Use Promotional Items Wisely to Advertise

Giving away promotional items with your company’s contact information printed on those items can be an effective advertising strategy for many businesses.  The key to is consider the products or services you wish to promote and what items can be given away in a cost-effective manner to achieve that objective.  It is also important to ensure that the potential customer leads generated by that promotion are effectively converted to paying customers.

Why giving something away for nothing can be a wise business strategy

It may initially appear unwise to spend money to give a free item away to existing or prospective clients, such the “free” items cost the business that is giving them away real money.  However, doing so is a proven advertising strategy.  If you have any doubt as to the effectiveness, next time you visit a doctor’s office take a look at the promotional items left by the pharmaceutical reps.  If the strategy didn’t work, then everyone from multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical companies to medium-sized law  firms to lawn care companies wouldn’t spend their time and money using that approach.

More concretely, a free item that is of some use to the potential customer is more likely to be retained by that potential customer (or passed along to other potential customers).  A business card with your company’s contact information may end up in the garbage 5 minutes after it is given to a potential customer, while a pen with your company’s contact information may sit in the customer’s pocket, or on their table at home, or in their car’s glove compartment, for years.  Even if the potential customer doesn’t contact your company today, they may do so weeks or months later when they look at the pen again.

Common promotional items to consider

  • Pens
  • Key chains
  • Bottle openers
  • mini-Tape measures
  • mini-Flashlights
  • Mouse pads

Pitfalls to avoid when giving away promotional items

When selecting a promotional item to give away as part of your advertising efforts, be sure to pick an item that is compatible with your business and your prospective customers.  Obviously, an alcohol abuse counseling company would not be we well advised to give away bottle openers.  A law firm could give away tape measures, but unless it is dealing mainly with clients in the construction business, that is probably not as effective of an approach as pens or key chains.

Once the type of item is selected, it is important to balance the cost and quality of the item.  Using a law firm as an example, giving away the absolute cheapest pen whose quality appears to be lacking will not inspire confidence in potential or existing clients who pickup those pens.  At the same time, giving away $100 fountain pens is not cost-effective for the majority of law firms either.  Finding a pen that is of good quality that doesn’t break the bank is the right approach.

Convert those promotional item giveaways into paying customers

When a potential customer picks up your promotional item and calls your phone number, you want to ensure that call is answered.  Otherwise, all the effort and expense to get that promotional item into the prospective customer’s hand was wasted.  Using a virtual answering service will allow you to have that call answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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