How To Use Promotional Items To Promote Your Business


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How To Use Promotional Items To Promote Your Business

  1. 1. How to Use Promotional Items to Promote Your Business 1/17/2010 7:57:09 AM<br />Promotional items advertising is not just a onetime activity.  It should consist of a coordinated program that includes regular communication with customers and prospects through TV and radio media, websites, brochures, product/service literature, catalogs, and of course promotional items.  The use of promotional items is one of the best ways to catch the attention of potential business partners and customers.<br />Successful promotional campaigns don’t happen by chance. To realize your goals, programs must be carefully planned, taking into consideration the audience, budget and of course, the ultimate results to be gained.  Take the following steps toward a better campaign:<br />1.  Define a specific objective. Whether the goal is to increase traffic at a trade show exhibit or to boost sales with current clients, clarify the purpose of the program. Define several key objectives that are tied to your overall goals. Make them as measurable as possible, for example, to increase traffic by a certain percentage or increase the number of qualified leads by a certain number within a certain period of time.2. Create a distribution plan geared to a targeted audience.Planning for distribution of promotional items is just as important as the items themselves.  Research has shown that a carefully executed distribution plan significantly improves the effectiveness of the selected promotional item.  For example, a pre-show mailing to a select audience delivers more trade show traffic and qualified leads than simply distributing items to passersby at the show. Read our article on “planning for distribution” for more information on that topic.<br />Decide When to Give It Away; If you give your promotional item away to every person who visits your website or place of business, you will have to buy an awful lot. Your business may become known as a place to get freebies, and your promotional item may lose its effectiveness as an advertising tool. Some businesses only give away promotional items when someone expresses a definite interest in a product. Others include them as freebies with initial or trial orders. The more expensive the promotional item, the more stringent the guidelines for giving them away should be. You can literally give away these promotional items, or you can have it as a free item when the customer buys a product from you. With that, you’ll be able to promote your business while gaining sales. You may send promotional items as gifts for any occasion also. Christmas and your company’s anniversary are great reasons to give promotional gifts to your loyal customers. <br />In a survey conducted in 1993, it was found that salesmen who distributed promotional items received 26% more referrals than those who didn't offer free gifts. In a similar study conducted in 1994, it was recorded that companies that distributed HYPERLINK "" " undefined" branded promotional products<br />were able generate 35% more repurchases than those that didn’t.<br />Consider a promo item for the desktop first. Few items work as well as a simple ceramic mug with your name, logo, phone number and website. If tastefully designed, the mugs will live on a customer’s desk and provide quick reference for a sales phone call. With prices from 80p promotional mugs are relatively inexpensive. When you take the time to visit your customers, put a bag of gourmet coffee in one and you’ve produced a simple gift that shows genuine appreciation. Other options include, mouse mats, pens, coasters and calculators.<br />Choose a Give Away that Creates a Multiplier Effect Marketing today is based on number of impressions. When one of our clients gives away a shirt, not only does the customer feel appreciated, but one walk by that customer through a high street will provide thousands of impressions at minimal cost!Set clear goals for your promotionThink about what you want these products to do for your business. Should they build awareness of your company? Boost sales? Provide a way to thank your customers? Have clear goals in mind from the start so you can purchase items that make sense for your business. <br />Get them out there! Your promotional products are there for you to give out, plain and simple. If you have boxes of promotional items collecting dust in your back closet, then you are guaranteed to not get the results you are looking for. Equip your sales team with a stock of those pens and folders for giving out after meetings. Send custom key chains or gift certificates along with a thank you note in the mail to customers who have recently done business with you. Make a commitment to getting your branded merchandise into the hands of those who will promote you. If a patron brings someone new into your business they deserve recognition. You thank someone properly for that and it will likely happen again. Even for employees that bring new people in it is a good idea. With an employee it is even more important to be appreciative. They are what will bring people in or make them feel unwelcome during regular operation. If salespeople get rewards for getting to a certain sale amount, then the person that works your counter and has a smile on everyday should be rewarded.<br />volunteer program You may want to have a volunteer program to hand out your printed giveaways. The most worthy location for you to choose for your promotional activity are school events. Different schools usually have assemblies for their students thus you surely would want to take advantage of this opportunity. This is a very effective marketing campaign since students are more likely to participate in the event. Even when they go home, they can tell their parents about the promotional activity. This would not only be of benefit marketing wise but also creates a good impression on your company.<br />community event You may also want to host a certain mass event for a community. Sponsoring community events would easily allow you to promote your product to different types of people. At the same time, you can leave a notion of goodwill when you are giving out freebies for the families that attended the event. This would make them remember your company and would eventually earn their trust. Building trust to your customers and clients is one of the major factors that would define the success of your business. Make sure that your company logo or product name is clearly imprinted on the promotional items for maximum visibility and public exposure.<br />fundraising campaign One of the most beneficial ideas that you may want to combine with your gift giving practice is participating in a fundraising campaign. Creating a good reputation for your company would surely help you in making your business successful. You may also want to donate promotional items to some organizations in order to help them in their charity works and at the same time advertising your company name or product brand to the public.<br /> 3.  Create a central theme.Linking a logo and color scheme to all aspects of a campaign, from promotional products to sales sheets to product packaging, helps create an instantly recognizable image.   As a tip, never use a theme unless you already have a concept because concepts come first before a theme.<br />4.  Develop a message that supports the theme.Supporting a campaign’s theme with a message helps to solidify the name of your company, service or products in the minds of your audience.  For example, to promote services to small businesses, a bank created the theme “Are you tired of being treated like a small fish?” and sent fish-related products to its prospects along with promotional literature.  . It’s an option of marketing and PR experts believe that by establishing key promotional items synonymous to a company, helps in solidifying its brand presence. What they actually mean to say is that by having limited number of promotional gifts, a company enables people to recognise them through those items.<br />5.  Don’t pick promotional items based solely on uniqueness, price or perceived value.Don’t fall prey to the latest trends or fads if they don’t work for your overall goals and objectives. The most effective promotional products are used in a cohesive, well-planned campaign. One of the most interesting ways of ascertaining the value of a promotional gift is by thinking about all those promotional items that you yourself have received. Can you remember the name of company that presented you with the promotional item? Can you remember for how long you actually used it? Did you tell your friends and relatives about the promotional gift that you received? These are some of the questions that will really help you in ascertaining the value of promotional items. Promotional gifts usually perform two main functions of ‘brand building’ and ‘brand recognition’. Only those promotional products are successful that serve both these aspects equally well and even complement each other. It is vital to consider both these aspects whenever you are looking for promotional gifts for purposes such as events, HYPERLINK "" " undefined" trade shows<br /> You have seen promotional products around. Get a sandwich from McDonald's or some coffee from Starbucks and you walk out with logo plastered stuff. It really does work for business. If you need some ideas look around for some creative ideas. There are a ton of ways to make these things work for you. And some unique methods of getting them to people.<br />6.   Select a promotional item that has a natural relationship to your industry or marketing theme.A good example is a company that developed a magic motif for its conference at Disney World. Attendees received magic-related products to tie in with the theme “Experience the magic at Disney.”  <br />7. Set the budget for the promotion. Items for promotions need not be expensive, but they have to be effective. So set the budget just high enough for the promotional items. Buying wholesale, for example, can save you a lot of money. Remember the rule in wholesale, the more items you buy, the cheaper.<br />Seek out partnership opportunitiesIf you'd like to offer gifts at your event, ask one of your suppliers to share the cost. In exchange, recognize them by placing their logo on the gift. Joint promotional efforts strengthen relationships with suppliers and make a statement about your commitment. <br />A Way to Say Thank You to Your Customers; all of us love to receive free gifts and freebies. Promotional items, given away as gifts of appreciation, are a unique way to say that you truly care for your customers. Even those who may not be currently buying from you will be touched by this warm gesture and may happily shift their allegiance to your store or company<br />. Promotional items are really mini billboards. The more promotional items you get out there, the more likely it is that people will see them. This includes people that have no familiarity with you or your business. Choose an item that will not only say something about who you are, but will serve to stimulate conversation. For example, a company that sells or repairs computers could give away mini USB pen drives to its premier customers. Imagine what a conversation starter that would be if someone pulled it out of their pocket at the office! Remember that each item you give away has the potential to be your first “touch” with a potential client. Make your impression a lasting one.<br />Buzz is better. Whether you deal mostly at trade shows, or directly with customers, one of your main goals should be to stimulate the question, “Where’d you get that?” When your client has one of your branded promotional items in their hand, it should generate interest on the part of those who see it. This is a prime way for you to get your clients involved in selling your product for you. Everyone knows the power of word of mouth advertising. Depend on your promotional items as one of the main tools in your marketing arsenal to stimulate word of mouth dialogue about your product or service.<br /> More is not always better. This is especially important if you have either a high dollar premium, or a high demand promotional item. Sometimes (not always) it helps to attach a certain sense of exclusivity to a high-perceived-value item. This can help you generate excitement at trade shows or events. If you don’t saturate your whole audience with your product, you can create a real sense of anticipation and reward by giving away a limited number as prize items or for contest winners.<br />Using HYPERLINK "" " undefined" promotional items<br /> for your business is like hitting two birds with one stone. How? Using promotional gifts like promotional calendars shows appreciation to current clients. This leads to a better business relationship. Also, using a corporate gift is a very wise form of promotional advertising. Some entrepreneurs think that using promotional gifts is just a waste of money. But actually, it’s just a cheap way to advertise. Your clients receive corporate gifts, and in return you are able to build better relationships with them. Plus, the gift can lead to another customer. It’s like promoting your business without actually saying a word.<br />Promotional Coffee Mugs Promotional coffee mugs are among the more successful and cost-effective ways to highlight your company name and keep it prominently displayed on a customer's or prospect's desk.<br />Personalized coffee mugs are one of those simple desktop business gift ideas that are well tried and trusted. They are one of that select group of promotional items that sit on the desk day after day, week after week and month after month without giving offense - and all through humble custom coffee mugs!<br />Promotional coffee mugs are usually earthenware with colored glaze options and styles that will suit most occasions. However, for a more exclusive business gift a bone china promotional coffee mug offers a more prestigious and stylish option. Alternatively, you might consider a promotional travel mug for the out-of-doors type.<br />By far the most spectacular example of a promotional coffee mug is one that is heat sensitive which, when hot liquid is added, reveals a brilliant and vibrant full color sales message that is always a talking point.<br />Although many custom coffee mugs are handed out at various functions and by sales people there is a place for them as part of a mailing package. Initially, a mail campaign may not seem the most logical desktop mailer. All the same using polystyrene postal cartons ensures a mug will arrive safely and stand out from the crowd.<br />Using a two-step mailer of an introductory letter outlining the sales pitch with a note to watch out for the next package can create an air of expectancy and mystery...and works well in practice! Custom coffee mugs used like this are a most reasonably priced part of a direct mail promotion - just do some testing.<br />This will confirm that a campaign utilizing a mug will do better than a campaign without a promotional item; sometimes by as much as 30% or 40%; consequently proving the value of a mug as promotional give a ways.<br />The costs are not exceptional as a half-decent earthenware promotional coffee mug can be had for around $1.25 - $1.95 and this means that you can put a mug on someone's desk for less than a 2 or 3 cents a working day - not a bad advertising return on such a minimal investment.<br />There are many other promotional gift products competing for space<br />Pick up some magnetic business cards and go around talking to other small business owners in your community. Providing them with a business card that is also a refrigerator magnet means that it will get stuck up somewhere instead of accidentally tossed in the trash. This allows them to keep your business information handy while advertising for you at the same time.<br />Ways to Enhance Your Waiting Area<br />Do you have a lobby or waiting area that needs a little sprucing? There’s nothing worse than sitting in a waiting room with nothing interesting to look at.   What’s even worse, is when the magazine collection is outdated and tattered.  Enhance your customer’s experience by providing fresh magazines geared to their interests as well as those that give them insight into your industry.<br />In addition to adding interesting magazines, provide a few freebies.  Give customers practical items that will spread your advertising message. Place promotional mints, pens and business card magnets in a prominent area in your waiting room.  Pens work especially well if your customers need to complete paperwork while waiting.  There are many promotional items that fit industry themes like health, fitness, food, services environmental, dental, and more.  Place promotional items so that customers can easily access them.<br />These are many relatively inexpensive items that “travel” well, ending up on counters, in purses, pockets, backpacks and gym bags as well as metal surfaces like file cabinets and refrigerators.  Make sure that in addition to your logo, you include a website or phone number so that customers can contact you.  The more items your customers take, the better these items can work to spread the word.<br />We know you’re busy so we’ve hand picked magazines from Amazon. Purchase them using the same great pricing and secure technology that powers We have an affiliate store (a-Store) with Amazon, which means that we provide the portal to the merchandise, once you add items to your cart, you leave us and go to Amazon’s site for check out. That also means that you can use any rewards you may have with Amazon and enjoy the same secure checkout that you’re used to.  We’ve picked trade magazines in addition to the popular titles you know and love. You can also quickly locate specific titles using the convenient search function.<br />In addition to making a wonderful addition to your office, magazines make wonderful gifts. Here are some ideas for giving magazines with a promotional flair:<br />Donate them to your local woman’s shelter or favorite charity. Contact your favorite charity and let them know what you’re planning and verify that they are not currently receiving the magazines that you are planning to send. Obtain a contact name, and verify the mailing address so that you have the correct information to place in the delivery or “ship to” address for the subscription. Once you’ve ordered the subscription, send the organization a note card that confirms the donation with the date they should expect to begin receiving their magazines. Include your business card or a business card magnet so that they can follow up if needed.<br />Send them to our men and women serving overseas. Include magazine subscriptions in care packages sent to loved ones serving overseas in the military. This would be a great donation for military hospitals and clinics as well. Contact your local Veterans Affairs office to obtain mailing and contact information for the donation.<br />