Ditch Your Business Card and Embrace Pens

This isn't the first time we've discussed why promotional pens are the perfect marketing tool for your business. And despite technological advancements and all the new-wave products you can offer your potential customers, it probably won't be the last.

Like the tried-and-true business card, pens still have an impact. But unlike their small rectangular peers, they have staying power. 

In the following article, we specifically will be talking about why you should consider pens in lieu of business cards. Let's start rolling! 

The Problem with Business Cards

Business cards are not inherently wrong. If you have a box and find yourself at a networking event, let 'em fly! But it's likely you're not accomplishing your one core goal when you hand them out.

The goal? To be remembered.

The reality of what happens when you hand off a business card is this. The recipient graciously accepts it. They may even have designs on holding onto it.

But inevitably, time will distance the two of you. They'll come down off the emotional high of meeting you, and they'll start wondering what value you bring to the table other than your fantastic personality.

Without you there to constantly reinforce, the business card will probably be dropped into a box or, worse, a trash bin and be forgotten. And that means you will be forgotten. 

Pens vs. Business Cards

The above scenario is typical for business cards. Even with the best of intentions, they usually don't leave much of an impression. Promotional pens are different. 

You should consider pens instead of business cards because there's nothing but upside to it. For evidence, let's examine: 

The Lifespan of a Promotional Pen

In a best-case scenario, the pen will get used by the person to whom it's gifted. At worst, it may get lost (then found) or passed along to someone else. Either way, it ends up in the hands of someone who can use it.

This usefulness will guarantee the user sees your business name and perhaps logo. Not only will they see it, but they'll think of it in a positive light. This represents impression marketing at its finest.

But promo pens go well beyond this in how they benefit the consumer. Keep reading. We're about to give you the two most effective ways of using them and: 

9 Core Benefits of a Promotional Pen

It's a safe assumption you're going to use these items to promote your business and perhaps network with others in your industry. But there are two primary ways that you'll be doing this. One requires a harder approach while the other follows the "soft sell" attack. 

Networking Events: At a networking event, your primary purpose is to get in front of people. That requires a certain degree of proactivity. You have to track down an event appropriate to your niche, target the right individuals, and make sure they leave their interaction with you, marketing materials in hand.

Day-to-Day Interactions: This is the soft sell we spoke of, and it involves some pretty simple approaches that even a full-fledged introvert can accomplish. These include: 

  • Always carrying the pen with you and using it when it comes naturally
  • Having a cup stocked with nothing but your pens at the front desk
  • Providing each event attendee with one of your pens whenever you give a presentation
  • Handing one out whenever someone asks if you have a pen and telling them to keep it

You can probably think of a dozen more, and if so, that's excellent! But now, let's move onto those core benefits, starting with: 

1. Cost-Effectiveness

This one will vary depending on the quality of the pen as well as design demands and the size of the order. But it's not uncommon when ordering to get what you're after for less than a dime per pen. 

For the sake of round numbers, let's say it costs you 10 cents each. That means for $1, you can reach and leave a positive impression on 10 potential new clients. That's using your money wisely! 

2. Free Residual Advertising

As good as No. 1 sounds, it's a bit short-sighted when we're talking financial impact. Let's say you hand off that $1 worth of pens to 10 people. The return on investment isn't done.

That's because other people will see it. And when they see it, your name and logo will reach their eyeballs without you having to spend another dime. 

But what are the chances of those "residual" eyeballs being relevant to your business? If social media has taught us anything, pretty darn good! 

That's because the recipients will be using their pens. And when they use them, it will likely be around other close friends and colleagues. (People likely to be in your target audience.) 

3. Functionality

Yes, many of us have gone all digital. But that doesn't mean the need for a pen has ceased. When you hand one out, it will get used.

If you want to build goodwill with the people receiving it, invest in a higher-quality pen. There's nothing worse than getting a brand new pen that barely writes. Remember, this may be your only chance to leave a quality impression.

Consider the pen -- and any promotional item, really -- a representation of your business. Because that's exactly what it is. And, right or wrong, it will affect your credibility. 

4. A Chance to Mix It Up

Sometimes businesses overlook the full potential of their promotional items when it comes to exercising creativity and mixing up the day-to-day branding. And yes, this goes beyond color schemes. 

You certainly can play with new color patterns using an order run of promo pens for testing. But you also can try new slogans, logos, and characters. 

Just make sure you don't stray too far from the brand image you're wanting to portray. Otherwise, it could get confusing to the public. 

5. Easy to Remember

People are just more apt to remember someone who gave them something useful. You can help that along by distinguishing your pens in some way. 

Think about a clever saying or a striking image of some kind. Perhaps change up the design-build from the standard narrow cylinder and go with something more oblong or ergonomically correct.

Study what others are doing in your industry. Then, dare to be different! 

6. Build Goodwill with Employees and Clients

Pens alone won't keep your business successful. But they can certainly open doors and build goodwill with clients and prospects. 

The older we get, the less we enjoy having our time wasted and space invaded. If you can give them anything they actually incorporate into the fabric of their lives, you'll stand out whenever they have a need for a company that offers your products or services.

7. Appeal to Techies

We spend more of our lives online and in front of a screen than ever before. But there's a tide turning against this. You can see it in the writings of productivity expert Cal Newport and his constant talk of digital minimalism

You also can see it in the move tech companies are making towards helping their users use technology more responsibly. Apple's weekly screen-time report is one example. 

In other words, techies aren't always interested in being techies. They want to get offline and scratch thoughts on paper. There's certainly cognitive advantages to handwriting. 

Going beyond this, however, you can turn your pens into a twofer by placing a stylus on the end. This delivers dual functionality in one product to your prospects and clients. 

8. Take Advantage of Holidays

There are lots of great promotional ideas you can incorporate during the holidays. We've covered several here. But pens are perhaps the best for many of the reasons already listed -- affordability, return on investment, especially.

During the holidays, these qualities are especially important. For one, they don't eat into your budget as much, and that can leave funds open to reward your employees during special times of the year.

Secondly, there's more business across every sector during the holidays. This increases your chances of making contact and getting those aforementioned residual eyeballs looking your direction during a time of year when sales are at their peak.

9. They Are 100-Percent Accepted

You probably won't get flat-out rejected by offering your business card to someone. But the chances are pretty strong that they're going to pitch it into the first wastebin that they find. 

If that doesn't happen, they'll stuff it into a pants pocket, forget about it, then throw it out with the lint when they get ready to do a wash. Pens often survive this treatment.

People make a point to save them. They don't ever want to be in a situation where they are caught without a writing utensil when they need one. And even if yours isn't the one that gets picked the next time that happens, it usually will stay in their lives until they need it or they pass it along to someone who does.

Pens Will Outlast Business Cards

Business cards have been a go-to marketing product for decades. But more and more business owners are starting to see their ineffectiveness at leaving a lasting impression. 

Pens get the job done, and it's easy to see why. They're easily adaptable and always functional. And if you're ready to get started with your next promotional order, work with Pens Xpress to get the exact style, specifications, and pricing that you need.