Stuffed Meerkats, Steak Knives and Toy Cars: Why They Aren’t Random, and How They Can Squash Your Sales Records

by Josh Barney

Give your eyes a break, listen to the audio version: 


Stuffed meerkats, steak knives and toy cars…

…are not a list of random objects…


We’ll forgive you for assuming a premium was something of superior quality or price.

A premium means something else to marketers.

And it’s GOLD DUST.

Premiums have literally turned around the fortunes of tons of businesses, boosting sales, increasing customer retention and reducing refunds.

But what is this mystical SECRET SAUCE TACTIC?

A premium is something offered alongside a product to TEMPT or INFLUENCE a buying decision.

Still don’t get it?

Remember those free gifts you’d get in cereal boxes when you were a child? You’d ask your parents to buy the box with the coolest toy inside, not the best tasting cereal, right?

You were PREMIUM(ed).

Toy cars, batman figurines and pencil toppers have literally nothing to do with Cornflakes, but they were what influenced you to buy them.

And your business can do the same.

It doesn’t matter if your business is product or service based, a premium can still inject that same childish BUZZ in your customers.

Stick with us, and we’ll show you how.


Why Premiums?

premiums offer

Premiums are known to reduce refunds by 66%. That’s a big ol’ number, but why so huge?

Customers don’t want to send their PREMIUM GIFTS back! They also feel like they’ve received extra value.

If you know somebody who is really irritating, but also incredibly generous, you’ll understand.

No matter what you say or do, because they’ve tried so hard and given you loads of COOL STUFF alongside their annoying personality, you just cannot reject their party invitation.

Premiums affect customer’s PSYCHOLOGY in the exact same way.

They also create an excitement and anticipation around your product, especially if your business doesn’t sell physical products.

Imagine you’ve just signed up to an online membership

It feels alright, but not as cool as the last time you ordered a shiny new GADGET.

I mean, when you paid for that GIZMO, it wasn’t in your hands, but you were already pumped for it to turn up.

And when it finally did, you were like a kid-at-Christmas with the packaging.

premium offers free stuff

Now imagine that you sign up to be a member of a website, and when you register they send out a t-shirt, mug, cuddly toy and five-blade automatic potato peeler…

…now you’re PUMPED!

You probably would’ve signed up sooner, and told your mates about it, and worn that branded t-shirt to the gym where a bunch of other people see it.

Your attitude towards the membership and brand would be different too. They’d be MUCH cooler. And that would increase your likelihood of buying again.

See what that premium’s done?

It’s reduced refunds, increased retention, made your business look COOL and gained you more EXPOSURE.


What Premium’s Work?

 premium offers, how to to make them work

The best premiums are things that people WANT, BUT DON’T BUY.

They’re not necessary, and the average person can’t justify spending their hard-earned money on them.

In order to find a suitable premium for your business, dig down into your target markets wants, desires and hobbies. Use your customer avatar to come up with a KILLER idea.

[quote type=”rect”]<strong>EINSTEIN MARKETER MOMENT</strong> –T-shirts are UNIVERSAL WINNERS when it comes to Premium offers, because let’s face it, who doesn’t love a FREE t-shirt?[/quote]

A premium that doesn’t work well, is a free book. People perceive books as WORK. They have to spend their time reading, rather than enjoying an irrelevant gizmo.

However, if you’re selling an e-book, offering a physical book alongside it works AMAZINGLY well as a premium.

Another Premium idea that absolutely kills it, are items that can’t be found anywhere else.

This doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel.


Can you come up with a cool slogan to whack on a t-shirt? Or a mug? Or a pencil case?

Personalised premiums that appeal to your target market amp up the COOLNESS RATING and DESIRABILITY of your business.


How to Make Premium Offers Work

premium offers, how to make a premium offer work

You’re white-hot with excitement about these Premiums, aren’t you?

We thought so.

You’ve every reason to be.

Making them work isn’t as easy as plastering them on the front of your (metaphorical) cereal box though…

…no sweat, Einstein Marketer’s got the lowdown.

The first thing you’ll want to do is to PUSH THE PREMIUM, not the product it’s supporting.

Emphasise that you’re giving away something for FREE. Give the premium centre stage 90% of the time and your product, the other 10%.

Check out this (Business Saving) Premium advert from Sports Illustrated:


Try this one for size. Compare the Market have pushed their Premium so much, it’s the most recognisable part of their company:

The next thing you’ll want to do, is REALLY sell the importance of your product/service after they’ve bought it.

After all, we want that customer to become a repeat customer, and then a referrer.

We don’t want them to buy your product/service purely for the Premium.

So, in your confirmation email push the strengths, direct them to guides and make every attempt for them to see how CRUCIAL your product is.

Our Premium has convinced them to buy, now we want them to go MAD for everything you sell.

The only way we’ll do that, is if they actually USE your product/service to the best of its ability.

Read the last two paragraphs again.

You HAVE TO understand and employ them.


Premium Offers: A Crucial Tip

premium offers free t-shirt 

We really cannot emphasize enough the effects a KILLER premium can have on your business.


There, we tried anyway.

Seriously, find the right premium, reach your target market and gawp at the effects it has on sales.

It’ll make your business stand out, give your product/service the opportunity to demonstrate its value and…

…all the other mind-blowing stuff we’ve already explained.

But… before you go away and create a PREMIUM offer, think back to when you were a child, sitting in the front seat of your parent’s shopping trolley, screaming for the cereal with the best toy…

…and consider, what made it stand out from the rest?

Was it trend? TV commercials? Your peers? Its exclusivity?

Grasp that WINNING FORMULA and take it to your market.

They might just scream for it too.

What do you think about Premiums? Have you ever used one before? Perhaps you’d like some advice about a premium that’s suitable for your business? Leave a comment or send us a message and we’ll reply as soon as our Social Media Manager has stopped talking about how good he is at Karaoke.

Josh is the Founder of We Imagine Media, an award-winning content marketer, best selling author and creator of the He creates and strategises content, sharing the most successful tactics with his lovely audience. He hates writing in the third person, follow him on the social links so he can get back to writing as himself.

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