promo-product-swagSmall business owners know all too well that there are many critical demands when it comes to running a company, and "marketing" is one of the biggies. Without good marketing, businesses face an uphill battle getting prospects in the door. And no prospects means no customers, which means no sales and no more business.

These days, it's pretty much a given that every business needs to market online, whether in the form of a website, online listings, or social media. But what about offline marketing? Isn't the point of all that online marketing to get customers to come in (or reach out) to your business? Once you've made contact with a potential customer, you need a cost-effective way to keep your business top of mind.  That's where promotional products come in.

Promotional products, sometimes fondly known as 'swag,' are an excellent ways to stay top of mind with people you've only met once, and they're great for building customer loyalty too. Here are three reasons you shouldn't wait any longer to start using promotional products as part of your marketing mix:

They Make Great Gifts


Gifts are things we give people, not charge people money for. People love getting free things like t-shirts, totebags or coffee mugs. You can use promotional products as a way to thank your customers for using your services, or to thank prospects for getting a quote. Even something as inexpensive as a personalized pen, or a custom printed pad of "post-it" type notes with your business logo on it, can be very handy for keeping your information in front of people. Do you make service calls at people's homes? Give a gift that will be used at home -- a magnet for the fridge, a kitchen tool, flashlight or coffee mug are popular items.

Two Words: Walking Advertisement

Buying custom printed t-shirts or tote bags and giving them away to people who are likely to give you a good referral is one of the best marketing investments a small business owner can make. You can also advertise these types of items as a "free gift" with purchase. It's surprising, but offering incentives like this type of free giveaway really does increase sales. And then when people wear your imprinted shirts or carry your bag, they are literally walking around advertising your brand and you don't even have to pay them for it. An intriguing, engaging imprint will prompt inquiries, and give people a reason to talk about you.

It's the Candy of Trade Shows


Trade shows are invaluable resources for generating new businesses leads and no business should go to such an event unarmed. Come prepared with your printed collateral and plenty of promotional products to give out to people who attend these trade shows. Colorful displays of appealing promotional giveaways help draw people into your booth. You can even do a pre-show mailing to registered attendees, inviting them to drop by your booth to pick up their free gift (this is a proven technique to increase your booth traffic!) But don't be in a hurry to give away your swag to everybody who makes eye contact -- try to have a real conversation first. Another tactic is to have an economical giveaway for the "lookie loos" who are just out basically trick-or-treating at the show, and then keep a few nicer items available that you pull out to give people who turn out to be serious leads. It makes them feel you're serious about them too, when you give them "the good stuff."

Watch our video for more on the power of promotional products!

For more tips and tricks for using promotional products effectively for your small business, please contact us today.