Ride-Along Marketing – Efficient & Effective

In my June SMART Ideas newsletter (www.smartideasformarketing.com), which was just mailed to subscribers, I focused the issue on something I call “ride-along marketing.”

Ride-along marketing is a type of marketing campaign any business owner can leverage to get specific marketing messages in front of a specific person by “riding along” with something this person is already engaged with.

A common example is the envelope of offers which ride-along with a product you purchase online from a company such as Puritan Pride.

Ride-along marketing is efficient because the method of delivery is already paid for (typically by the person receiving it), thereby reducing the cost to get the message in front of the person.

Ride-along marketing is effective because the one of the best customers to sell to is the happy customer.  So if your ride-along campaigns use product shipments, newsletter inserts, or even invoice mailings, there’s a very good chance it will get noticed and acted upon.

In this article, I thought I would show a few of the more interesting ride-along marketing campaigns I’ve come across, with the hope that one of them may inspire an idea for your own unique ride-along campaign.  If you have your own unique ride-along campaign, share it with us below in the comments section.

Delivery Truck Advertising

A few weeks back I was driving and noticed a local grocery store’s delivery truck.  What made it so unique is the fact they had a ride-along direct-response marketing campaign on the back of the truck.  They could have simply left the back of the truck blank or put the typical message on it, but instead they used this valuable real estate to try to get a response.

My client, Gardner’s Mattress & More (www.gardnersmattressandmore.com), uses their delivery truck as a marketing medium as well (as a side note, I believe Jeff and Ben were the first ever to use CopyDoodles® on a truck).

Double-Sided Business Cards

I’ve written about this topic before (www.mikecapuzzi.com/business-card-layouts), but it’s so simple to do I wanted to remind everybody about it again.  If you use business cards and are only using one side of them, you’re missing a huge ride-along marketing opportunity.  Smart marketers use the second side of a business card for testimonials, lead-generation offers and service and product listings.

Package Labels & Stickers

If you send any type of physical package, you have a lot of real estate on the outside of the package for a ride-along marketing message.  Not every ride-along marketing campaign has to be selling something you can create a campaign that helps people use your product, get them to fill out a survey, or simply (as in my example) to say a personal thank you.  Creating these labels and stickers is very inexpensive and easy to do.

Drew Estate Cigar Band

This example has been waiting in my article bin since November 2010 and is finally seeing the light of day as a unique product label ride-along message.  Drew Estate is a very forward-thinking, personality-driven cigar manufacturer, so it came as no surprise when I unwrapped a cigar a few years back to see they had a marketing message on the hidden side of the cigar band. The company knows most cigar smokers take the cigar band off while smoking, so why not take advantage of the side that just about every other cigar-maker neglects?  Drew Estate could have easily improved upon this by saying something like…

“Did you enjoy this cigar?  Save $10 off your next purchase with coupon code LIKE” or something along those lines to get some type of response.

How Can You Use Ride-Along Marketing?

I hope this article has gotten you thinking about your own marketing and whether or not there are some unexploited opportunities for creating new sales or simply getting customer feedback.  Look at your marketing, sales and fulfillment process and see where you might be able to plug in a ride-along marketing campaign or two.

If you’re currently using some sort of ride-along marketing, I would love to hear from you, so leave a comment and describe your campaign and how it works for you!

About Mike Capuzzi

Mike is a publisher, Amazon # best-selling author, and coach for business owners, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders looking to stand out from the competition by authoring, publishing and leveraging short, helpful books. He is the author of 19 books, including two Amazon #1 Best Sellers. Learn more about his publishing opportunities at BiteSizedBooks.com.

10 Comments

  1. Mark Silet on May 22, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Mike,

    Great post. This actually reminds me of the electric box, furnace or water heater at My house. All have service stickers stuck to the front of them by the last service company that had been called to do work or maintenance on them. If you are having a problem with your furnace and you are staring at a phone number of someone who can fix it, how likely are you going to be to call that number?

    • Mike Capuzzi on May 22, 2013 at 9:08 am

      Mark – that’s a great example and one all home service providers should figure out how to use. Thanks for the note!

  2. Andrew Mazer on May 22, 2013 at 10:11 am

    What a coincidence. I was just thinking of this because I sell a heck of a lot of Do-It-Yourself floor covering online and should be seeking out companies to Ride Along in MY packages for a fee.

    Mike, if you or any of your audience has some idea what it might be worth (as a price for me to charge)to put a message in my packages or even putting a value to my ever-growing list of consumers who have spent money with me online for D-I-Y products, I would appreciate the feedback.

    • Mike Capuzzi on May 22, 2013 at 10:53 am

      Andrew – you are in an enviable “toll gate” position and should definitely figure this out. As I see it you have a few possible options.
      1. You can charge an up-front fee for others to ride-along in your marketing. I cannot tell you what this fee is because I don’t know all the details (e.g. reach, typical product price of third-party products, etc.).
      2. You can create some type of joint venture and do a revenue share, though this can quickly get tedious when it comes to book-keeping.
      3. You can include this ride-along benefit as a membership benefit to being a client or member of your program.

  3. GiladG on May 22, 2013 at 11:08 am

    HA! Love it! We sell a lot of products on Amazon with Amazon’s own fulfillment and have been looking for an idea on how to convert those buyers into real leads since Amazon doesn’t really share their info.

    Packaging is sealed from the factory so can’t add anything in but a ride-along CTA sticker on the back of the package inviting buyer to enjoy “more” seems to be just the solution that we needed.

    So simple but so powerful. Thank you Mike!

    • Mike Capuzzi on May 22, 2013 at 11:33 am

      Gilad – Exactly! A few years back, I gave that very exact ideas to a very well known marketer and entrepreneur who had the same problem you expressed. He could not do anything to the package (for a number of reasons), but he could (and did) add a simple sticker to capture the buyers info.

  4. Dr. Carney on May 22, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Mike,
    I was at a mastermind the other night, and I have to tell you Sandro was right on. He said he uses his product’s nutritional label as a business card, and I’m sure you already know this, but you most likely listened to the same
    CD I did. It was amazing. In fact I sent him one of my check letters to get his attention, and I’ll discuss that with you at the upcoming event when we go to the ballgame. See you there.
    Dr. Carney

    • Mike Capuzzi on May 22, 2013 at 11:34 am

      Thanks Doc – Look forward to seeing you in July!

  5. Amy Bryan on May 22, 2013 at 11:16 am

    We do things like this with a lot of our mailing pieces. While we are in insurance & can’t legally give discounts or giveaways to clients as a tie-in to a sale, we include our referral program/ contest in all of our mailings plus about the other products we offer such as life insurance, business insurance, etc.

    • Mike Capuzzi on May 22, 2013 at 11:35 am

      Thanks for the note Amy! Keep up the smart marketing!

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