Going analog at a digital marketing conference

Swag. Giveaways. Free stuff.

Part of the fun of conferences is collecting promo items from marketers and seeing what everyone else is doing to promote their brands. Does it wow me? Is it memorable? Is it cheap looking? Does it communicate your brand story?

As my speaking engagement for Social Media Camp approaches, I've been racking my brain (read: obsessively googling) for ideas of things a writer could give away that would make an impact. A pen? Post-its? Mini journals? A slick rack card with super valuable writing advice?

Getting swag right

Promo items are tough to get right. Whenever I help companies or organizations choose giveaways, I recommend choosing something that does two things:

  1. makes the recipient light up when they see it (positive emotional response) and
  2. leads the recipient to keep the item (long-term impact).

The perfect giveaway

I was lucky to be struck by a great idea: postcards.

Not sales-y postcards with my information on it (the only place a postcard like that would go is straight in the garbage), but beautiful blank postcards for people to mail to loved ones.

Here are some questions I considered before landing on postcards:

  1. What results am I hoping for when someone gets my item?
    Answer: I want my item to bring people joy. And, I want them to be moved to make it social — tweet about the item or tell a friend.
  2. Which of my brand values must be present in the item I choose?
    Answer: Sincerity. Reliability. Follow-through.
  3. Anything else?
    Answer: I'd love it if the item helps people engage with writing in a way that gives them a positive association with it — and extend that positive feeling to me.

Postcards checked every box.

I came up with two designs and included messaging on the back side about keeping the art of letter writing alive and added information about me.

I've decided to hand out postage, too, to make it easy and save people the trip to the post office. Instead, they'll be able to pop the postcard in the mail right at the conference.

The designs

Send mail, send love

Thanks to Vistaprint for the affordable, good quality postcards. I'm already planning the next set.

If you're attending Social Media Camp, tweet me at @jrwoollard, and I'll be thrilled to place one of these postcards in your hands, so you can spread the love — of writing and snail mail.

Watch Twitter around May 2 and 3 to see the reaction to the postcards.

Jessica Woollard