Of all the marketing things people have talked with me about, promotional items has to be my absolute favorite!  What’s not to love about it?  You are putting your name or your company’s name on something to give out for the world to see and use.  It’s going to help you create business and referrals right???


Promotional Items only generate business if it’s the right type of item, given to the right people.  You can spend thousands of dollars on promo items and never get it right.

Here are some marketing tips (and items) I’ve used over the years that have TREMENDOUS success and RESULTS

  • Make sure it’s something they will use – What good is an item they will give away or throw out.  When purchasing think “Would I use this if it were given to me?”  If the answer is NO, don’t buy it.
  • Think outside the box – a Mouse Pad is not a real good item.  Chances are they have multiple and everyone does it.  You want this to count as an extension of you, meaning when they use it you are the person that comes to mind. You’re marketing, you need to stand out. Think of something that’s different.   (I’ll give my favorites below)
  • Be cautious with food – I know everyone loves chocolates, but even in winter time, they can melt in your car.  If its melted or worse spoiled, you just wasted your money!  I’m against promos that are edible, better off buying donuts that A.M. and surprising them with a drop by visit to make their day.
  • Create a memory with the item – Why do promotional items work? Because they remember the person who gave it to them.  A risky promotional item I used when marketing one year was a WATER GUN.  It was hot summer and I said “I’m going to be different”. I purchased 100 water guns for 200 bucks.  Every place I went to, I ran to the bath room and loaded 4 or 5 guns, came out, gave the loaded guns to random people and started water gun fights!  When they ended,everyone laughed so hard and thanked me for “Making their day”.  When the day ended and they went home and their spouse asked “how was your day?” do you think they talked about the Mouse Pad they received or the guy who started a Water Gun Fight at work?  I rest my case…

Just keep those thoughts in mind when ordering items, and you will be sure to spend wisely and have the items everyone’s talking about.

And now my favorite 3 Promo Items…

  1. Pens – This is my absolute favorite item to go marketing with.  They are cheap, they can be given out like candy (and should be) so give them to everyone!  Think about TD Bank, they give out free pens at their banks all over the US.  Why? So people take them.  I have seen people walk in there and take 40 pens.  No one stops them cause it’s free advertising (well the cost of the pens) and creating brand recognition.  I love when I go see a prospective client and they are holding my pen cause someone in the sales account gave it to them before I showed up.  Who do you think they are going to sign with???
  2. Ice Scrappers – Every Oct/Nov people ask me for my annual Ice Scrapper.  Its something they will use right before they go to work on snowy/icy mornings.  When they pull my ice scrapper out before going to work, they are already thinking of me.  All of a sudden someone needs a home health aide, who do you think they are referring that day?  The guy who helped them out this morning (Me!)
  3. Clip Boards – This is awesome way to send a subliminal message to customers, assisting in the marketing effort.  How? Put your logo on the underside of the clip board!  Why? Because when the referring party is giving your information to the prospective client, they usually do so with 2 or 3 other competitors.  She will be holding your clipboard in her arms and when the prospective client sees your logo in her arms on the clip board, naturally they will call your company first!

So remember these tips and ideas when deciding on which promotional items to purchase.  If you create a memory with the item when giving it out, you will be remembered when the time for a referral comes along.