8 responses

  1. www.1220.info
    March 20, 2014

    Cash freebies here: http://babyfishercat.blogspot.com

  2. Barry Dennis
    March 17, 2014

    I rthink we need to consider as well the psychic cost of FREE. Suppose it-the product or service-doesn’t represent a real value package, but a take-advantage-of-the-marketplace idea? What loyalty-or anger-originates from a disillusioned customer? What Lifetime Value is lost because of a failure to establish a true value relationship, not just in the instance of the specific promotio, but in that customer’s dissaffection from the marketing umbrella “brand?”

  3. Tossaway
    March 6, 2014

    This reminds me of a discussion I have had on Facebook with a friend demanding higher minimum wage. All she sees is the hourly rate. When I point out other related labor costs, such as increases in Social Security, Medicare, worker’s comp and unemployment, plus sometimes extra taxes and benefits that kick in when total wages reach a certain point, so that the actual increase in cost to the business might be as much as three times whatever the increase in the paycheck might be, I get the equivalent of a blank stare and sometimes I’m even called a liar. Another example is from when I attended a game convention and talked to a professional game designer and manufacturer. He had a rule that the minimum cover price had to be no less than 6x the production cost, in order to allow for distributor and retailer discounts, returns, losses and spoilage, and so forth, and he gave examples of games and game companies that did not follow that rule (and as a result are no longer around). It’s never as easy or as cheap as folks outside the business think it is, and even though they hire us for our expertise, they still argue with us.

  4. Cindy Johnson
    February 21, 2014

    As a consultant helping brands improve their product sampling ROI, I would never recommend a program with fixed costs of $5 or more per sample. Not only is it unlikely to payout, but there are other options which have a lower cost and better ROI. Too often brands do forget to include all the different elements of costs in a sampling program; I’ve published a lot of white papers/tools to help them improve results. http://www.samplingadvisors.com

  5. Jan Estis/ Estis Promo
    February 20, 2014

    Great read with many good points. All are validation to the reasons why promotional consultants are so valuable to their clients. We partner with them to truly understand their goals and learn about their target market. We suggest products that act as tools (rather than give-aways) and can be used and seen repeatedly; the more they are used/seen, the more impressions they receive, and the greater the advertising benefit. We factor in all costs: product, s/h to client, packaging, inserts, distribution, and gauge ROI before the order is even submitted. If the products are used as true marketing tools, and not just given out as “free-stuff”, they will more than pay for themselves. I’m happy to explore this further with any interested readers: jan@estispromo.com

  6. Rebecca Hauptman Cashman
    February 20, 2014

    Here is what I do for my product / company (www.purifyyourbody.com) I offer a free sample (the free sample includes a “pair” of detox foot pads plus two adhesives to place them on the foot). I put them in a #10 envelope with a tri-fold flyer, a Q&A sheet, and a coupon for 20% off their next order. My cost of course is mostly postage (about $1.35 for postage) but is less than $2. About 50% of the people end up using the coupon. It is easy to track in my system as well.

    I do only offer free samples to the U.S. but it has worked out well for me.

    This is my side business, as I do marketing for an electronics company as my day job. But it helps teach me things step by step. I created the company from the ground up, 9 years ago. I learned as I went along, and boy did I mess things up a lot! But now I have over 5,000 customers worldwide, and a big host of followers on Facebook. (www.facebook.com/detoxfootpads) you are welcome to check out my page and like it… 🙂

    Since I don’t outright advertise my free samples (only occasionally do I do that) I get maybe 10 requests per week only, which ends up costing me less than $100 per month, but I make up that easily in sales… And, about 75% of my customers are repeat customers, so that is nice.

    My biggest point is that I am learning as I go along, but thankfully I am decent at math and always include the cost of postage, printing any sales message, and even the cost of the envelope. 🙂

    • Tossaway
      March 6, 2014

      “I put them in a #10 envelope with a tri-fold flyer” In another post where I mentioned a professional game designer and manufacturer, I once made a pitch to the guy about a game I designed. He was notoriously frugal, and his reply proved it. He typed his reply on the same sheet of paper as my pitch, and even copied an ad on the back. And it worked, because I bought the product.

  7. Rick Noel, eBiz ROI, Inc.
    February 19, 2014

    Great post Heidi. Understanding the true cost of social promotions is necessary to determine the true ROI for the campaign. Free is never free in marketing. Some associate the Internet and social media (organic) as free without factoring in the labor investment or opportunity cost if doing it yourself. Like you say, the important part is to think beyond traditional ROI. The challenge that many have is understanding the true value of a favorite, mention, like, comment, share, +1 or whatever value component is used to measure return. I couldn’t agree more with you on point #7.

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