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ENews Jewels
  May 2006 - Vol 2. Issue 5
Christine Pinney Photo


Grow Your List by Giving Gifts

What are appropriate incentives to encourage people to join your email list?

Here’s what probably didn’t happen when you went shopping for a mother’s day gift – You walk into your favorite jewelry store, say Shreve, Crump & Low. As you as step over the threshold, you smirk as put your hand into your pocket and pull out: a blindfold. Excited, you put on your blindfold and begin. You move ahead slowly at first, then with more confidence, you step closer to what must be a display case. You point your finger into the air letting it guide you.You put your hand on the glass display case – choosing your gift. You take off your blindfold. Happiness oozes from your pores as it took only seconds to pick out a mother’s day gift. Elated, you tell the gentlemen behind the counter, “I’ll take it.” 

I won’t even begin to imagine what your mom might think when you present her with a gift that you picked out when you were wearing a blindfold. Sure, you might get lucky, but there’s also a big chance that the gift won’t be well received. Are you really willing to take that chance? You are giving her a gift to say thank you, to say she’s appreciated, to acknowledge her as a person. If it doesn’t hit the target, will it be the gift that gets filed away? Or could it be re-gifted?

Sometimes it seems like some companies are wearing blindfolds when they choose incentives and gifts for their clients. They might choose them from a source that has lots of great objects (like Shreve, Crump & Low). But without thought about the recipient and the occasion, even the nicest gift is risky.

Finding appropriate items for your clients and prospects is as important as picking the right gift for your mom. Whether you want to give your clients a gift to celebrate an occasion or if you want to offer them an incentive to join your list, here are you some simple questions to ask yourself before you buy the gift.

  • Is this something that my client/readers will appreciate?
  • Is it appropriate?
  • Is it a reasonable price? (not too extravagant but not too cheap)
  • Does it attract people who will someday need my services?
  • Is it complimentary to my services?
  • Is this a gift for my ideal client?
  • What is the gift meant to do?

  • One of my clients, Limousine Eighteen, has an on-going promotion to encourage referrals to join their mailing list. If you refer a new subscriber, your name will be put into a drawing for a great prize: transportation and dinner for two at a fabulous restaurant like Legal Seafood, The Capital Grille or Davios. This is a very appropriate incentive for people to join their list. The reward is very much in sync their clients and with the services. New subscribers will get information for traveling executives. Perfect.

    A local maid service once offered new subscribers a chance to win an IPOD. Through the promotion, they increased their subscriber rate by 25%. However, three months after the drawing, 70% of those people unsubscribed. An IPOD is not something is directly associated with maids. That is, people do not say “1) my house is messy and 2) I need music”. Offering a flashy incentive will get you subscribers and unsubscribers.

    Choosing appropriate incentives to encourage people to join your list will fill your community with prospects who are genuinely interested in your services. If the incentive is in sync or compliments what you do and who you do it for, the gifts will be well received. So put away that blindfold and take that smirk off your face! I encourage you to go shopping with both eyes wide open and with the intention of growing your list in a very particular way.


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