free keysIf you’re looking for an effective way to increase foot traffic and boost sales to your business or your website, consider offering a complimentary product or service voucher.

A product voucher is different than a typical coupon promotion because it doesn’t include a discount, rather it features one of the most powerful words in marketing: FREE.

Use a voucher to:

  • Build new clientele who may not be aware of what products you offer. “Stop in for a free sample.”
  • Entice loyal customers to try a new product. “Exclusive Free offer to our loyal customers.”
  • Encourage more sales. “Buy one get on free.”

Free Lunch

Here are ways you can use product/service vouchers in both electronic and traditional print:

  1. Track the response rate of promotions by including a special code on vouchers for each type of promotion. You can track response to an email blast, too.
  2. Create vouchers as a tear away item on folded postcards or self-mailers that announce new products, statement stuffers with customer invoices, giveaways at community events to build awareness, or staple to receipts as a “thank you” for a recent purchase.
  3. Create a sense of urgency by providing a short window of time that the voucher is valid.
  4. Be sure to have lots of the item in stock, yet use safety disclaimer “while supplies last” to not only create excitement, but also protect you should your promo be more successful than you’ve anticipated.
  5. If you run out of the complimentary items, consider an alternative item to ensure a positive customer experience rather than turning customers away empty handed.
  6. Create excitement by announcing that your first XX customers will receive a product voucher at the door or respond to your email.
  7. Send product vouchers as a thank you for customers who refer your business to others.
  8. Give away product vouchers at tradeshows and other events as a memorable way to encourage prospects to visit your business.
  9. Create a product voucher with your business card designed as a tear away. They will be more likely to hold onto a voucher, as well as your card.
  10. Build your marketing database by encouraging customers to go to your website to request a voucher be sent to them if they fill out a form with contact information.
  11. Vouchers are also a great way to increase store traffic and boosting sales while clearing out discontinued merchandise. Perhaps the customer will find something else to purchase while redeeming the voucher.

Free Sample

Now, the best way to use these vouchers is to get the customer to come to you. There are additional costs if you offer it for free and then have to ship it. Depending on your product, it may be worth the extra cost to you to ship a small item…but the idea is to get your customer in the door.

There is also the “Buy something and get something free” which is almost a voucher—that way, you’re adding value, but giving something away that they may continue to use or look at as a frequent reminder of where they got it: YOU.

Limited time offer

I know that one or more of the above tips have worked on me! And, there are websites and stores I visit frequently because the item I received through a product voucher was of high quality—now I think of them, first, when looking for a specific product.

Give it a try…see how it works for you!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /