2 Bottles of Wine +Some Books + Greeting Cards=Outside the Box Marketing

Feb 13, 2010   //   by Gerald Weber   //   SEO Blog, Social Media  //  20 Comments

Sending gifts and promotional products has always been a powerful marketing tool. It can be used to improve client retention and to reach out to prospects. The Guinness Book of World Records Most Successful Salesman in the World used to send out greeting cards to every customer and prospect on a monthly basis. He was sending out more than 16,000 cards each month, and it worked. Customers knew him by name, and they came to him for all their car-buying needs.

Outside the Box
photo credit: Adam Swank

But now, with the power of social media, gift giving as a marketing tool can make an even bigger splash than before.

I want to share a couple of stories with you of my experiences with receiving promotional products from some of my friends on Twitter.

  • 2 Bottles of Wine from St. Supery Winery—I’ve been following @RickBakas, Director of Social Media for St. Supery Winery, for quite a while now. We had a little interaction with each other, but it wasn’t on a regular basis. Then, one day Rick reached out to me for help pushing some content on Twitter. I obliged, and next thing I know, I’m receiving 2 bottles of wine in the mail. By the way, the wine truly was amazing. Thanks again Rick!

So, why did Rick send me the wine? Well, I think there are a couple of savvy marketing reasons he did so.

  1. To cement our relationship. See, you can only build a relationship through Twitter so much by @replying and DMing. Rick decided to think outside the box by sending me 2 bottles of his companies wine, knowing I’d be forever grateful and pay much closer attention to him.
  2. To spread the word. After getting the wine from Rick, I of course thanked him through Twitter, and now even felt compelled to write an entire blog post about his company’s effective social media marketing tactics.

  • Books from my followers—Rick isn’t my only Twitter follower who has reached out by sending me a promotional product. On a few occasions, my social media pals have sent me books they’ve authored or co-authored. The 2 most recent examples that come to mind are @ConvertBond and @AlisaBowman.

    The book I received from @convertbond (Lawrence McDonald) was called A Colossal FAILURE of common sense(a New York Times best seller), and it took a look at the fall of Lehman brothers. Lawrence was a former VP at Lehman Brothers, so he had an interesting story to tell.

    Alisa Bowman, who gives marriage advice at her blog, and has also collaborated on five New York Times best sellers, sent me a book she co-authored called The Skinny: On Losing Weight Without Being Hungry.

What’s my point? The point is that you need to do something different to stand out from the crowd. Sending a promotional product or a simple greeting card can put you on a first-name basis with influential social media users and your customers. It can also create a buzz, getting your name out there and driving sales.

Do you have a “outside of the box” marketing story? We would love to hear about it in the comments.

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Gerald Weber

I founded Search Engine Marketing Group in December 2005. More recently I co-founded viralcontentbuzz.com. which is the free platform that helps bloggers generate REAL "social buzz" on their best content. Feel free to follow me on Google+

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  • Perri aka says:

    Great post GMan.

    I completely agree that effective Social Media campaign needs to cross the online/offline barrier. People that get how to use Social Media as a sales tool understand that it is Relationship Marketing, and that these are just new avenues to create relationships in addition to traditional phone or email. We are still people, and relationships need to be fostered in a deeper way. Making oneself memorable by sending gifts is certainly one effective means of doing so.

    Thanks for sharing this!
    .-= Perri aka @bethebutterfly´s last blog ..Dear Affiliate Marketers, Please stop listing me…. =-.

  • Perri aka says:

    Great post GMan.

    I completely agree that effective Social Media campaign needs to cross the online/offline barrier. People that get how to use Social Media as a sales tool understand that it is Relationship Marketing, and that these are just new avenues to create relationships in addition to traditional phone or email. We are still people, and relationships need to be fostered in a deeper way. Making oneself memorable by sending gifts is certainly one effective means of doing so.

    Thanks for sharing this!
    .-= Perri aka @bethebutterfly´s last blog ..Dear Affiliate Marketers, Please stop listing me…. =-.

  • Alisa Bowman says:

    Thanks for including me here. As I was reading, I couldn't figure out why I was mentioned because I forgot I gave you the book. I think one of the rules of successful gift giving is that you can't expect something in return. You just have to put it out there and see where it leads.

    A recent college grad recently asked me about the secret to networking. I told her: Networking is not about what other people can do for you. Successful networking is always about what you can do for someone else.

    For people who don't have monetary gifts to offer, there are always favors. I like to help as many people as I can, whether that means offering pro bono advice, connecting one person with another, or just offering a little encouragement. Those are the things that really endear one person to another and make one memorable. A straight sales pitch is not only annoying, it's forgettable.
    .-= Alisa Bowman´s last blog ..The Oddest Communication Advice You’ll Ever Read =-.

    • Gerald Weber
      Twitter:
      says:

      Excellent point Alisa.

      My focus was not on the monetary value of the gifts so much but rather the thoughtfulness.

      I know the book really wasn’t very expensive, but it meant a lot to me when you sent it. :-)

  • Alisa Bowman says:

    Thanks for including me here. As I was reading, I couldn't figure out why I was mentioned because I forgot I gave you the book. I think one of the rules of successful gift giving is that you can't expect something in return. You just have to put it out there and see where it leads.

    A recent college grad recently asked me about the secret to networking. I told her: Networking is not about what other people can do for you. Successful networking is always about what you can do for someone else.

    For people who don't have monetary gifts to offer, there are always favors. I like to help as many people as I can, whether that means offering pro bono advice, connecting one person with another, or just offering a little encouragement. Those are the things that really endear one person to another and make one memorable. A straight sales pitch is not only annoying, it's forgettable.
    .-= Alisa Bowman´s last blog ..The Oddest Communication Advice You’ll Ever Read =-.

    • Gerald Weber
      Twitter:
      says:

      Excellent point Alisa.

      My focus was not on the monetary value of the gifts so much but rather the thoughtfulness.

      I know the book really wasn't very expensive, but it meant a lot to me when you sent it. :-)

  • Sarah Merion says:

    Sending gifts certainly is a way to get noticed!!! Actions speak louder than words.. :-)

  • Sarah Merion says:

    Sending gifts certainly is a way to get noticed!!! Actions speak louder than words.. :-)

  • Gerri Elder says:

    I think wine is a really classy gift and one that is remembered.
    .-= Gerri Elder´s last blog ..absolutelytrue: @MarySarahMusic Thank you MarySarah :) =-.

  • Gerri Elder says:

    I think wine is a really classy gift and one that is remembered.
    .-= Gerri Elder´s last blog ..absolutelytrue: @MarySarahMusic Thank you MarySarah :) =-.

  • Very good use of social media by St. Supery winery. Frankly, I wish I had the marketing budget to do the same for influencial bloggers. For a winery, anything they can do to increase direct sales to consumers is well worth the effort and St. Supery is doing a better job then any other winery I am aware of.

  • Very good use of social media by St. Supery winery. Frankly, I wish I had the marketing budget to do the same for influencial bloggers. For a winery, anything they can do to increase direct sales to consumers is well worth the effort and St. Supery is doing a better job then any other winery I am aware of.

  • Tim Somers says:

    Joe Girard "Gets It" for sure – keeping in front of your clients and prospects is key. As you mention you need to think outside the box to stand out from the crowd. Great insight!
    .-= Tim Somers´s last blog ..Appreciation Marketing The Key To Customer Loyalty =-.

  • Tim Somers says:

    Joe Girard "Gets It" for sure – keeping in front of your clients and prospects is key. As you mention you need to think outside the box to stand out from the crowd. Great insight!
    .-= Tim Somers´s last blog ..Appreciation Marketing The Key To Customer Loyalty =-.

  • Very good use of social media by St. Supery winery. Frankly, I wish I had the marketing budget to do the same for influencial bloggers. For a winery, anything they can do to increase direct sales to consumers is well worth the effort and St. Supery is doing a better job then any other winery I am aware of.

    Read more: http://sem-group.net/search-engine-optimization-b

  • Very good use of social media by St. Supery winery. Frankly, I wish I had the marketing budget to do the same for influencial bloggers. For a winery, anything they can do to increase direct sales to consumers is well worth the effort and St. Supery is doing a better job then any other winery I am aware of.

    Read more: http://sem-group.net/search-engine-optimization-b

  • Russian Girl says:

    Wow! I also want to contact Rick ;) and get such a wonderful wine)))) These days gift giving is really getting more and more popular.I had also several similar situations in the nearest past.

  • alex d says:

    to buy wine online, check out http://www.getwineonline.com