Dos and Don’ts of Marketing With Promotional Products

When buying any type of marketing and advertising, you shouldn’t just make rash purchases without putting some considerable thought into the process. The same goes for buying promotional products. There are certain steps that you should follow in order to make sure your campaign is as successful as possible. Below are some Dos and Don’ts related to buying promotional products. Not all of the dos and don’ts will be applicable to every single order or campaign, but they help create a great rule of thumb to follow when possible.


  • Do make sure the products you are buying are suitable for the intended recipients.
  • Do keep the product colors consistent with your branding. Another words, use the color scheme of your company logo and image. Also, using promotional products that are closely related to your business is a great strategy.
  • Do make sure your point of contact and logo is included on the promos. Phone number and website are very important.
  • Do give away products that are useful. If they can be used over and over, they will stick around and continue to advertise for you.
  • Do include some kind of call to action to generate a phone call, email, text message, purchase, or some other kind of contact.
  • Do include some kind of tracking mechanism so you know the results that you are getting from your investment. This can be a unique coupon code, a specific QR code that generates a point of contact, or a more direct action such as, “Show us this item to receive 10% off your next order.”
  • Do use a reputable promotional products distributor. Just because a distributor offers the lowest price doesn’t mean they are the best option. In almost all walks of life, you get what you pay for. If you are getting a deal that is too good to be true, it probably is. Your order will suffer on quality or service or BOTH! Customer service trumps pricing.
  • Don’t give away worthless junk if you want your recipients to keep the items. Sometimes small increases in price can get an item that will significantly boost your response rate. However, by giving away items that don’t look good and don’t work well portrays a poor image of your company.
  • Don’t buy less than you need. This seems like a no-brainer, but it happens all the time due to budgetary reasons. Be sure you can afford the entire campaign and don’t do it halfway. You won’t see the results you want if you don’t go all the way with it.
  • Don’t give out high priced items in mass quantity, unless they are going to a specific group of people, such as your past top clients.
  • Don’t impulse shop when buying promotional items. Be sure and have a plan and think about it thoroughly.
  • Don’t settle for a lame layout on your promotional products. Be creative and utilize the options you have for specific products. For example, if the product you want offers a full color imprint, don’t just print in black. Use the potential of the full color to attract attention to the imprint.
  • Don’t be stingy with your products. Give them out.
  • Don’t buy from distributors that are just order takers. You want a distributor who cares about the success of your marketing and one who can offer ideas on how to improve them based on their experience and expertise.
Buying promotional products is not as simple as buying groceries at the grocery store. You have to know your targeted audience, know the results you want to produce, know how you will produce those results, and act upon your plan. Promotional products are an investment and NOT an expense if they are used correctly. An experienced distributor with a creative staff can help you achieve these results.
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