Incentive, Thank You, or Gimmick?

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Incentive, Thank You, or Gimmick?

Postby goodknightdj » Tue Nov 29, 2005 9:29 am

Hi,

Do you give your bride and groom something as a thank you gift or incentive for booking you? Do you think of this as an incentive, thank you gift, or gimmick?


Answers.com defines gimmick as:

An innovative stratagem or scheme employed especially to promote a project: an advertising gimmick.


Personally, I think of a gimmick as a valueless object used as a hook and that seems to be the general perception of most people. If you don't place any value on an item, why should your client?

Now, I started this thread based on a thread on another board. That thread was discussing giving a CD with the special songs on it to the bride and groom. One DJ in that thread said:

Not to derail the thread, but if DJs concentrated on the SERVICE aspect - not GIMMICKS, we would be better off. The lower budget bride likes gimmicks - the more upscale clients could care less. Those are the clients I reach out to.

Many moons ago:
I gave out Beanie Baby wedding bears - zilch!


Was this "Beanie Baby wedding bear" personalized with the bride and groom's name and date of the wedding or was it just thrown at them with a half hearted "thanks for the business". My guess is the latter.

The DJ in question went on to say:
I gave a 1st dance plaque - nada!

This is a step in the right direction but, again, was sincerity involved?

Throwing gimmicks in their face does get you nowhere, but, if you take the time to offer them something they can use or something that can serve as a fond memory as an incentive to book with you or as a thank you gift for booking with you does add value to your service.

I give them "Fly Free" vouchers. Since many of my brides and grooms are booking six months to a year out, they have not finalized their honeymoon plans. The "Fly Free" voucher gives them a way to save some money on airline tickets and gives them something they can use. Sure, they have to use the resorts or hotels offered with the package, but, in the long run they are saving some money (which could be spent on me, LOL).

Now, for the DJs that offer custom CDs, did you know that Sony offers a music compilation service? Check it out here.

Now, what are your thoughts? Tell us about the incentives or thank you gifts you offer.
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Re: Incentive, Thank You, or Gimmick?

Postby Karl Langford » Tue Nov 29, 2005 10:55 am

I also posted on the other board. Here is what I wrote.

Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2005 9:19 am Post subject:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think the biggest thing is, with Greyhounds CD, he advertises it. A lot of people give gifts after the fact, (I do) and they have no idea it is coming. I feel that has more merit than when they know they are getting something like a CD of any other gift.

To see my gift, go back to the original thread and see the link to it.

It is a picture of the B and G in a nice frame with their name, wedding date, 1st dance song and artist on it.

I have 1 bride who keeps this on her desk at work and says it is the best picture from the wedding.

Another who asked for a copy of it to make it into holiday cards for this year.

They have no idea it is coming and the wedding is over. It is not a ploy or gimmik to get them to book. I think that is where everyone is having a problem. He is advertising it to get the to book.

I used to give the CD out until coming here and learing about the legalities of it. That is when we switched to the photo gift.



I added the pic of the gift. Hope it worked.
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Postby Dave Miller » Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:37 am

People almost always, sooner or later, will look at a "free gift" and think, "How much did this 'free' gift cost me?" I.E., How much of the price I paid for the product/service purchased, was used to pay for this free gift?

Karl -
I like that idea. It looks sincere enough, and looks inexpensive enough. I'm betting the thing cost you less than $5 per wedding.

Note: Why is the frame bigger than the picture? And your name isn't on it. While that adds to the credibility and sincerity of the gift, it reduces your ongoing advertising value.


Goodnight -
As a client, I would have to ask myself, "How much did this 'free' airfare cost me?"

I think I've asked you that before, maybe on another board, and your reply indicated that you got some special deal going on where it was dirt cheap. If my recolation is accurate, then great, but does the client know that?


Personally, I give out Teddy Bears. Seems like an obvious choice considering my name.

But I don't do anything fancy (i.e. costly) like getting them customized with the client's name, or even customized with my own name, since both of these options are obvious expenses that have little value. Instead I use a standard price tag barb gun to attach my business card to the bear. Will the card eventually come off? Sure. But the bears cost about a buck each, and the gun with 1,000 barbs cost $14. I think people will think I spent maybe $2 per bear. That falls under the 'radar' for people thinking that the price they paid was bumped up to pay for the 'free' gift.

And, yeah, I think its a cheezy gift. If my name was DJ Dave, there would be no gift at all.
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Re: Incentive, Thank You, or Gimmick?

Postby Karl Langford » Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:45 am

Teddybear,

the cost of the frame is aboutr $1.50 at walmart. We also use the photo machines at walmart to do the picture, .39 cents. The paper is called vellum and my wife uses it for her scrapbooking. So it is about $5.00 after tax and mailing it costs a couple bucks with postage and bubble envelope and such.

This was my wifes first attempt at the picture. I actually forgot my camera for this wedding and the brides sister is a friend of mine and a photographer and she gave me this pic. Now the picture and frame and the paper with the info on it are all the same size.

I do not put my name on it anywhere because I do not want them to feel this is a ploy for business referrals. I do include my feedback sheet and 2 business cards in the envelope with a nice cover thank you letter when I send it.

I think the cards work just as well as the putting my name on it somewhere. Maybe on the back would work but as of right now, I think I will leave it off.
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Re: Incentive, Thank You, or Gimmick?

Postby goodknightdj » Tue Nov 29, 2005 12:01 pm

Interesting, ProDJ took the post off. Oh well. Another reason to distance myself from that forum.

As to the Flyfree, I do have information on the webpage about it but I am contemplating taking it off. As to the cost, $30 per voucher but you have to advertise in Premiere Bride Magazine to get the deal. I don't talk about the price of the voucher to my clients but I do tell them that they have to use the hotels or resorts in the package. This is not a problem for them.

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Re: Incentive, Thank You, or Gimmick?

Postby djmc » Tue Nov 29, 2005 2:50 pm

goodknightdj wrote:Interesting, ProDJ took the post off. Oh well. Another reason to distance myself from that forum.


WELCOME TO THE CLUB.....lol :hahaha:
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Postby CJ Greiner » Wed Nov 30, 2005 5:14 am

I can't figure out why they took the post off! :? :?:
____________________________________________


To specifically answer your question, No. I don't use a give-away or anything like that as a gimmick or incentive to get my clients to book me the first time. Well... I do include lights in my pricing, but that's just the way I price my packages -- not something extra that they get "because they decided to book me instead of someone else".

Now, there are things that I like to do during my events that add value, but that's not what your original question was asking. The things I like to do include using CD plaques, Gold Record Plaques and something else new that I'd like to try at my next wedding in two weeks: an "instant photo album".
These are all ideas I use to garner re-bookings and referrals from my clients to boost future business.
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Postby goodknightdj » Wed Nov 30, 2005 10:22 am

CJ Greiner wrote:I can't figure out why they took the post off!


CJ:

I was told that the post violated the TOS. Please consult John Galagher (JWG) for further information on this.

I have removed ProDJ from all of my favorites and disabled e-mail notification from that site so I have no idea what is happening there anymore.


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Postby CJ Greiner » Wed Nov 30, 2005 12:42 pm

Maybe because you advertised the Sony service, or perhaps the travel vouchers?
It doesn't make any sense to me! :?
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Postby Karl Langford » Wed Nov 30, 2005 12:48 pm

I think the thing I look at with my gift is I do not give it to them until after the fact. It may be a week, sometimes longer if I am busy. I don't put my name on it so it is a sincere thank you for letting me be part of their night. Yes, I am hoping it will push them into referring me or using my services again but I feel I do an outstanding job at their wedding that that will be enough.

With prodj, the post was resubmitted onto the Marketing forum. Edited but resubmitted.
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Re: Incentive, Thank You, or Gimmick?

Postby sddj » Thu Dec 01, 2005 12:58 am

Nope, no giveaways, gimmicks or thank you's after the fact. Other than, good, clean "thankyou" for the business comments.

Maybe I am cold and heartless...but weddings are the least repetitive year to year, of ANY type of business you will get as a DJ. So why spend your money on something that may require longer than a 1 yr payback on investment?

Perhaps you could do this sort of thing for an annual type of company party etc... but for a wedding, other than publicity purposes, I have never found it returned the time, effort and money in new bookings.

As an example, we used to do a personalized plaque for each bride and groom.. it would be presented as a surprise to them, after the garter and bouquet... sort of brought the focus back to them. We did this for years, perhaps 5-7 yrs or so. And it always got a "oooh", or "aahhh" from the crowd... and many time got the bride to tear up. But then one day I asked myself... did we ever get new weddings booked, based on this single item? My answer was NO. So the plaque went away, it was replaced by a very nice mid evening dance, and about $100 per month was saved....

That's my story, and I am sticking to it.. lol
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Re: Incentive, Thank You, or Gimmick?

Postby Karl Langford » Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:25 am

SDDJ,

I can see your point to an extent. Spending what you spent is quite a bit. I spend like I said, Maybe $5.00 for the gift. I did (or will) do 29 weddings in 2005. 29 x $5.00 = $145. If I get one referral off of 29 gifts. I make my money back multiple times. Yes it may take a year to get the money, i.e. the wedding is a year away, but the ROI is there. Your amount was a great deal more so maybe not the same ROI.

I live in a small community. I run into my couples once in a while. Not sure if you do but I feel this is a great marketing tool even though it is a sincere thank you for the business.
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Re: Incentive, Thank You, or Gimmick?

Postby jwg » Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:02 pm

I can remember the days when I spend $25.00 per framed Gold Record. One time I almost didn't receive one in time for a reception that I had already paid for. Initially, it got the ooohs and aaahs after a presented it to the couple after the first dance but ended up buried on the gift table. Not a worthy investment.

Karl, what you offer looks inviting. Could one photoshop the name of the couple over the picture after taking a photo?

What I've been doing is going to a website where you can create your own greeting card. I copy and paste the image into the card of the couple then handwrite a thank you after the event. Costs me the cost of a stamp (which I hear is going up a lil' soon).
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Re: Incentive, Thank You, or Gimmick?

Postby goodknightdj » Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:17 pm

I was just thinking. Yeah, that was the burning smell.

But, anyway, on DJ Chat John P indicated that he got a piece of software that prints up wine labels. He makes up one for the B&G and puts it on a good by inexpensive cabernet. He then leaves it onh the B&G's gift table without any fanfare. He indicated that he's had some great success with this. I was wondering if it simply was a quality gift with no mention before hand or any kind of presentation tha made the difference.

Karl's is the same idea. No mention of the framed picture, no fanfare, no presentation. Just a simple gift that can serve as a memento and a thank you.

Please chime in with your thoughts on this.

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Postby Karl Langford » Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:30 pm

John, I suppose you could do it that way. My wife is the crafty one she came up with this. It gives it a soft look to it and a couple of people thought it was actually engraved. But it is just the craft paper on top of the photo. The words printed on the paper.

I have never used photo shop but I think that would also work.
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Re: Incentive, Thank You, or Gimmick?

Postby jwg » Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:17 pm

Just trying to follow along here...what is used to print on the vellum? Inket printer?
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Re: Incentive, Thank You, or Gimmick?

Postby sddj » Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:13 am

Vellum is just a specific type of paper... usually basis weight, brightness and opacity dependant. Used for specific types of applications. Hope that helps John...
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Re: Incentive, Thank You, or Gimmick?

Postby jwg » Fri Dec 02, 2005 12:30 am

SDDJ:

I understood that part, just wondered if printing with an inkjet printer whether it would smear or not and how it would appear after printing.
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Postby Karl Langford » Fri Dec 02, 2005 9:56 am

we use inkjet and you need o let it dry before messing with it or it will smear. Trial and error.

I think I will play with the photo suite program I have but never use to see how that will look. John has me thinking. :D
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Re: Incentive, Thank You, or Gimmick?

Postby jwg » Fri Dec 02, 2005 1:42 pm

Actually, the vellum softens the look to the picture and makes it that much more unique. Is it only available in craft stores?

It's funny, ask any children planning their parents' wedding anniversary where they will hire entertainment. "What was their first dance?" The parents never remember. This is a long lasting, somewhat inexpensive way for them to do so.

Unfortunately, I won't get a chance to perform at any of my past clients' 50th, but imagine DJing their anniversary and playing the song they remember and the framed print you made will be on display.
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