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Monday, May 04, 2009

How to write a complimentary letter and get free coupons

Recently, I read over at A Full Cup that someone sent an email to the makers of Shout stain remover, telling them how much she loved one of their products, and that in response, they sent her a coupon for a free product.

It was enough to get me over my hesitation of sending complimentary messages, which came about because my first experience went so badly. It was five or more years ago, when I called the 800 number on a package of Glide floss, and told the representative how much I loved their product. The rep said thank you, and that was the end of the call. I was much too shy to ask for a coupon, and it was many years until I tried again.

Since I keep Shout wipes at work, I emailed Shout myself and said that I love the wipes and keep them in my desk at work, and that I'm constantly handing them out to colleagues so they can erase their spills. I then asked for coupons. Two days later, I received an email thanking me, and a couple of days after that, my free product coupon arrived.

So here are the keys to a complimentary letter:
  • Keep it brief. Don't bury your request in a long missive.
  • Be honest. Have a genuine compliment. If you've never tried the product, say that instead to justify your request. If you have a suggestion for improving the product, tell them.
  • Make your request explicit. If you want a coupon, you can say something like, "I would appreciate some coupons for my next purchase of your product."
  • As always, be polite. There's really no excuse not to be.
Now, I'm off to see if there's an email contact form for Glide floss!

Previously: How to write an effective complaint letter

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  • At 5/4/09, 11:14 AM, Blogger Christina said…

    I haven't sent any e-mails, but I once called SC Johnson to tell them how much I love the Pledge MultiSurface cleaner and they sent me a coupon for a free bottle!

    Sometimes it pays to be nice!

  • At 5/5/09, 9:30 AM, Anonymous Money Beagle said…

    Great advice! I've sent thank you notes to various places that really impressed me, but never really thought to ask for anything until now!

  • At 5/6/09, 9:02 AM, Blogger SB said…

    I do this ALL THE TIME. I love one company in particular: King Arthur Flour. As a frugal momma, I try and save every penny, but their flour is so worth it, so I blabbered on and on about them on my BLOG.

    Well, apparently they have a web crawler because I got an e-mail and a FABULOUS (pricey) gift from those fab bakers at KAF!

    So speaking out can pay in oodles!
    You're right: don't be shy!

  • At 5/6/09, 4:21 PM, Anonymous Mama Bird said…

    I do this all the time with food coupons. Since most of what I buy is the type of food you don't normally find coupons for, I just email the company and ask for them. Nine times out of ten, they send me a few coupons. Some send more than others, but it just takes a minute or so to send an email.

  • At 5/12/09, 10:12 AM, Blogger Funny about Money said…

    Haven't landed any coupons doing this, but when I post a (well-earned) rave about some company or product, I e-mail a link to the corporate p.r. people. Occasionally you'll get a thank-you back, which is kinda nice.


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