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Friday, June 5, 2009

Killer Campaigns: Magnets

I love magnets! The prettiest ones grace the file cabinet in my studio. But I also like the magnets that give me important information, like: the date, emergency numbers, and my favorite pizza place (which also falls under emergency numbers).

For promotional purposes, an author's magnet might be a feasible swag item for you. If the magnet is pretty and colorful, it might end up on someone's refrigerator. And if you printed your name on a calendar, they might keep it for a whole year--and actually look at it from time to time.

One reason I so rarely rely on promotional knick-knacks is because I don't believe they have holding power. Magnets are reasonably useful in that if they are not flimsy, they might hold up a menu or an important number, thereby raising the chance that the recipient of your magnet might look you up.

But look at it from the consumer's point of view. How often on your way to the fridge have you ever said, "You know, I'm going to look up Zannini and see what her book is like."?

See what I mean?

The design, the imagery and the genre might appeal on a base level, but it rarely has the ability to hold on to them once they get that piece of pecan pie out of the fridge. Pie wins every time.

I was at an indie bookstore recently and picked up an absolutely gorgeous magnet for a fantasy author whose name I'd seen before on the bookshelves. She used the cover art of her book as her background of the magnet, and I reiterate, the art was stunning.

Yet, even if you threatened to put me in a room with a dozen screaming babies, I would NOT be able to tell you who the author was or the name of her book. I love this magnet, but it did ZERO to induce me to buy her book or remember her name.

Good art, clever titles and even name recognition is not enough to make a sale.

What good swag does is reinforce your brand or your name. Giving away swag by itself is not enough to produce a sale. Promo items, blurbs, reviews, and excerpts, along with a web site or blog have to work in chorus with each other. One marketing ploy alone isn't enough. It has to be part of the whole.

So if magnets appeal to you, (they appeal to me on account of their usefulness to hold things) here are some sites to try.

Payless Magnets

While business card magnets seem to be the cheapest, you might also consider doing:

• Memo holding magnets (they look like chip holders with a magnet on the back)
• Pad magnets (a pad of paper with a magnet on the back)
• Die-cut magnets in shapes that reflect your brand
• Calendar magnets (good for at least a year)

Copyright © 2009 Maria Zannini --

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