Gift Horses, Scrooges and the Small Child Within – The Simple Marketing Power of Promotional Gifts

Internet marketing techniques have always fascinated me. For years I have been searching for the most effective tools and methods for marketing in this so-called Internet Age. What tools, what methods should an Internet marketer be using to bring in the most traffic and the most sales?Since becoming a full-time online marketer around four years ago, that question has taken on much more significance because my very livelihood depends upon it. Not only that, discovering the most effective marketing tools and methods has really become my full-time job. It’s what I do!I spend my work-days testing different marketing techniques, trying out new ways of gathering traffic, and trying every new tool or gadget I can get my hands on. I have spent a small fortune on web marketing info-products, different web marketing tools; not to mention all the companies who have asked me to check out their products for free.Over the years, some very simple concepts or methods of marketing online have proven the most effective for me. They have proven so valuable I use them on all of my sites. Simple effective techniques that work.What are these marketing techniques?Actually, they are nothing new, marketers have been using these methods for hundreds of years. It all centers around the idea of gift-giving and the promotional gift. Companies have always found the idea of giving small promotional gifts to their present and future clients to be a very effective way of marketing.Like countless other online marketers, I have perfected this practice of giving promotional gifts to increase my targeted traffic and to boost my sales. It is a very simple marketing technique any website owner or online marketer can use to achieve the same results.I believe a very detailed description of my own promotional gifts and how I effectively use them in my online marketing would prove helpful to you. Then you can look at what I have done and model the same marketing techniques with your own niche or website.First, you have to briefly understand the psychology behind gift-giving and gifts. There’s no denying it, we all like free gifts. We all like receiving gifts mainly because we all have been hot-wired or conditioned to receiving gifts since we were two years old and up. Getting a gift never fails to put a smile on our faces or a warm feeling in our hearts. Corny as that may sound, it is nonetheless very true for the majority of the non-scrooge humans living on the planet. We are all still that small child receiving a gift.We simply love getting gifts.However, I believe many marketers, including many small website owners, (maybe even you, highly appreciated reader) fail to realize the marketing power of these small promotional gifts. It can be a truly effective way of promoting and marketing your site or product. One that every marketer should be using.Nor should you underestimate the power of giving away free gifts to your site’s visitors; it can be an effective way of branding your name and for acquiring repeat customers. Especially on the web where you sometimes only have a few seconds to make contact or engage a visitor; so handing out a free gift is often an excellent way of making a first good impression with your visitor and potential client/customer.It is a marketing tactic I use with all my sites. I try to give them something of real value, or perceived value in the eye of the receiver — something of high quality that they will appreciate and remember. Of course, that something also has my site’s URL and Logo on it; calling visitors back to my site, time and time again.That’s why on many of my sites you will see a Free Desktop Calendar that visitors can download and place on their computer desktop; this is a simple software program consisting of an eCalendar and daily planner which contains my site’s information, logo/message, plus a direct link back to my site. Something simple, practical and my visitors like and use it; I get tons of emails from these calendar users telling me how much they enjoy it.A simple promotional gift that works. My own simple virtual version of the fridge magnet!Another effective marketing tactic I use with most of my sites is the giving away of free guides. These are simple handy guides (in PDF or EXE file format) that I pass out to my visitors – to anyone who wants one. These guides can even be re-branded so that your visitors can pass them out for you; creating a viral gift that keeps on giving.An extremely easy way to build your list of potential customers for your products. Anyone can create these guides and give them out to your visitors. Just use Google Docs to make the PDF files of your Favorite Tips, How-To Articles, Special Reports or Buyers’ Guides… you may be totally amazed at how effective these free promotional gifts can be to your marketing.Since everything is in video format these days, creating free How-To-Videos is within everyone’s reach. These videos can have a viral effect and land up on countless sites all over the web. If you’re like me and lack the Spielberg gene, you can always use the videos made by your affiliate companies and promote these on your sites. Free videos work great as promotional gifts, especially if you can embed them with your affiliate links.In the same way, I also like using re-branding software so that your visitors can re-brand these promotional products and make them their own. Also you can purchase software that will allow you to have Pop-up Forms and Subscription Boxes on PDF files — very useful for list building and boosting traffic back to your site. I use “PDF Pop-Up Pro” for this.But most of all, my favorite promotional tool is the handy little buyer’s guide. I especially like giving away free Buyer’s Guides of the products I am promoting, mainly because you know these are the targeted group (potential buyers) who are at the right stage in the marketing process – when they’re seriously considering buying the product. You get their attention at the most opportune time.It makes for very smart marketing.These helpful buyer’s guides are in reality, very effective promotional gifts that will increase your traffic and sales. Again, you can use PDF or EXE formats for these guides, another option which I occasionally use is to deliver this buying guide in 6 or 7 follow-up emails. This accomplishes two important objectives of my online marketing: it builds my lists of potential customers and it also lets me “cookie” all these potential buyers with my affiliate IDs. If you’re new to online marketing, cookies are used to mark your customers as your referrals, these cookies can last anywhere to a few days up to a lifetime; when a customer buys within that time frame, you get credit for the sale.The savvy online marketer will use promotional gifts as a way of tagging the receiver as their cookied referral. If you can’t create your own guides, reports, articles… there are tons of free ebooks, instructive videos, and how-to products on the web that you can use. Many of the major affiliate companies and marketers will provide these gifts (re-branded with your affiliate IDs) for you to hand out to your site’s visitors.Promotional gifts in the virtual world can take on all these different disguises: downloadable software programs, ebooks, articles, special reports, How-to-Videos, buying guides… and the list goes on. Don’t overlook this simple way of marketing. Instead, use these promotional gifts and techniques on your own site or with your own products. A proven method of increasing both your brand recognition and your sales.Basically, what you’re doing is taking the old concept of the promotional gift that has been around for centuries such calendars, pens, mugs, fridge magnets… and applying this concept to your website or online marketing. Of course, you can still use these (real world) trinkets to promote your site and products, but don’t forget about the virtual online version such as desktop software, ebooks, special reports, buyer’s guides, viral videos… these can prove very effective marketing tools in this brave new online world.Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, instead, ride it all the way to the bank. Discover the true effectiveness of online promotional gifts for yourself and you will quickly reap the rewards.

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