Anne Holland

SherpaBlog: The Little Fridge Magnet That Could … Quintuple Sales

April 21st, 2008

Marketers spent more than $419 million on promotional magnets last year, according to the Promotional Products Association International.

If you’re a niche ecommerce site, I urge you to consider tossing a magnet with your URL and telephone number into all your fulfillment packaging.

Magnets cost very little per piece — as low as a few cents. Yet, the impact can be tremendous. Unless you’re a household name website, past customers probably forget your brand name and URL when they want to buy again (or tell a friend about you) a few months later.

Like many people, I won’t sign up for email from a site I order from only occasionally — even if I’m a very satisfied customer. I don’t want more email from a site I intend to visit only rarely.

So, when I need to reorder, I’ll surf a search engine, hoping to trip over you again. That’s bad news because PPC clicks can easily cost more than a magnet, and I’m as likely to find a competitor’s site as your site.

There’s one specialist ecommerce site I always go to directly. Durham’s Bee Farm routinely tosses a promotional magnet featuring their logo, URL and phone number into all of their fulfillment packages.

When I need to re-order from them, I just run to the kitchen, grab the magnet from the fridge and type in the URL. I’ve ordered from them at least six times in the past three years, which is five more times than I’ve ever remembered any other niche ecommerce site’s name or URL.

The other nice thing about using magnets as a promotional item is that they have a higher perceived value than their actual cost. In my family, we all feel guilty about throwing a “useful” item away. Which means we now have six Durham’s magnets lined up in a stripe running across the door of the fridge. No doubt we’ll have to start a second row soon.

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