Promotional products can be a valuable part of your business’s marketing strategy if you know how to use them effectively. But if you don’t know how to use them effectively, promotional products can cost your business money and hold you back.
You need to make sure that customers keep and use your business’s promotional products. The good news is you don’t have to spend a fortune on fancy, expensive products to get the most bang for your marketing buck. It’s not so much what promotional product you offer but the usefulness of that product that keeps customers reaching for it again and again — and every time they do, they’ll see your business’s name and logo.
Give Products People Want
What happens when you hand out promotional products that no one wants or needs? Those products get tossed into the trash as soon as the customer walks out your door. At best, they’ll find their way into a junk drawer or wind up under the seat of the customer’s car. No one wants stickers, folders or safety whistles.
Choose a promotional product that your customers both want and need. Custom pens are an excellent option. Pens are one of the most popular promotional items in all price ranges. They’re a very versatile choice; lower-end promotional pens can still be nice, but higher-end promotional pens are also a thoughtful way to express your appreciation of a valued customer, even when you’re in high-end sales. Everyone uses pens; for most businesses, pens are among the most effective promotional tools.
Invest in Quality
The longer your promotional products last, the longer people will use them — and the longer your business’s name and logo will remain in their awareness. Don’t waste money on promotional pens that run dry, fall apart or clog up within the first few uses. Spend a little more to get quality pens that your customers will use again and again.
What makes a promotional pen high-quality? While it’s certainly appropriate to hand out very expensive pens if you’re selling very expensive products, there are plenty of economical pen options to suit the needs of the majority of business owners. A quality promotional pen is one that feels good when gripped. It writes smoothly and well on most surfaces and doesn't smear or bleed. Give out a promotional pen of a high enough quality that customers will be disappointed when they lose their pens. Offer a pen that’s of slightly higher quality than the kinds of pens your customers are accustomed to using, so that whenever they reach for a pen, they reach for your pen.
Don’t Skimp on Design
Your promotional products need to carry your business name or brand and logo, as well as your contact information, and all of that needs to be legible, organized and professional in appearance. Especially with promotional pens, it can be hard to decide what goes on the product and what stays off. You won’t able to fit your entire street address, phone number, website, business name, slogan and logo on the side of a pen. Nevertheless, you need to make your product distinctive, unique and tailored to your business.
Don’t hesitate to hire a graphic designer to make sure your logo, business contact information, slogan and other information is professionally designed in a vector-based format. Sloppy design work will only undermine your promotional efforts.
Ditch the Business Cards — Use Promotional Products Instead
Here’s another reason why promotional pens are so useful for businesses. Most people don’t keep business cards; think about how many business cards you receive at the average trade show or industry event. The average attendee will get a whole stack of business cards that he or she will probably never look at again and just toss into the nearest garbage can. When you hand out a small promotional product instead, you stand a much better chance of getting noticed and remembered — especially if it’s a useful product, like a pen.
Offer Discounts to People Who Keep Your Promotional Products
If you choose a useful, high-quality promotional product, you can count on most people hanging on to it no matter what. Offering discounts to customers who show the product at your place of business later can give customers an added incentive to hang onto the product. Your promotional pens should already have your contact information printed on them; it’s easy enough to add a discount offer to that information. “Show this pen and get 10 percent off” sweetens the pot for customers who may have been ambivalent about actually using your services.
When you use them properly, promotional products can be one of the most effective marketing tools your business has. Make sure you’re giving people useful products that they can use again and again. The right promotional products can help you attract new customers and keep old customers loyal; some customers might even give you their business just for the chance of another free gift.