How To Use Promotional Products Effectively To Boost Your Business

If you've never ordered promotional products before, it can feel a little overwhelming.

After all, there are countless product options out there and it can be hard to know what you should invest your precious time and budget into. In addition to that, if you don't have the support of an artwork team around you, you might also feel stumped when it comes to choosing the right design.

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We know it can feel like a lot - but we're here to help. Our expert team span everything from Sales to Artwork, meaning we've got the pros on-hand to help you order with confidence.

Our Product team also work hard to ensure we can offer our customers the best possible range of products to choose from - and if you're looking for something you can't find, just let us know. We'd be happy to help track it down!

What Are Promotional Products & How Can They Help My Brand?

Promotional merchandise, also referred to as "swag" or "promotional products", are items that are printed with details that are unique to your business, such as your logo or telephone number. Typically speaking, promotional products can be branded with any or all of the below:

  • A company's logo
  • A company's slogan or tagline
  • A company's contact details, including phone number or website
  • Vibrant imagery from a recent photoshoot
  • An exclusive offer, discount or QR code, just for recipients of the products

What you can print on to your promotional products depends on the items you choose, as well as the print area and branding choices that it has available. Every product has its own unique print spec and customisation options - the possibilities are endless! 

Choose the right products for your brand and you have the opportunity to truly capture the attention of your recipients and create long-lasting awareness that will keep them coming back to your business, time after time.

Promotional merchandise is great for all sorts of marketing activity, whether you plan to distribute it among potential new leads at a trade show or want to give it to customers at the end of a transaction. 

But how can you ensure you're choosing the right promotional items for your target demographic? Whether they're existing customers, would-be leads or perhaps even members of your team, read on for our tips on how to use promotional products effectively. 

#1 Remember Who Your Target Recipient Is

It sounds simple enough but if you think about it, how well do you really know who your target audience is? That demographic - or something similar to it, at least - is presumably who you'll be aiming your merchandise at, so keep them fully in mind when deciding what products you'd like to use for your marketing campaign.

Consider the items that would provide genuine benefit and purpose to your customers. The more useful or desirable the product, the more likely your recipients will incorporate it into their day-to-day lives. 

For an instant inspiration fix, take a look at the most popular promotional products above, and you can also discover more useful stats about promotional products via our What Is Promotional Merchandise? page.the most popular promotional products

It's not just about practicality when it comes to choosing merchandise items, by the way. Some products, such as our mouthwatering custom brownies or chocolate Neapolitans, are perfect for adding an extra special corporate touch to an event. Which brings us neatly on to...

#2 Get Your Numbers Right

Of course, the really big consideration point is how much of your precious marketing budget you want to spend on promotional products.

Our Everything Included pricing structure makes this simple: it shows you exactly how much you'll be spending before you've so much as submitted your contact details. The price you see covers:

  • The unit price of your products
  • The delivery cost (to one mainland UK address)
  • The printing/branding cost

You can also use the VAT toggle to view how much your order is with or without VAT.

We always strive to be as transparent as possible with our customers, and our crystal-clear price displays show you exactly how much a certain quantity of products will cost you. There are no nasty surprises at the last moment round here - what you see is really how much you'll pay. 

#3 Consider The Origins Of The Item

If your business is keen to emphasise its position on a topic such as the environment, choosing promotional products that can back that stance up is key.

For example, you might want to consider:

  • Whether or not a product was made in the UK
  • The material(s) that an item is made from: are they sustainable?
  • What your customers can do with the product once it's no longer needed: can it be recycled?

We have a huge range of promotional merchandise that has either been specifically made in the UK or that boasts one or more other eco-friendly credentials. Need help finding the perfect item to match both your marketing goals and your environmental concerns? Get in touch - a member of our knowledgable team will be happy to advise.

#4 Design Something They'll Want To Use

You've worked out the product you want, and know the quantity you need - so now it's time to decide how you can use the design potential to boost your business.

Whether you're offering them a stylish item of clothing (such as our cool Beechfield Patch Beanies) or are looking for something practical that they can use on a daily basis (like our best-selling Curvy Stylus Ballpens), make sure the product you're giving your customers promotes your business for all the right reasons. 

When it comes to choosing what artwork will go on your product, give consideration to:

  • The print space available on the item: how much room do you have? (You can view a product's individual print spec via its Artwork Template.)
  • The branding options on the product: every item on our website has a different number of customisation options available. Some can be printed in full colour and some in just one striking colour, while others can be embroidered, engraved or embossed. Check what options are available for your chosen product before you commit to a design - equally, if you're looking for full-colour items only, use our filters to find the right product for your campaign.
  • The message you want to convey: what do you want to share? Whether you want your items printed with your logo, contact details, campaign messaging or perhaps something else, enlist your design team to create something that you and your customers will love.

While some promotional products are perfect for printing with just a logo or brand slogan, other items can open up a whole canvas of creative opportunities. (Quite literally in the case of our promotional canvas bags.)

designing artwork for promotional products
Image: Theme Photos via Unsplash

Tote bags and T-shirts, for example, offer generous print areas that mean you can showcase anything from basic branding to beautifully detailed artwork. If it fits your brand, get creative and design something that your customers will love to use and show-off on a daily basis. 

#5 Decide How You'll Measure The ROI Of Your Promotional Products

Odds are you might be buying your product to generate ongoing brand visibility for your business. However, if you're keen to draw specific attention to a new launch or service, incorporating some sort of measurable incentive could work wonders to get your customers to interact with you.

After all, promotional products are a powerful gateway that can encourage your customers to take tangible next steps, as well as generate meaningful awareness of your business. 

For example, you could consider:

  • Including information about a discount code with your promotional products
  • Printing a QR code on your merchandise that will take your customers through to a sign-up page
  • Sending out a pre-event product mailout for attendees of a webinar or digital workshop to increase attendance rates

And so on. The possibilities really are endless when it comes to merch and how it can benefit your business, and whatever the goals of your marketing campaign, we're here to help every step of the way!

Require assistance with ordering promotional products? Simply contact a member of our friendly and experienced Sales team on 01376 509092 or email Main image by Kevin Grieve via Unsplash; design image by Theme Photo via Unsplash.

Written by

Katie Clark | Head of Digital Marketing

With over a decade in print and digital journalism, Katie possesses a wide skill-set that incorporates everything from SEO to PR. Joining the team in early 2019, her expertise lies in writing sparkling copy about promotional merchandise and related topics, as well as managing social media activity and developing creative solutions to keep the Total Merchandise brand at the forefront of people’s minds. With a background that includes event-planning and volunteering for charitable organisations, she has a first-hand appreciation for the needs and questions a customer might have when acquiring promotional products for their organisation. In her spare time, she loves reading, going to the cinema and learning to cook.

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