My Best Promotion
Self-promotion is an important skill for any distributorship to master. Besides the obvious benefit of increasing your business through marketing, it shows your clients that you're able to practice what you preach and make an impact with the products you're selling.
Seth Weiner, MAS, president of Sonic Promos, Gaithersburg, Md., shared an example of an effective self promotion the company has run and won awards for. A simple, yet carefully executed direct mail piece, the promotion has not only earned Sonic a large amount of business, but has also been repeated by clients successfully to promote their own businesses.
A direct mail self-promo campaign, handled by Weiner and his staff. The company used two tumblers, a ceramic coffee tumbler that resembles a paper cup and a clear plastic tumbler with straw. Weiner explained the message centered on "hot and cold promotions.
Notably, the tumblers were packed into an oversized box and paired with a personal note, two steps generally accepted as effective at increasing a direct mail piece's success rate.
"Our self promotion goals are always the same," said Weiner. "Get in front of our clients or prospects, make a statement and generate a response," he said. "Any response―even one that says 'Take me off of your list.' At least then we know who we don't have to waste money on."
Thoughts on the Process
Weiner and his staff carefully worked at preparing and fine-tuning the promotion to ensure a high rate of success. "Before we did anything, we worked hard on concepts and copy to ensure that we got the best response from the recipients," said Weiner. "Being our own worst customer, we painstakingly go over every detail which tends to make the project drag on and on," he said. "In the end though, we always seem to get a huge response from people, the most flattering of which is when the buy the same item that we used and ask us to customize it for their business."
More than 60 percent of all recipients conducted some sort of business with Sonic within the first six months of receiving the item. One recipient even used essentially the same promotion for their business. "Their promotion earned them an award for best marketing within their own industry," said Weiner. The award was the SIPA (Specialized Information Publishers Association) Award for "Best Print Effort." Weiner said the client's promotion had an ROI of $2,415 per package sent, for 75 mailed packages total. "Subsequently, our company earned a PPAI Pyramid Award for the promotion," he said.
Weiner stated that the promotion's success reinforced to him the value of maximizing the company's exposure through use of self-promotions. "It is imperative to any business to consistently share its message to stay top of mind," he said.
Though the promotion ran near-flawlessly, Weiner did share one small regret. "We probably could have done a better job of following up directly after sending the pieces," he said. "The responses came quickly, which put our team into action but also may have led to us missing an opportunity or two," he explained.
Some Final Advice
"As with many successful promotions, the item is secondary," Weiner said. "Understand your audience and how you are going to best reach them. From there, the creativity will flow and all of the pieces will fall into place."
Want to be considered for a future edition of My Best Promotion? Contact Michael Cornnell at firstname.lastname@example.org or (215) 238-5449 for a list of questions and other details.