Using Promotional Gifts in Your Marketing – Five of the Best

One of the best ways to create a positive brand impression is to hand out custom promotional items to your long term customers, or to people that visit your booth at trade shows.  You don’t have to spend a fortune on promotional items.  In most cases, your clients will appreciate even a small gift as a token of appreciation for their long term custom.  If you’re not sure what sort of gift is appropriate, check out the following ideas:

promotional items
Promotional items - ready to go!

1. Memory Sticks

This is probably one of the most useful promotional presents.  You can never have too many memory sticks.  A small memory stick with your logo on it won’t cost you a lot of money, but the recipient will appreciate it.  It will end up in their jacket pocket or laptop bag, and will probably get passed around the office as a handy way to transfer files.

2. Branded Mugs

People love branded mugs.  They’re another one of those promotional presents that falls into the “you can never have too many” category.   No matter how many branded mugs are already floating around the office, if you send a couple out to your best clients, they will end up getting used for many years to come.  The general rule for most offices I’ve ever worked in is: the more mugs there are in the office, the less often the washing up will get done.

3. Mouse Pads

Mouse pads are always handy.  They may not get used in the office, but people will take them home to use in the study.  Or, they might store them and pull them out when someone spills coffee on one of the old ones.  People will appreciate a mouse pad as a promotional present, and they’re a nice one to consider because they’re flat, not particularly fragile, and easy to send in the post.

4. Branded Keychains

Branded keychains are small, inexpensive, and useful.  Especially if you can make them dual purpose – for example, a keychain flashlight or bottle opener.  There’s a good chance that the recipient will clip it on to their keys right away, so your brand will always be in their pocket.

5. T-Shirts

For some companies, t-shirts make brilliant promotional gifts, but for others they’re not such a great idea.  If you work in an entertainment related industry, people will love getting promotional t-shirts, especially for a product that is either new, or not yet released.  That sort of promotional present is one that people will wear with pride.  The same is true for the sports industry – having a team t-shirt, or one with a supplement maker’s logo on it, is something that impresses a lot of people.

If you’re in a less glamorous industry, people might not think like that.  Before you order 500 t-shirts with your company logo on them, stop and think for a moment.  Would you wear one of those on a night out?  If not, would you even wear one to the gym?

Image: ingermaaike2 / Flickr

Inexpensive Marketing Tools Any Business Can Utilize

There are thousands of ways to market your business, but giving customers promotional items is a way to put the marketing into the customers’ hands. However, not all promotional items work and you need to make sure this is something the customer actually wants. Here are just a few inexpensive marketing tools any business can utilize.


One of the best marketing tools you can use are t-shirts. However, there are some things you need to consider. First of all, design your t-shirts to fit your target market. For example, if you own a music company, create a design that’s fun with bright colors. When the t-shirt matches the personalities of your customers, they will be more likely to wear it.


Food is an excellent way to promote your business. There are a number of different methods you could use. For example, you might opt to place a coupon on the boxes of a local pizza place. Another method would be to sponsor a charity and have a coupon for your business added to their product. You could even have a local bakery design cookies or cupcakes for a customer appreciation day.

Store Receipts

Another method that businesses are using is shopping receipts. Many grocery stores print out coupons and advertising when a customer checks out. However, you don’t want to just advertise your company, because customers will just toss the paper in the trash. Offer a coupon. If your local stores don’t offer this service, ask about having your ad placed on their receipts. Some receipts features business ads and coupons on the back of the receipt.

Tote Bags

Tote bags have become a popular advertising method over the past few years and with good reason. With more and more people opting to use tote bags instead of grocery bags, your ad can be seen by people throughout town.

Bumper Stickers

Bumper stickers are another great way to promote your business, but this is another promotional item that has to be designed to suit your target market. For example, if your company is a bakery, create a design and statement that stands out and appeals to your customers.


Magnets are another great marketing tools because customers and postential customers will see your customized magnets on a daily basis. This makes them more apt to shop with your company when they need your products or services again.

Stainless Steel Water Bottles

Last, but not least, people are turning to stainless steel water bottles to replace plastic water bottles. This is another chance to put the advertising in the hands of the consumer. Create a fun ad and make sure it’s something your customers want to carry.

There are a number of inexpensive ways to market your business. Best of all, your customers will think of many of these promotional items as gifts, rather than advertising.

About the Author: Stephen McCarl loves working with small businesses as they strive to develop their marketing campaigns. He can usually find solutions for any budget and loves watching new groups grow.

Tips for Creating a Great Business Card

Creating a business card is easy. Creating a great business card requires a little more attention to detail.

Whatever the nature of your work, a business card is a great tool for networking, advertising and reminding potential customers that you’re there for them. Thanks to the rise of digital printing, it has never been easier – or cheaper – to have a set of cards run off. However, this increase in popularity has meant that many printing companies have ended up competing on price alone – something that has led to a ‘race to the bottom’ in terms of quality. And, as you’ll discover, penny pinching on your business cards is one compromise you should not make.

quality business card design

Branding 101

One of the mistakes a lot of people make with their business cards is thinking that they are simply a way of leaving their contact details with a prospective client. Whilst they certainly serve this purpose, they are far more than this. Like any piece of marketing – your website, flyers, posters and other promotional material – your business card makes a statement about you, your company, and the quality of your work. Your card gives a customer an impression about your business: perhaps their only impression. A low-quality, dog-eared, badly-designed card will not inspire confidence. A clean, sharp and professional-looking card communicates a very different impression.

For this reason, it’s worth spending a little more time and money on your cards than many others do. You don’t have to pay a fortune, as there are still plenty of digital print companies who will do good work cheaply, but you shouldn’t assume that your customers will treat all business cards the same. If you’re proud of your work, that should come across in the card you hand them.

What makes for a quality card?

One of the biggest factors is the weight of the card. Thin cards are flimsy and easily damaged; heavier cards feel more substantial and impressive, and are less likely to be thrown away. Typical printer paper is 80 gsm (grams per square metre). Postcards generally come in at around 300 gsm. A good quality business card will usually be upwards of 350 gsm. 400 is a good starting point, and plenty are heavier still.

Print quality is another major factor. This will differ markedly across companies due to the variations in printers used. Ask for samples, look at reviews and do your research. You want any logos and images to come out at photo quality, and text to be clean and crisp. Cheaper cards (you can sometimes even get freebies) tend to have low-quality print that fades quickly and looks awful.

Finally, the card’s finish will make a big difference. Although you can leave it as plain card, better business cards will have a layer of varnish on to make them more durable, help keep them clean and bring out any images. This comes in a variety of forms (matte, gloss, silk), each of which will suit different designs and feels of card. A spot-UV finish gives a brighter shine to specific images or words.

The bottom line?

All customers have to be bought in one way or another, and you get what you pay for. Clients will recognise when you’ve made an effort to reach out to them, and when you’ve cut corners.

About the Author: This article was supplied by, a supplier of quality leaflet printing and an accredited member of the Direct Marketing Association.

Image: _overanalyzer / Flickr