4 Steps to Selecting a Winning Premium

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“Properly practiced creativity must result in greater sales more economically achieved. Properly practiced creativity can lift your claims out of the swamp of sameness and make them accepted, believed, persuasive, urgent.” — William Bernbach

If you’ve been in direct marketing for any length of time, you know that offering a premium — or an “added value” offer that provides further impetus for someone to make a buying decision — can significantly increase response rates.

When choosing what premium to include with your offer, there are four important factors to consider: value, novelty, relevance, and desirability.

1) Perceived value — A good premium should have either a high perceived value or a value that the reader cannot determine. The worst premium is offering something that the prospect sees as having low value.

For example, a well-known financial newsletter publisher once did a series of renewal solicitations with each one offering a different premium for early renewal. One of the best-performing premiums was a video of the editor giving financial advice. The promotion positioned it as a free financial consultation with the editor in the privacy of the buyer’s own home. And it was good, sound financial advice, too.

One of the worst-performing premiums was a pack of playing cards with the editor’s picture on each card.

Why didn’t playing cards work well as a premium?

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John Torre

I reside in North Brunswick, NJ, with my wife, Lynn, and daughters Kasey, Jaclyn, and Shelly. We also have a 110 pound, lovable Rottie named Leo that keeps us on our toes! When we're not hard at work we enjoy spending weekends at our bungalow down the Jersey shore, or take extended trips to Walt Disney World as members of the Disney Vacation Club. For kicks, I draw on my dominant "right-brain" and play guitar in classic rock and blues bands, act for local plays and independent productions, and enjoy writing creative fiction. I'm a published author in short fiction and stage plays and a graduate of a local community college's Commercial Writer's Certificate Program. After graduating from the program I was selected as an instructor and taught "Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror" writing for 8 years. I enjoy many fine relationships I made with my students to this day.

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