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What is “Gift Marketing”?

Gift marketing is sending a potential customer or social media influencer a gift. For the record, I hate the term “social media influencer,” but I couldn’t think of a better name for “a person with a lot of followers on Twitter.” I’m up for suggestions.

But what’s the purpose of gift marketing?

The point of any marketing is getting attention. Attention, eyeballs, awareness, top-of-mind branding equals revenue for your company. When you get the target’s attention, you want them to listen to your message, consider your product and spread the word about your offering.

Companies waste a ton of money on stupid swag giveaways no one really wants. Unless you’re Google or 37signals, no one wants a shirt with your logo on it. If you’re like me, you don’t need more coffee mugs, mouse pads or thumb drives with a company logo on them.

Over the past three years, I’ve heard tech business owners say they spend $40 to $250 dollars to acquire a customer online. Those costs are probably a mix of paid marketing channel costs like paid per click, retargeting ads, podcast sponsorships, event sponsorships and direct sales.

But what if you can connect with a potential customer or advocate more than a banner ad ever could? Gift marketing might be the answer.

Marketing Goal #1: What’s a customer worth?

For us, our lifetime customer value is $370. However, we’re always looking to drive this number higher by keeping our customers happy even longer.

How many prospective customers do you need to give “gifts” in order for you to gain one customer? What should these “gifts” be? Who are these prospective customers? These are all factors in planning a possible marketing initiative.

Marketing Goal #2: What’s a tweet worth?

If you cannot convert the gift recipient into a customer, what is a tweet or social media share worth to your business? I know from my 9500 Twitter followers, a tweet from me will typically send 30 to 300 clicks to a website I tweet about. Using banner ads and PPC usually yield traffic costs of $1 to $3 per visitor. So a tweet from me could be valued from $30 to $900. This is a broad estimate because time of day, day of the week, tweet topic, etc. all matter and vary the result.

Will every gift you send result in a tweet or customer? No way. But will one in every ten gifts result in a social share? Probably, but who knows?

Examples of Gift Marketing

Gift marketing takes some set up time. One step is finding the addresses of your target recipients, and then locating something interesting and friendly to send them. If you can send them something fun, I like gift marketing. But don’t spend money on gift marketing if you plan on putting your logo on a shirt and sending it to me.