Gini Dietrich

How Effective Are Product Give-Aways?

By: Gini Dietrich | December 16, 2010 | 

The Arment Dietrich Facebook question of the week comes from Joe Hackman who asks, “How valuable and effective are product give-aways to generate interest in a brand/product? Also what potential pitfalls do you see with this type of promotion?”

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About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

jennalanger moderator

Interestingly enough, I got home last night and was lucky enough to have Google Chrome notebook sitting at my doorstep! I'm actually commenting from it right now :)y did

Why did I get one for free from Google? Because I use an Android, I use Google to organize my entire life, and almost all of my work is web-based. What does it take me to really start blogging? Hopefully this new notebook will be the answer. Because I am going to share my experiences with this new device since not many people have them. Looks like this product give away will work for Google, as long as the product lives up to my expectations.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

My supermarket which I am about to head to does little food taster samples during the day. BJ's and Costoco Wholesalers do the same. I have a client that makes a gourmet ice cream sandwich whom I have told to do guerrilla tastings in LA by just showing up with little samples of their newest cookie and ice cream flavors. The key is to have the give away a one time deal, so the customer doesn't expect them always. People love free. Its an investment that I feel has a nice pay off because it over comes the cost barrier. With the goal of them coming back for more. It doesn't cost as much as you might think because its a business expense. And even if someone doesn't come back for what ever reason, if they at least had a good experience they will tell others in the right situation which is free advertising. But there are pitfalls. You really want to make the situation one where likely customers will be trying your product vs freebiestalkers.


First off - super excited about Project: "Jack Bauer"! AH! Seriously people, if you haven't checked it out already - you really, really want to be in the know on this one. It smells like delicious chocolate chips. Now on to your regularly scheduled comment:

Project giveaways are usually pretty effective. Like @ginidietrich and @JocelynRimbey said below: people love free stuff. How effective...well, that depends whether it's a product your customers or reader base actually want and can use.


Today I have mentioned on Twitter -- the GSM operators look like they were giving away expensive gadgets including iphones, blackberries, and netbooks, but in return they see they are selling not-really-cheap services, but on "easy terms" and for "considerably" long periods..

you can check my words at [ ] in the 1st screen - you can Cmd/Ctrl-F for "GSM"

So.. according to this picture, a "product" give away would-work if you guarantee another purchase, a service most preferably, where the costs would be much lower comparing to selling another product, and you would have much better chance in balancing loss-profit margins "in time"..

-- -- -- It also works when you want to have *sudden cardiac arrests* around the board room, you know, in which you were supposed to present your "less-than-desirable" arguments against your always-worried directors, and saying like "hey Boss.. I think we should give away some of thoseee... err.. those awayy....the dose.. Hey... are you alright? You really look pale on the ground!" -- -- --

OK, as a matter of fact, I think, as Net-bourne solution providers our gadgets, aka the products will be no other than our web design packages, or the SEO services (don't pull me into what is a good ~ what is a service). To give away those we used to offer in with 4 digit proposals, we have now top-notch marketing instruments, high-quality and delicate services as never before, where we could play with the margins at our will - and almost freely (err.. wishfully thinking perhaps) - See how I am *not* a PR guy, right? :)

I don't think giving away polished web sites would be the thing of a very distant future - so we'll start giving-aways right away.. thank you

next time I should give video responses :p


I totally agree that product giveaways work really well. They incentivize an audience to interact on a new level. Even more, it brings different content to post on social networks. We've used it a lot for blogger outreach as well, which has created and built mutually beneficial relationships.


Make sure your giveaways can target the widest user base possible inside your company / product.

If you can, just don't give away at random. We had a 14 year member here at the NSCAA who had never been to our convention, but told us on twitter this week he was going. We sent him a polo, scarf and upgraded him to our VIP convention package as a simple way to say 'thank you' and to spread some good cheer. I could have given those away to someone else, but I know with this particular member we now are very well connected.


  1. […] Gini Dietrich is a pro when it comes to the weekly video. I’ve written elsewhere about how you can learn a lot from the conversational way she engages with her audience. There’s nothing better than putting your face in front of the camera and talking directly to stakeholders or potential prospects. […]

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