10 Sure-Fire Ways Promotional Products Really Work Based on Research

Econo Non-Woven String promotional Backpack

10 Sure-Fire Ways Promotional Products Really Work Based on Research

Promotional products have been used in the United States since the 1789 election of the first President, George Washington. Last year, industry sales hit a record-breaking $21.5 billion, the sixth year in a row of growth. It’s safe to say that history has proven the effectiveness of promotional products as sales tools for over 225 years.

If you still don’t believe that giving away freebies leads to higher sales, keep reading. Here are ten research-based, statistically backed benefits of promotional products, compiled by Promotional Products Association International, that may have you planning your promotional products strategy by nightfall.

Tradeshow Warm Fuzzies

For businesses that attend industry trade shows, research shows that sending out pre-show e-mail offers for free promotional products at the show, or even pre-show promotional product mailings increases trade show traffic. Additionally, over 70% of trade show attendees remember the company that gave out the product, and over 75% had a positive feeling toward the company.

Promotional Products on the Move One of the many benefits of promotional products is their reach. You couldn’t possibly be in all the places your promotional products go to spread your brand recognition. Of the respondents to a promotional products survey by L.J. Market Research, over 70% remembered receiving a product in the last year, and over 30% of those people had the item on their person at the time. (Oh, the places you’ll go!)

Memorable Branding

No matter when a person received a promotional product – last week, or last year – over three quarters of recipients knew the name of the company that gave it to them. By comparison, just over half of these same people could recall the company name of an advertiser they’d seen in the newspaper in the last week. If you want to stay in the minds of potential clients and customers, where would you spend your advertising dollars?

Freebies = Sales

Of course you want people to remember the name of your company, but the real end game is impression. Have you impressed the potential buyer enough to win a sale? It turns out that over half the people who received a promotional product had a better opinion of the company after receiving it. And, over half of promo product recipients did business with the company after receiving a freebie.

Low Cost vs. Big Impression

When you consider giving away promotional freebies, of course the cost is on your mind. Are they worth it? Will you recoup the investment? How much is too much? When making budget decisions on promotional products, consider how often they’ll be used; the greater the frequency of use, the less the cost per impression.

Nearly three-quarters of those using promotional products they’d received used them weekly, and 45% said they used them daily. Drawstring backpacks and stress reliever balls top the list of popular promotional items making big impressions.

Exposure Longevity

Let’s say your customers are just like the other participants randomly chosen for the promotional products survey. That means that 22% of them will keep your promotional product for at least six months. But, wait for it … an additional 55% will keep them for more than a year! So, 45% of promo product recipients use the product daily, and 55% keep them for over a year? You can do the math on that one.

Useful vs. Attractive Promotional Items

As you peruse the vast array of options among promotional products, keep this in mind: 20% of recipients kept the product around because it was cute or attractive, but 75% kept useful promotional products. Sunglasses, tribal tote bags, and collapsible koozies are all hot promo items that will accommodate different budgets, and will also work hard for you with lots of exposures this summer.

Being Direct with Potential Customers

Using promotional products with direct marketing to a well-defined audience has shown three distinct benefits. First, when you include freebies in your direct mail promotions, the response rate increases by half – yes, half. Including promotional items with a sales letter gets four times the response that the letter alone gets. Finally, sending out these freebies to incentivize responders reduces the cost per response by two-thirds.

Branded Promotional Products Result in Repeat Business

In a study by Southern Methodist University over an eight-month period, promotional products proved to have a significant impact on gaining repeat business. Over the eight months studied, those who received promotional products accounted for 27% more sales than those who received coupons.   Those who received promotional products accounted for a whopping 139% more sales than those who only received welcome letters from the business. Each month during the eight-month study, promotional product recipients were 49% more likely to return with repeat business than coupon holders, and 75% more likely to provide repeat business than introductory letter recipients.

Word-of-Mouth Referrals

A Baylor University study showed that salespeople who gave out promotional items to current customers received 22% more referrals than those who didn’t. Using promotional items to express gratitude for referrals gives customers a good feeling about sharing your business within their circle of influence. You already know that word-of-mouth referrals are one of the best ways to get new customers, so the return on investment here is obvious.

The value of promotional products to your business is clear. Your branding message is repeated over and over without any additional effort or cost to you. After over 225 years of experience and a boatload of statistical data, are you ready to put your promotional product strategy in motion?

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