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Blog Interview with Premiums Expert Amy Carichner

Advantages Of Direct Mail Marketing

Amy CarichnerToday’s interview is with our business partner Amy Carichner from PrintWorks Etc. She specializes in print production and promotional items, and she also recently launched a t-shirt printing service at pweapparel.com. We asked Amy to share some of her knowledge about premiums which includes solid advice and tips – see below!


1. Quick bio — who are you and what do you do?


Twenty years ago I began my career in printing and mail management after graduating with a Graphic Communications Degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. For some time, I worked on the sales and marketing side of the industry in order to master my technique. After awhile, I felt compelled to set out on my own and created my own company, PrintWorks, Etc. I was able to incorporate promotional items into our portfolio alongside the printing and mail management.

In 2011, PrintWorks, Etc. was awarded the distinction of becoming a Certified Women’s Business Enterprise, an honor given to a very select group of businesses throughout the United States.


2. Can you give an example of a successful campaign that used premiums?


We specialize in custom products that represent your business or campaign to the specific demographic you are targeting. 80% of customers identify a brand with its promotional items and the average premium is kept for 5 months! For example, Wholly Guacamole needed an idea on how to promote their 100 calorie snack packs. The idea to send out “Lunch Box Kits” was a huge hit! The lunchboxes, that had their logo and the message “Out to Lunch, Be back at _____” contained a dry erase marker, 2 varieties of 100 calorie snack packs, an avocado squeeze ball, a branded chip clip and coupons. There was tremendous feedback on the lunchbox, which gives the brand at least 5, 10 or even 15 minutes more in front of the consumer than traditional advertising!


3. What tip can you give for picking the most effective premiums?


It’s very important that a company sees their promotional vendor as an extension of their marketing and public relations team. The more information they have, the better they will be at narrowing down over 10,000 products to just a few that will fit your campaign. There are so many products to pick from that can be tied in to your brand; you don’t have to just do a pen anymore!


4. What are some of the best evergreen type premiums marketers should consider and why?


Pens are the obvious and first choice and while they can be unique, useful and memorable, we always encourage people to take a stretch on what they consider for branding. Lip balm is great because it works for all ages and genders and is useful through out the seasons. People love Handy wipes, tissues, antibacterial sprays. Cups and mugs are exceptional for long-term use, because people hang on to them for years. Hats and T-shirts are also great, because it serves both as something memorable but also a marketing piece that travels with the wearer! The average American man owns 8 promotional hats and will keep a promotional t-shirt up to five years!


5. Do you have any final advice for marketers?


Take your time! Your premiums vendor needs time to research and come up with the best fit for your company, and you need to be fully on board with the premiums that the two of you decide on. When you go cheap and fast, it will look cheap and fast!

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I'm the Director of Digital Services and Partner at Ballantine, a family-owned and operated direct mail & digital marketing company based in New Jersey. and started in 1966 by my great uncle!