Promotional products are huge. It’s practically impossible to think of a successful business that doesn’t have some sort of promo product, be it nothing more than the standard branded pens.
Before you decide to make the leap into promo products, make sure that you have some idea of what “branding” means. Build your company image with a well-designed logo and standard slogan. Your company brand can be enhanced by promo products, but you must have a good logo to start with.
What are Promotional Products, and Do They Work?
In simplest terms, promo products are useful or decorative items – merchandise – imprinted with a company’s name, logo, or slogan and used in marketing campaigns. The most common promo items are pens, mugs, and mouse pads.
Baylor University conducted a study on promo products, to survey how effective they actually are. In the study, 3,000 school administrators were divided into three groups and sent a specific type of mailing. The first group received a simple envelope with a sales letter and business reply card. The second group received an envelope with the same sales letter and reply card, but they also were given a promotional product. The last group received all of the contents that the second group did, but their mail was delivered in a box instead of an envelope.
How did it turn out? Actually, the results were impressive: the administrators who received the box of goodies responded at a rate 75% higher than those who received only the sales letter, and 57% higher than those who received their goodies in an envelope.
Another study, conducted by Southern Methodist University, explored the role that promo items play in gaining repeat customers. After two separate studies, their results showed that customers who received promotional products returned sooner, more often, and spent more money than customers who received dollars-off coupons.
In the world of direct mailings, a 1-2% response rate is considered successful (100 responses on a mailing of 10,000). If you can boost this even by 20%, imagine the money you’ve made off of your little promo items.
Cream of the Crop: Where to Get Promotional Products
I don’t know about you, but I’m so used to the average branded pen that they don’t even warrant my attention anymore. Ditto on the little refrigerator calendars. Hey, I may just be a writer but even I might also be a potential customer, and if you aren’t catching my attention, are you catching the attention of others?
The following websites represent my picks for the Top Ten Promo Products available. They’ll get you going with some really exceptional and unique promo items.
1. Memory & MP3 Players – www.epromos.com – In our world of technology gotta-have-it-now gadgets, everyone is looking for more. Epromos offers a selection of portable memory and mp3 players that your customers will be lining up to receive.
2. Flip Books – www.flippies.com – If you’re looking for something unique, you can’t find much better than this. Turn your marketing message into an engaging, entertaining, interactive experience with custom flip books that put your brand in action with the “flip-of-a-thumb”. This site makes things even easier by providing a full idea center that helps you generate ideas on how you can use flip-books as part of your promo product line.
3. Software – www.artplus.hr – I absolutely love this site, even though it’s hard to remember the extension (.hr). They offer you the ability to give your customers and clients truly original and useful software applications (and no, I don’t mean cheesy screensavers) that you brand with your company’s information.
4. Pen Radio – www.apromotionaloutlet.com – Alright, so I said I don’t give much attention to imprinted pens … but this one goes beyond the norm in too many ways to count. Not only is it an attractive ballpoint pen packaged in a presentation case, but it opens up to reveal a radio, comes with batteries and ear buds, and will definitely create the impact you’re looking for.
5. Child Fingerprint & ID Kit – www.4imprint.com – This promotional item takes branding a step further by offering something that your customers will use and truly thank you for providing. For a few cents more, this site also provides a DNA ID kit.
6. Fortune Cookies – www.promopeddler.com – All wrapped up in a Chinese take-out style box, these fortune cookies make a metaphoric statement that says, “With us, you’ll always be lucky”… or something like that.
7. Passport Cases – www.myshopangel.com – If your clientele travels a lot (or if you are, in fact, a travel agency), you can’t get a smarter promo item than these passport cases. Not only will your brand be in front of your client throughout their travels, a subconscious association with your company forms between the joys experienced traveling and the comfort of always knowing where their important papers are.
8. Holiday Music CD – www.branders.com – Most businesses realize that sending out holiday cards to customers is just plain good business. It lets your customer know you appreciate their patronage. Include something like this music CD and you double the impact.
9. Embroidered Fleece Blankets – www.sweetpromos.com – These heavyweight fleece blankets roll up with their own handles to make a duffle-like companion. The embroidery featured on them is just professional, worthy of employee appreciation gifting.
10. Executive Darts – www.promogeek.com – Packaged in a beautiful brushed-aluminum case are both the dart board and a set of 6 darts. The case doubles as an “easel” support for the dart board, or the board can be hung. Either way, this is an attractive promo item that will really set you apart.