Opinions & Philosophies

Tackle Giveaways Done Right

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Seems my last blog post ignited quite a firestorm, with some folks misconstruing the overall meaning of the piece. Instead of rehashing it, I’ll refer to my main point: “I’m not saying giveaways overall are bad. I’m saying they are largely useless as currently used by our industry…” I found it most ironic that anglers spoke up resoundingly in support of freebies while manufacturers were noticeably silent on the issue. Hmm…

The reason for that is simple: They know freebies, by and large, don’t work, but many don’t know what else to do. Well, when you know something isn’t working, the choices are really simple: change, or keep beating your head against the wall.

For those manufacturers who are willing to change, there are any number of effective strategies for properly conducting giveaways. I’ll outline two of the simplest and easiest to use below.

Give them what they want

Most products that are part of a giveaway are, for obvious reasons, not a company’s best-selling items. All too often, the logic seems to be “Let’s just get something in their hands, so they can fish our products.” But what happens if they don’t fish the product? What if it sits on a peg in a garage or ends up a yard sale? Not very effective, right? A better idea is to allow the consumer to pick the product. Instead of giving away 5 crankbaits or 10 bags of worms, offer a certificate that allows them to pick products up to a certain dollar amount. This way, at the very least anglers are picking products they are interested in, which increases the likelihood that they’ll use them.

Reward loyalty

I’m going to come right out and say this: If a guy is in love with a certain brand, he ain’t changing just because he tried one of your products and liked it. (This, by the way, is my principal problem with giveaways, and why I don’t typically advise clients to conduct them.) Why not use a giveaway to reward customers who are already loyal to the brand? You know these guys are fishing your products, so there is no concern with non-use. Also, passionate followers are far “noisier” than a one-time winner of a contest.

To reward their loyalty, set up a tiered giveaway, where guys must post videos to your Facebook Page of themselves using your products while on the water. The contest could be open for 30 days, and award the winners based on Facebook “Likes.” (You can set whatever parameters you’d like for the judging.)

The prizes could be awarded in this fashion: 3rd Place, $250 worth of products; 2nd Place, $500 worth of products; and the grand prize, $500 in prizes, plus an all-expense-paid trip to fish one of the country’s top bass lakes for two days. The grand prize will get folks excited to take part, but the fact that more than one person can win ensures more folks than unusual sign up. Also, while many will roll their eyes at the expense, when you consider the real value of the products, the only significant pay out is in the trip, which could easily come in under $1,000, if done the right way.

I’m not saying these giveaway ideas are the best there are; I am, however, saying they are a better than what I frequently see passed off as giveaways. Instead of thinking about giving things away, I urge you to think of using giveaways as a means to benefit your bottom line.