What if I told you that you would also get valuable market data from that promotion?
What if I told you that you would be praised mightily for the campaign?
Here is what we did... (shout out to Bob Negen of Whizbang Training for this idea)
I contacted the local public school district and asked permission to send each of their 6,000 students a $5.00 Gift Certificate. They said yes and sent us a breakdown of how many students in each school. I mocked up the gift certificates as postcards and had them printed locally for $278.
When we got the GC's from the printer we bundled them in bundles of 30 and made a bag for each school. I delivered them a week ago Wednesday to the main offices. They distributed the GC's to the schools the following day.
The GC's had only this disclaimer: "For Student Use Only. One Per Student. Expires 11/15/14"
Here is where it pays...
We are expecting a 10% return on the gift certificates. That's 600 GC's we expect to be used between now and 11/15. In the first couple days alone we already had 60 returned and not all the schools had distributed them! The average ticket so far has exceeded $12.00.
So let's do the math...
600 x $12.00 = $7,200.00 in sales
Minus Cost of the GC's (600 x $5 = $3,000.00)
Minus Cost of the Products ($3,600.00 - 50% of the retail price)
Minus the Cost of the Printing ($278)
7200 - 3000 = 4200
4200 - 3600 = 600
600 - 278 = $322
Here is the bonus...
Not only did we get the word out to 6,000 students (and their parents) about Toy House, but we will get 600 of them (and their parents) into the store right before the prime part of the holiday season where we will entice them with product displays, events, and wish lists for them to fill out and get them back for Christmas shopping.
Not only did we get the word out to 6,000 students, but we also will get 600 purchases to tell us what kinds of impulse items are popular with today's kids.
Not only did we get the word out to 6,000 students, but I have received tons of praise from parents and teachers for our generosity.
Not only did we get the word out to 6,000 students but I have had friends and customers ask me what is going on that has kept our parking lot so full the last few days.
Here is the kicker...
There are some people who will tell me that I have the math all wrong, that I sold $7200 worth of stuff and only made $322 dollars. Those people are looking at the gift certificate as the be-all, end-all of the promotion. The customer came in once, spent a little money, and left. Promo done. They missed the whole purpose of the campaign, which is to earn top-of-mind awareness by getting them in the store right before the time we really want them in the store. I am banking on my staff's incredible customer relations skills to earn their repeat business whether they spent $1.62 (our smallest transaction with the GC to date) or $58.02 (our largest).
Frankly, the $7200 in sales, while nice, is just a drop in the bucket. The real value is in getting the word out, getting them in to look around, getting them to buy into our generosity, and getting an idea of what is attracting their attention once they are in the store. The fact that I get paid $322 to get all of that is the icing on the cake.
Do you have any promotions planned that pay you to do them?
PS If you sell stuff for adults, is there a major employer or three that you could contact about giving away gift certificates to their staff? Colleges, hospitals and city governments employ a lot more people than you might imagine.