How to Make Promotional Giveaways Worth It

Free gifts and promotions are reliable marketing tactics that attract attention from potential clients. A useful branded item can breed familiarity with your clients and keep your business top of mind. However, hasty or inappropriate product promotions can result in a waste of money and boxes of unused items in your office storage area. Here’s how to make sure your promo item is worth the investment.

Think about where your giveaway will take place.
The item you offer must make sense to your audience so it isn’t immediately trashed. Ice cream at a ski event or candy at a health fair might seem out of place. However, bottled water or sunscreen at a 5K run or cycling event are appropriate and useful, which will reinforce to your potential clients that your business understands their needs.

Make sure your promo item is relevant to your business.
Picking a promo item that relates to your field will strengthen your client’s association with your business. Giveaways that make no sense for your business or your industry will confuse your audience. If you work in technology, consider tech products like branded flash drives, laser pointers, or calculators. If yours is an outdoor or sports-related industry, select useful items like multi-purpose tools or beach towels that feature your company’s logo.

Pick a product that will get used.
Too many branded stress balls become dog chew toys and never reach their intended target. Browse product promotion websites and look for items that you personally would want to use. Well-made tote bags, attractive stainless travel mugs, or even chip-clips for the kitchen will get used often. Items that live on a desk or in the car will also be seen daily. Resist the temptation to buy the cheapest products since poor quality will read as immediately discardable. Meanwhile, attractive, upscale items won’t be embarrassing for clients to use. At a recent event, Bop Design distributed high quality water bottles with our logo boldly printed on the side. We knew that these sleek bottles would get used and our recipients enthusiastically agreed.

Include appropriate branding.
Always ask to see a proof of your item before going to full print. Your well-intended promo marketing tactics will go to waste if your business name is stretched or shrunken during the layout or printing process. Work closely with your printer to guarantee that your branding doesn’t get distorted. Wherever it is possible and looks attractive, include more information, such as your web URL or phone number. (Hint: leave off the “www” from your website to save space.)

Avoid printing dates or event names.
Don’t lock yourself into promotional items that can be used only once. Avoid branding with specific dates, such as “San Diego Breast Cancer Awareness Run, October 26-27, 2013”. Instead, print specific dated material on a removable tag that can be swapped out for various events.

Structure multi-tiered giveaways.
A separate VIP prize or gift bag adds exclusivity to your promotion. Your basic promotional item spreads your message over a wide audience, while an exclusive item creates deeper engagement from each recipient. As you hand out the lower tier items, be sure to verbally promote the fact that you are offering a higher level of prize and ask recipients if they quality.

Always get something in return.
Many people will cheerfully give out their email address or phone number in exchange for a free gift, so make sure you capitalize on this. A single giveaway should strengthen your mailing list or generate warm leads for telephone or email follow-ups. You can also use your promotion to conduct quick but useful market research. Use small slips of paper for surveys or just verbally run through your list of questions.

Personalized marketing tactics like product promotions can quickly pay for themselves in the form of new business leads, but they must be strategically considered so as to avoid being forgotten in the back of someone’s desk drawer. By taking the time to develop the best product promotion for your desired target market, you can spread awareness and ultimately boost your business.


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