Premiums and Paid Products Spotlight: Primed for Premiums?
Secondly, think about ones that have a broad reach appeal among your typical donors. Not everyone wants a children’s book or a snow scraper. For premiums, consider the entire cost — not just purchasing the premium but also shipping it to the donor. Bookmarks are low-cost, can be very mission-focused, have shelf life and mail in a No. 10 envelope. Ceramic mugs break and take up storage space. Don’t just buy the latest “thing” — ask it if fits the lifestyle of your typical donor.
And make sure you get a quality product; even if it’s free, donors can be miffed if the flashlight doesn’t light or the pen won’t write. (And you don’t want to have to quality-check every single item before you ship it.)
WT: Ah … that’s what makes a horse race. It might be one that reflects your mission, like a key ring for a housing organization, or it could be good, old-fashioned mailing labels, or a hard “membership” card, or anything else. Like everything else, you’ve just got to test your way to it.
MBG: Any other thoughts you might want to share?
WT: The use of premiums doesn’t have to be an either/or proposition. With some time and testing, organizations can develop a best package/best list strategy. It means that periodically through the year they mail low-cost trinkets to the premium-responsive segments of their file, and non-premium packages to their mission-responsive donors. It takes a bit of doing, but it can be quite profitable and yield a very efficient ROI.