Local events organizers have adopted the name “Swag Bag” to draw in the crowds as a reward for the early bird shoppers. This post will share what Heart Felt Play Store is putting together 250 Swag Bag inserts to be hosted by *Shay No More Advertising, of Colorado, this summer.
If you are still wondering what a “SWAG BAG” is, this is No Non-cents Nanna version: In Hollywood a Swag Bag is the fancy-smancy gift bag of free expensive trips, clothes and keys to a new car that the rich and famous get at the Emmy’s or Oscars in hopes that the companies will get a celebrity endorsement. But….
…Local Swag Bags:
- Local swag bags are not as ritzy, though.
Realistically customers don’t expect to go home with a diamond ring or a new convertable.
However, the little gifts can be quite imaginative, fun and useful giving you an idea of what that business has to offer without getting overwhelmed by 350 pushy sale pitches when people feel they just came to have fun, ride the carosel, eat carmel corn and buy a large jar of local honey.
- Vendors get a 2nd chance to sell with an effective insert in a reputable Swag Bag.
Why give away freebies?
- When the time is right, the potential customer, hopefully, can look into the business and hopefully become a new and returning customer.
- A Swag Bag is cost effective when a vendor can not attend every event in their area or even other states. This is especially true when a local vendor also has an online store like Etsy or Shopify.
- Not every one who passes by an event table at an event is ready to buy what each vendor has to sell, TODAY. Next month, may be the right time…IF… the customer can remember how to contact the vendor who sells that perfect item
In my day when we went to the county or state fairs we just called it a FREEBIE BAG of useful advertisments.
- We usually got a fly swatter, a new ruler, pencils, note pads all with the names and 5 digit phone numbers of our local businesses. We knew who to call when we needed a product or service. we were reminded of that local business evey time we swatted a fly or made our grocery list with that free pencil.
- Currently my useful freebies from Heart Felt Play Store may be an eye catching small draw string bag that could hold your eye glasses or the little things that drop in the bottom of your purse. I also am giving away cute little notepads with coupons in paper bags or envelopes with tiny hearts.
- A hand made draw string bag with coupons may not be the most appropriate for your business. What IF you are a plumber? What would you put in a swag bag?
Why not throw a just a business card in the bag?
- I have heard many direct sales representatives complain that “wasted 50 business cards in a freebie bag” because no one called them about their product in the next week or 2. Try something different.
- It is a fact that people have to see a product/ service advertisement 7 times before they get it in their comprehention. Repeat your branding efforts.
- Impulse items like candy bars are strategically placed by the check out aisle. Generally candy bars are items that people don’t really need. Except, now we have looked and looked away from the Snickers bar 7 times before they give in. If Snickers were always in the back aisle, who would impulse buy it? No one would run back to get one and many of us might stay the same as as we were in our 20’s. (Blame it on “good” marketing.)
I have some ideas based on my experience with children on how we tend to learn new things.
Ask yourself, ” Did a lonely business card do any of the following?”
- The more senses used when learning something new the more likely we retain the information.
- If we have something to say, first we must get the audiences’ attention then hold the attention long enough to grasp what you want them to know about your business.
- Tell the people where/how to find you. How to contact you.
- Briefly describe in images and /ro words what you want new customers to know about what you do.
- Social share that your business will be doing SWAG BAGs at certain events, like I am doing in this post.
- Yes! Do have business cards.
- Yes! Do have a website with a landing page. (Facebook is great, but it is not a website that can be googled on a ap unless you do something extra to have your posts show.)
- Unless your business card is distinctly outstanding, ask yourself if it will encourage engagement from the recipient of the freebie bag? For profit businesses need to convert potential customers to paying customers by getting their attention.
Years ago, when I had a brick and motar store selling kids party stuff and cake decorating supplies. I DID give out ust business cards at the local fair. The cards were refigerator magnets. My customers were encouraged to me at the store to ask questions any time: “What is the recipe to make the icing color Country Blue?” ” Do you have Scooby -Do cake pan to rent? ”
I forwared my phone number at night. Many a time I got calls late at night, like this, “I just lost my #59 decorator tip in the garbage disposal. I’m finishing a wedding cake for 9 AM. Will you please open the store for me?…I can be there at midnight. ”
Customers told me that they had my number stuck to the frig for cake decorating emergencies: part of my service. Now, that is what I called “useful”
Just the facts about FREE stuff:
- FREEBIES are not FREE to the merchants seeking paying customers.
- Even the paper of plastic bags to carry home purchased goods and wares are not FREE to the vendors. Store owners must spend a bundle on sacks for your customers’ purchases. To print a a distinct logo on the bag costs plenty, but worth it. ( A logo on a bag is advertising that potential customers see when we carry that bag out of the store. It is called branding.)
- Events are one way to advertise. These events cost money. Vendors need to make the envestment count. The vendors at the events are the ones who have to foot the bill for the venue that makes it free or cheaper for guests to get in. It is aways nice when a guests at least smile back at a vendor as opposed to avoiding eye contact with vendors.
- Encourage customers to give feedback to your business that gave the freebie. Now days, leaving a comment or writing a review on the website is a great way to say thank you along with purchasing products that you can use.
- Not eveyone will have a use for all products and services in the Swag Bags. Suggest guests might want to pass on the free gift to someone who might find that business as one that would meet their needs.
- Merchants may offer discount coupons for FREE shipping or % off to get new customers attention. In general small business will not make any kind of profit from those offers. Initially those gifts are a risk for portential profit in the future. When a new business opens a realistic owner will understand that it take one to 3 years for that new business to show a profit. They will operate at a loss while having a 2nd job to pay the bills. (Please, don’t ask if the cashier if they can do any better discount. Certainly no business can continuing giving away only freebies.Be mannerly. Businesses have to sell at a profit to stay in business.)
- Shipping does cost the merchant. That is why FREE shipping is most often offered with a minimum purchase. It is non profitable day for the mercahnt when shipping cost more than the price paid, unless there is another pay off in return.
- Keep in mind that small business owner historically have offered service the big “buy in bulk” discount chains store do not ever give.
- It takes thought, time and money to decide what each individual business will insert into the large SWAG BAG will many other businesses competing for the attention of the person who gets the SWAG BAG.
What’s in Heart Felt Play Store SWAG BAGS this summer?
- Draw String Bags with coupons.
Shayna Wetzel, owner of Shay No More Advertising reminded me of another very important tip for those of us who live with smokers..cough…cough…Tip: air out product before shipping or it may smell like smoke. With that said, should any of my product not be protected from smoke -aired out and refereshed with essential oils, please let owner of Heart Felt Play Store know.
* Malika Bourne author of this blog post enjoys doing business with Shay No More Advertising. Other than buying Swag BAG and advertising packages I am not affliated. I was not compensated for mentioning this business.
All statements expressed are the opinion of Malika Bourne.
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Upcoming events in Colorado Springs ,Colorado for
HEART FELT PLAY STORE
Be one of the first 25 to stop at Heart Felt Play Store vendor table June 18, 2016.
Be sure to ask for a FREE gift from the No Non-cents Nanna.
EVENTS Events Where You Can Find Shay No More Swag Bags!