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This story appears in the May 1997 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

They're politely known as "advertising specialties" or "free gifts." I prefer to call them bribes. But whatever term you use, know that bribes are a bang-up marketing tool for all demographic groups.

Unlike premiums, which may require a purchase, bribes are given for free. They are used to generate leads, increase name awareness, make friends, thank customers, boost store traffic, introduce new things, motivate people to act, and create an unconscious obligation to do business with you.

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