Promotional Items Make Marketing Sense

Promotional products litter the landscape. You might see them at the gym, with people wearing corporate T-shirts. You could pull one out of the cabinet as you enjoy your morning cup of coffee. The next time you sign a letter or a check, you could be using a promotional pen. Every time you see a promotional product, it leaves an impression. The expanded lifespan and possibility to pass through multiple hands is just part of what makes promotional products such effective marketing.

Promotional products can include everything from drinkware to product bags and writing pens to stationary. But, no matter what the form, personalized giveaways offer better retention than other traditional marketing avenues. The recall data is clear:

  • Only 27 percent of people recall banner ads.
  • Print and TV ads do better at 53.5 percent.
  • Promo products easily top the list at 76.1 percent.

Sure, promotional products might cost more per unit, but the dramatic difference in retention makes them a solid investment. Plus, everyone likes getting something for free, so promo products can help buy some goodwill along with every impression.

In fact, promotional items are so effective that the industry brings in $16.9 billion in spending each year. If you look at direct marketing spend, promotional products get three times the marketing dollars compared to search marketing. Why? Because it works.

The Data Behind Promo Marketing

When you want to build brand awareness, create brand evangelists, take cold calls and warm them up or just improve your existing customers' loyalty, promotional materials can do more than almost anything else. Unsure about the results from promo marketing? Here's the data to back it up.

  • Promotional products are used regularly. 73 percent of people say they use promotional products at least once a week.
  • A whopping 45.2 percent use one every day.
  • Simply handing out promos can boost your image, according to 52.1 percent of participants in the DRW Airport Study.
  • According to that same Airport Study, 52 percent of people became customers after getting a promo product.
  • A Georgia Southern University Study showed that 76.3 percent of participants looked more favorably at companies that passed out promos.

Better Recall Leads to More Referrals

With promo products, it's not just about the immediate advertising opportunity. Sure, the person you give the promo to is more likely to do business with you, but they are also more likely to give you referral business - sometimes by as much as 500 percent. You also expand your ability to collect new leads. No one wants to give out a list of contact information that can result in spam, but customers who get a promotional product are 14 percent more likely to offer up a list of leads.

So, promo products generate more leads and help turn leads into customers. They also extend the life of your advertising campaign. Consider the fact that 33.7 percent of business travelers have a promo item on their person right now, according to the DRW Airport study. Most people keep promos for at least six months. Depending on the item, it could pass through many hands before finally finding a trash can. Then, every person who uses the promotional item is a potential lead and an advertiser for your company. It just depends on what promotional items you choose.

Why Choose Promotional Pens

Some companies like to go with unusual or out-of-the-box promo items. Sure, these can draw a lot of attention in the short term, but they rarely have the lifespan of standard items that last. Since one of the biggest benefits to using promotion items is the long-term advertising benefit, selecting something to stand out may not be the best option. After all, you want something practical that people will continue to use, day in and day out.

Pens make an excellent choice for several reasons.

  1. Target by location. Where people use a promo item is very important. It doesn't do your company a lot of good if the only time a business remembers your company is while an employee is on vacation. Pens sit on desks and in pockets, and people see them on a regular basis, particularly when they are in the position to make a purchase.
  2. Practical and useful. There are several ways to approach promotional items. One is to buy something that is so useful that people keep it handy. Another is to buy something that is very high quality and demonstrates the value you place on the relationship. Finally, you can go with something unique. Pens can hit each of these value points while always maintaining the baseline of practical and useful.
  3. Promote your brand. Surface area is another big consideration. A small item like a memory stick, while useful and practical, may not have enough printable area to be a good choice to advertise your brand. Customizable pens offer enough space to include your logo, company name and a few different contact avenues like your website, email and telephone number.
  4. Size matters. You pass out heavy or bulky promo items, and people may not want to carry them around. Something too small gets lost quickly and doesn't give you the marketing reach you need from a relatively expensive investment. Pens hit that nice middle ground of portability and reliability, so owners take the time to make sure they have one to hand.

Pens change hands on a constant basis. How many times have you walked away with a shop's pen? Need to jot something down and don't have anything to write with? You'll ask to borrow a pen. Even if you return it, you've still seen the advertising. Every time a pen changes hands, temporarily or permanently, it extends its marketing reach. For your best customers, you can order personalized pens with their names printed along with your company info. For mass giveaways, there are inexpensive options. The next time you need to order a promo, think about ordering a pen.

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