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Leave-Behinds Help Experiences Become Memories

A few weeks ago my friend Laura went on vacation to a large, vibrant Northwestern city. The highlight of her trip was a guided tour of four microbreweries over the course of one long, beer-filled Saturday afternoon. Despite the amount (and strength) of the beer she sampled, Laura came away with a pretty strong improvement in her craft beer knowledge and a surprising number of new “favorite” beers. Her secret?

A handy little booklet. 

A Useful Tool to Enhance the Guest Experience

leave-behindsAt the beginning of the tour, when the 12-person group settled in to brewery number one for their first round of five beer samples, the guide passed out a colorful, illustrated, pocket-sized guide to each tour member. The guide had facts about the brewing process, trivia about beer, and space for Laura to make notes about the breweries they visited and beers she tasted. Even if her memory got a little unreliable, being able to write down notes as she experienced each place and taste helped her memorialize the experience and remember the things she liked best. It also had information about the company's other tours, contact information, and a referral code offering 10% off future tours.

When Laura returned home, she had a souvenir of her trip, a reminder of her unique afternoon, and a way to share her experience with the company with others. Because the booklet is small, well designed, and full of useful information, she’ll likely hold onto it in case her travels bring her back to the city. By being helpful to your target audience, interactive leave-behinds become informative references as well as attractive keepsakes. 

A Clever, Efficient Marketing Device

From the tour company’s point of view, the tour journals are not only a way to enhance the guests’ tour experiences but also an efficient, effective marketing tool. Each booklet costs a little under a dollar to produce; the brand-emblazoned pen it gives each tour guest to accompany the tour journal costs only a few cents more. Once the guest leaves the tour, there are countless ways that booklet could lead to organic marketing opportunities.

  • Guest takes it home, tells her friends, refers new customers directly to the business.
  • Guest takes it home, writes an online review (suggested in the booklet), improves the business’ ratings, and boosts overall visibility, inspiring additional bookings by other tourists.
  • Guest leaves it in hotel room, where housekeeping employee picks it up because it looks like an interesting thing for her own out-of-town visitors to do while she’s working. Concierge sees it and refers hotel guests to business.
  • Guest flips through it in a bar before leaving town, sparking conversation with other tourists at the bar who are interested in beer. Guest shares her discount referral code, and bar patrons book their own tour experience.
  • Guest leaves pen in her purse and uses it 100 times before eventually losing it. 10 of those times lead to an interaction with someone about the fantastic beer tour she went on while on vacation.

Obviously, these are only a few potential ways this little booklet (or the pen) could continue to act as a useful marketing tool long after it fulfills its initial purpose. Incorporating a functional, branded item into your customer’s experience can both fulfill their immediate need and encourage them to subtly continue to market your product or service. As indispensible as digital marketing may be right now, sometimes there’s no substitute for something you can hold in your hand. Whether it’s something you give your customers to enhance their experience with you, a brochure marketing your services, a flyer with information about a special event, or a coupon with a special discount, printed marketing still resonates with many customers and can be an extremely effective marketing strategy.

Print Services in Des Moines and Denver

Blue Frog marketing can help you design and print unique, useful, and memorable print marketing items including brochures, booklets, rack cards, postcards, flyers, handouts, and more. We also have over 300,000 customizable promotional items that you can browse at Our Des Moines-based marketing company has been a trusted leader in the Iowa marketing and commercial printing community for seven years. Contact us today to find out how we can help your business with your branding and commercial printing needs.

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Photo courtesy of Brewvana, Portland, Oregon. 

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