Home > Sales Promotion > Do you give out promotional items?

Do you give out promotional items?

Do you give out promotional items? If so, which ones? - by Newbie
No, but I'd be receptive to the idea with the write item.

Maybe we should come up with a list of best performing promotional items. :D - by Gilbert
IMO, promotional items can be a great way of keeping your name in front of your target audience.

I also think these are best used with current clients versus potential clients. - by Houston
Occassionally we might handout a polo shirt or coffee cup but in general "no" we do not give out promotional items. - by Jackie
Occassionally we might handout a polo shirt or coffee cup but in general "no" we do not give out promotional items.
Same here... on occassion but not often. - by Jolly Roger
Hmmm... it seems that handing out "promotional items" isn't as common as I might have thought. :confused: :rolleyes: - by Newbie
At the moment, nothing really. I can't really think of anything, and also I can't think of any potential benefit. - by ohcnetwork
Promotional items such as corporate apparrel make excellent business gifts.

IMO, you should be selective when handing out promotional items. Like Houston said, these are best used with current clients versus just anybody and/or potential clients.

As for the potential benefit... my objective of handing out promotional items would be to keep my name in front of my clients which will help to promote repeat and referral business. - by SalesGuy
Just yesterday I was doing a walk through on a pre-owned home we had just helped our client sell. Guess what was sitting on the kitchen counter. Two (2) promotional note pads from another real estate company. I might point out that this is not the first time I have seen this.

What's my point? IMO, promotional items can be very helpful when you have an ongoing relationship with the client. However, without the relationship your "note pad" is just another "note pad". ;) - by WobblyBox
This year, I gave out baseball schedule magnets with my business card on them to local business contacts, calendar magnets to those who ordered my book. Same line of thought as SalesGuy...to keep name, Website address, in front of people.

When I worked in the corporate world (consumer packaged goods), we kept various premiums for the sales people to give to key brokers and buyers to help build and continue those relationships.

We'd also sometimes run a promo nice golf shirts to wholesalers for a certain size tradeshow order. This helped drive short term sales (downside is it encouraged warehouse loading, which means longer time before next order). - by Bobette Kyle
When I worked in the corporate world (consumer packaged goods), we kept various premiums for the sales people to give to key brokers and buyers to help build and continue those relationships.
I've been on the receiving end of this type of promotion and I have to admit for those vendors who kept me supplied with golf shirts I felt obligated to give them first crack. ;) - by Jolly Roger
In addition to promoting repeat and referral business here are a few other good "uses" for promotional items:
  1. Trade Shows: Freebies are often a great traffic builder at trade shows. The last trade show I went to someone was handing out these clear balls that had a motor inside that lit up the ball hit the ground. People were flocking to the booth to get one. (Some of use got two) :p
  2. Meetings, Seminars, etc.: Cool new gadgets are a hit with adults too.
  3. Sales Calls: I once worked for a company that gave away free barbecues as a way of getting a foot in the door. You might be suprised what people will do for a free $15 barbecue.
  4. Incentives: The right item can work great as a customer and/or employee incentive.
- by Jeff Blackwell
I know this is an old thread, but I'd love to know if anyone has tried something "out of the box" in regards to promotional items? I guess shirts, mugs, magnets, calendars, etc are pretty common (and for good reason - they're useful and eye-catching). But have any of you had success with something a bit more unusual?

For my books, I'll definitely have bookmarks, but they're not really out in the open - if they're being used they're hidden between pages, and if not, well they're likely stuck in a drawer somewhere. So I'm trying to come up with something a little different. - by CarrieGee
I know this is an old thread, but I'd love to know if anyone has tried something "out of the box" in regards to promotional items? I guess shirts, mugs, magnets, calendars, etc are pretty common (and for good reason - they're useful and eye-catching). But have any of you had success with something a bit more unusual?

For my books, I'll definitely have bookmarks, but they're not really out in the open - if they're being used they're hidden between pages, and if not, well they're likely stuck in a drawer somewhere. So I'm trying to come up with something a little different.
How about a "Highlighter" pen to use when highlighting the great content in your book(s)? - by SalesCoach
That's brilliant SalesCoach! Thank you! A cut above the usual pen or pencil. I like it!

On a side (but related) note, has anyone used Cafe Press or other online company for promotional materials? When you factor in shipping, I wonder if it isn't less expensive to do this locally. - by CarrieGee
That's brilliant SalesCoach! Thank you! A cut above the usual pen or pencil. I like it!
I like it too because I always read a book with a pen or a highlighter. - by SalesCoach
In the past I have given out promotional pens to customers. And like some have already said, promotional items will keep your name in front of the customer. When I gave the pens out I gave them only to returning customers, and also to my customers on their birthday or on Christmas (as a gift). I gave out the pens because they were more affordable, however, mousepads are also affordable, and this is sure to keep your name in front of the customer if they use it. You never know when they'll decide to surf to your Web site ;) - by mrs75
I think that pens make good promotional items. People can always use them, so they are happy to receive them. The pen lasts a long time, and it can keep your name in front of customers, and potential customers for a few years. And of course you have your contact phone number, email addy and url on the pen as well!

A business card might get binned, but people tend not to throw pens away.

Tip: make sure the pens are of reasonable quality. - by telegraph.hill
I think promotional items are great *if* they're not blatantly "el cheapo" items. The things some of you have been naming here are excellent, especially the shirts (are t-shirts less expensive promotionally than golf shirts?) and they are seen more readily than the pen someone uses or the magnets I tend to toss.

Then again, it would depend, of course, on how big of a sale you intend to be making or you're dipping into the profits too much with something like a shirt. I'm seeing two groups here on the forum... the "door by door item by item" people and the corporate sales reps whose sales go into the mega thousands, so what's a few shirts for promotion? Is that accurate?

- Des ;sm - by destiny
I think promotional items are great *if* they're not blatantly "el cheapo" items.
These "el cheapo" freebies reflect poorly on the company and individual giving them away. Don't do it. - by fred
no we are not give out promotional items - by Anwar
no we are not give out promotional items
Same here. :) - by AZBroker
I just received a promotional item from a vendor. A pen at one end and at the other, a USB port that can hold I believe 126mb of information (a few Power Point Presentations). Thought that was a great idea. - by BarbieClaws
I have giving out promotional items such as t-shirts, coffee mugs, hats, pens, flashlights, keyrings, gift certificates, mini vacation packages and more. It does seem effective in helping meet the sales quota. - by wlctrent
It does seem effective in helping meet the sales quota.
Why do you think that is? - by Agent Smith
just in case someone is checking this thread to plan a promotion giveaway (as i did), our advice is to ensure that the item directly relates to the business. So we'r enot big fans of shirts (unless that is what you sell), but something that drives home the intended message. - by bigpoppasan
just in case someone is checking this thread to plan a promotion giveaway (as i did), our advice is to ensure that the item directly relates to the business. So we'r enot big fans of shirts (unless that is what you sell), but something that drives home the intended message.
If you're selling surf boards then a sample of board wax is a good idea because the customer could use it. I wouldn't pass on a free t-shirt if they offered it. ;st - by Marcus
My company has given out coffee mugs, cold drink cups and note pads. The Mugs and notepads have turned out to be good ideas. The coffee mugs have had great staying power, and I still get prospects who tell me they have our mug. The only problem is my company moved, and the phone number was on the mug... Should have just had the website.

The note pads have been great, because we're a financial related company, and we deal primarily with the owners or top execs of our business clients. Once they're customers, or during the sales process, I am told often "Can you bring me some more notepads." Of course, our notepads have our logo, name and contact info on it. When I visit customers, I often see pages from our notepads lying on people's desks with important info to be saved on them.... so it keeps our name in their minds. - by Coda1108
Do you give out promotional items? If so, which ones?
I order Avon samples every time I submit my order. Then, when I distribute brochures to customers, I include one or two samples of some of my favorite products. Most people really like getting samples. - by ozzie
I've been thinking about promo items and I'd like to find a good choice for promoting a web site.

I also work in film and TV and I know that crew gifts such as hats or jackets can be worn for years to come, although in most cases they're just souvenirs of the show rather than promotional items for an ongoing business. - by Ricardo
At this time of year Calendars are suppose to be great promotional items to give our customers. Avon has one for that purpose and I need to order several of them to pass out to my steady customers. I wish I could afford to give them to everyone! - by ozzie
I do give away promotional items - I give away vacations.

Most of these replies have related to using promotional items for advertising except for Ozzies idea of customer rewards - which is a great way to build loyalty.

I've never found promotional items to be helpful for advertising purposes and I think it is because that type of advertising doesn't answer the consumers number one question of "What's in it for me?"

I would like to spotlight the use of promotional items or "free gifts" as great incentives to get the consumer to make the decision to buy from you. The item has to be of value (more than a shirt or a calendar) and the greater the "pleasure factor" the greater the persuasion to make the purchase in order to get the "free gift"

A free "Get Away" Vacation or cruise to the bahamas has a huge pleasure factor. It adds more desire for the product or service your customer was already interested in.

"But that's such an expensive promotional item" you say. Not necessarily so. I know because that's the business I'm in - wholesale travel packages - and I give away vacations to promote sales of my own product.

I highly recommend the use of a "free gift" of value to get the customer then keep them with personal follow up such as a post card and a phone call every month for customers of consumable products and the same follow-up now and then to customers of other tangible products to let them know you are still interested in helping them get what they want out of life.

I look forward to hearing what you think about this idea.

Karen

You need a vacation!
- by Karen Sargent
I really like your idea. In fact, yesterday I sent all my online customers an ecard with a special offer. If they send my Avon link to their family and friends, and one of those folks buys from my site, I will send them a free Avon product. I limited it to one free gift per customer and I'm hoping to get some new online customers this way. The new customer will have to let me know who referred them. What are your thoughts on this? - by ozzie
I really like your idea. In fact, yesterday I sent all my online customers an ecard with a special offer. If they send my Avon link to their family and friends, and one of those folks buys from my site, I will send them a free Avon product. I limited it to one free gift per customer and I'm hoping to get some new online customers this way. The new customer will have to let me know who referred them. What are your thoughts on this?
I would structure the offer so that I can control the process more - like ask all of your family and friends to send you a list of phone numbers of 5 people who they think would be interested in your products. Call all of them to ask permission to email and if any of them order from your link, give a gift to the person who referred them.

I like your idea of using e-cards. I use them often to send personal messages to my customers but I never thought of using them for promotions.
I was referring to actual postcards and there are several great services that mail to your list for you at very reasonable prices.

Thanks for the feedback

;sm Karen - by Karen Sargent
Hi Karen, phone numbers wouldn't do me any good because I'm sending these particular ecards to online customers in the effort to get more online customers. I'm hoping they will send my link to others so that I'll get more web traffic. - by ozzie
Hi Karen, phone numbers wouldn't do me any good because I'm sending these particular ecards to online customers in the effort to get more online customers. I'm hoping they will send my link to others so that I'll get more web traffic.
Well, I was just suggesting a way that can get more referrals from your customers and thereby have more control over the numbers of people who get your emails but you would need to get permission before you send emails to your customers referrals and a telephone call is the easiest way. - by Karen Sargent
I've experienced a very effective newsletter from a real estate agent who we dealt with while selling our previous home and buying our current one.

This was a case of an established relationship kept "top of mind" by an entertaining and informative publication of local history, humour and various other things like recipes. - by Ricardo
Hmmm... it seems that handing out "promotional items" isn't as common as I might have thought. :confused: :rolleyes:
Don't let that stop you, If you have a product or service that promotional items would work well with, I think you should try it. It may well be worth the cost and effort. - by dlsimms
Well, I was just suggesting a way that can get more referrals from your customers and thereby have more control over the numbers of people who get your emails but you would need to get permission before you send emails to your customers referrals and a telephone call is the easiest way.
I understand now and I think you're right. I would need their permission as well as their email addresses. Thanks for all of your good ideas. ;sm - by ozzie
Don't let that stop you, If you have a product or service that promotional items would work well with, I think you should try it. It may well be worth the cost and effort.
I agree... some items just don't work well with promotion, but others I'd think would boost sales tremendously. - by destiny
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