inside and present the trigger.

There is one industry rule: Don’t look like the usual business mail.

Skip the bar codes, window envelopes and company logo printed stationary. Anything that hints at a mass mailed sales pitch is going to hit the waste basket because that’s what your completion is using.

Do you know what happens when you set a stack of your competitors’ mass-mailed business envelopes on top of a foil envelope? They all slide off, leaving your foil envelope on top. Hmmm…

Or, have you ever received a small box or tube that rattles? You have to shake it! You have to find out what’s inside.

You and I know it’s a trigger item that helps you remember the offer, but most prospects won’t make it to lunch break before the curiosity has them ripping open the container like a kid at Christmas!

Learn to be outrageous and creative to get your message opened. If you can put a stamp on it, it has to be delivered! But whatever you choose, make sure it’s in good taste and you can tie it to your business in an intriguing way.

And never, NEVER forget to ask them to take action in some way.


#4 Swipe Tactics from the Legends

The legendary ad man, David Ogilvy said, “If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.

”People delete email…but they SEE direct mail, and done correctly, they won’t forget you if you’ve tied a creative trigger item to an emotion.

But it’s nice to get some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

That’s where one of marketing’s other secrets comes in.

We call it a swipe file.

It doesn’t mean you should actually swipe an idea and put your name on it. It means looking at what gets results and applying the idea to your business.

But be careful here…remember the kiss of death? Don’t repeat what you’re seeing from your direct competitor. Look at work from other industries and see if you can apply the basic idea.

Start noticing what’s coming in the mail and take note of what you like and what you don’t. What caught your eye? What made you want to check out their website, or buy something you hadn’t considered before?

Another way to get the juices flowing is to go through the  PROMOrx catalog of items. What relates to your industry? What fun messages can you send? How outrageous and memorable can you make adult coloring books or fruit infusers?

If you want to be in front of your customer for 30 seconds and hope they open your email, it can be done.

But everyone is relying on that.

Get creative. Choose a trigger item and tie it to an emotion that’s important to your buyer. Send it out and know that your name, your products and solutions are in front of the other 97% when they are ready to buy.

Because it’s next to impossible to delete a really creative memory.