Choosing the Best Promotional Product to Increase Sales

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Most companies buy promotional products for prospects, clients, event attendees—they’re a fact of corporate life. Big brands often consider promotional products a significant part of the marketing mix, even when budgets are tight. Even during tough economic times, promotional products are especially important, as that is when companies need people to take action. Marketers need to be more strategic about how they launch campaigns involving promotional products. They should watch they spend, who they target, and how they maximize the return on investment.

Promotional products do work: compared to other items when it comes to the cost per number of impressions, promotional items often win. For instance, the Advertising Specialty Institute found that the average cost-per-impression for a shirt is 0.005 cents. A prime-time television ad? Per impression, it runs at 0.019 cents.

But not all promotional products are create equal. While some are hits, others are misses. Here’s how you can ensure your next promotional item nails the target.

What’s Your Point?

What do you hope to achieve with these promotional products? How will distribute each item? How does the activity for which you are purchasing promotional products fit into your marketing strategy and message? How will you measure its success?

If you don’t have a clear plan and an understanding of how these products integrate into your marketing program, then you risk wasting a significant amount of your marketing budget.

Suit the Product to the Person

Who does the promotional product target?

Don’t choose a product you’d like, but something your audience would want. Make sure it suits your purpose as well: You may want to give something different to customers than to prospects. After all, you should have a different message for customers than you do for people who have not purchased from you.

Don’t Fall into a Promo-Item Rut

Some businesses have “signature” promotional items. This is not always ideal because customers likely already have one from a previous encounter with you. Many prospects may as well—at least, if they are in the pipeline, they will. Something new and different will make a fresh impact each time.


It is important not to give a promotional product to everyone you meet—even if they fit your audience parameters. Target carefully for the biggest impact. For instance, handing a gift to everyone who walks past your booth at a trade show—even if its your target audience—cheapens the item’s value.

Give—And Get

Make sure that you have contact information for anyone who receives a promotional item. With current or past customers, you’re all set. However, if you are trying to attract new prospects, giving something without getting something in return is doing it wrong.

Find Something Useful

Select an item that your audience will use as often as possible for as long as possible. A study found that promotional product use achieved a 69 percent boost in brand interest and an 84 percent increase in positive brand impression—mainly because of repeated exposure to the company’s brand through using the item. Also, you can gain fresh brand impressions from the individuals who see someone use the product, which is an added bonus.

Include a Call to Action

While the promotional item may be usable, targeted, and fit your strategy, it won’t succeed if you don’t give the customer a way to take action. Make sure to include your company’s contact information: logo, website, tagline, phone number, QR code—whatever makes sense for your initiative. And with a finite space in which to work, make every line count.

Quality Matters

Promotional items leaving a lasting brand impression on people. Handing out cheap, useless products is worse than handing out nothing at all.

Detail orientation ties to quality as well. Check every proof that you receive from the vendor. Is everything clear and easy to read? Is the phone number correct? The website? Are there any misspellings? Send the proofs through multiple pairs of eyes to be extra certain.


These are just a few tips to help make sure your choose the best promotional product to increase sales. Proper branding will ensure that you company name and logo gets out there. Here at Awards and More we can customize your promotional products with company logos, personalized messages, images and more! Contact us with the link below to get started on your next trade show promotional product!

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One Response to Choosing the Best Promotional Product to Increase Sales

  1. Pingback: Mistakes to Avoid with Promotional Marketing - Awards & More :: BlogAwards & More :: Blog

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