Five Giveaways Your Customers Will Use

You know that customers love free giveaways, but do you ever feel like you're giving stuff away and getting nothing in return? You're not alone - many entrepreneurs and marketers are at a loss for why giveaway promotions attract tons of traffic, but result in few sales. The reality is that when you give something away for free, you can't expect to make sales - at least not immediately. This is especially true if your giveaway has nothing to do with your business or target audience such as the car lot that gives away a free TV. Everyone wants a free TV, but not everyone is in the market for a new car. The five giveaways listed below are things that will actually be used by your customers and will help brand your company in the long term. They'll attract only your target audience, so you'll capture and retain qualified leads. And, best of all, they're a whole lot cheaper to give away than TVs.

1. Calendars

The staple print marketing giveaway, calendars have a very specific purpose and are used by millions of people every single day. Like the TVs, almost everyone will take a free calendar so you can weed out the fakers by having a full-color calendar professionally printed with photos that work for a very specific target audience. Do you sell golf accessories? Give away a golf-themed calendar!

2. Event schedules

Event schedules are one of the easiest ways to target a niche through brand marketing. If you want football fans, make a football schedule; theater fans, make a theater schedule, etc. It's really easy to pick apart your audience in this manner. Also, just like all print marketing materials, if your logo, tagline, offer, and call to action are on the schedule you can simultaneously brand and actively sell with event schedules

3. Notepads

Notepads are a little tricky, because most people will use them regardless of the company listed. It's important to get your notepads in the hands of people who will eventually buy from you, so your first step is to inject some personality into your notepads. A contractor's foreman is not likely to use a ballet school's notepad. Still, notepads are incredibly inexpensive to produce and branding is branding, period. Just because the person using your notepad isn't likely to buy from you, that doesn't mean she won't recall your name when someone she knows needs something you sell.

4. Tip charts/conversion charts

You can create business card-sized tip charts for eating out or other conversion charts (such as metric to standard measurements), and your customers will put them in their wallets and purses - and put them to good use. They'll see your branded message every time they do.

5. Stickers

Yes, everyone loves a sticker; but not everyone appreciates your point of view. Create bumper stickers and other stickers that relate specifically to your customers. Be creative, humorous, or poignant to evoke an emotional response from a sticker your customers will be proud to stick to their bumpers. Now that's viral marketing!