The TM Edit: 10 Of The Best Low Cost Promotional Products

Working with a smaller budget this spring/summer? Yep, we hear you - and guess what? We're here for you, too. 

At Total Merchandise, we always pride ourselves on offering our customers the very best prices and discounts we can find - and chances are they'll be the very best prices and discounts you can find, too.

However. On top of that, we also have an ever-changing range of products that have our customers who are working with more precise needs in mind: namely those who have smaller budgets to play with yet still want to maximise awareness for their business in the best possible way they can. This one's for you!


Editor’s Note: This article was originally written in spring 2020 and has been updated for 2021.

You might have a smaller budget because you're a start-up brand or are turning a side-hustle into something a bit more serious; equally, your budgets might be tight due to recent in-house cuts or refocusing in other areas.

Whatever the reason, you can be confident that Total Merchandise is here to support you and your business. Our combination of promotional merchandise expertise and industry authority means we can help you make the savviest choices when it comes to picking the best - and we mean the very best - promotional products for your business.

Four Easy Ways To Max Your Promotional Merchandise Budget

1. Think bulk.

If you're ordering a product that you're likely to require more of in the future, consider purchasing a higher volume now. A larger order can be more cost-efficient and will spare you doubling up on delivery costs and other related charges later down the line. 

2. Remember who you're ordering for.

Of course, the best way to ensure you get value for money is to ensure the products you choose are something your customers are likely to want or use. Give some thought to what will put a smile on their faces and create positive connotations of your brand; also give thought to how you will be presenting it. Is it a promotional giveaway you'll be handing out at an event? Will you be sending it through the post, or presenting it in-store? 

3. Keep it simple.

You don't need a huge amount of budget to make a positive impact on your customers. Consult our list of best-selling promotional merchandise to find items that you can be confident will be a universal hit with your customers or head to our Special Offers & Discounts section to find the perfect match for your brand campaign. 

4. Ask us for help!

If you have a specific budget in mind and need help finding the perfect products to suit, don't hesitate to get in touch.

With years of experience, our Product and Sales team are perfectly placed to help you make smart decisions and advise you on the products that can match your money and generate positive brand awareness. Simply call us on 01376 509092 or email and we'll be delighted to advise.

Read on to discover a few of our favourite budget-friendly merchandise ideas and don't forget to explore our whole range of low cost promotional items, as well as our offers and discounts

Printed Cotton Tote Bags

Choose these if: You want longer-lasting brand awareness. These promotional cotton tote bags are the perfect eco alternative to traditional goodie bags and can also make great giveaways for freshers' fairs, academic open days, in-store special offers... The scenarios are endless!

As well as being available at brilliant low prices, these branded tote bags offer premium visibility for your artwork, with printing available in up to two colours. With printed cotton bags ideal for use in almost any scenario (whether your customers are heading to the office, going to the shops or are students dashing between classes), you can be confident that this is a giveaway your customers will use over and over again.

In fact, insights from the Advertising Speciality Institute (ASI) show that promotional bags are one of the items most likely to generate awareness for your brand over a longer period of time; according to the research, the typical printed bag will generate an average of 3,300 impressions in its lifetime.

Curvy Ballpens

Max your buck by: Ordering these printed pens in bulk. That way, you've got them for use in-house as well as for any upcoming customer giveaways, whether in-store, through the post or face-to-face at events. 

As one of our best-selling promotional pens, our Curvy Ballpen is a tried-and-tested favourite and the pen of choice of thousands of businesses all across the UK. Offering a comfortable writing experience for your customers and visibility for your brand with every single use, you can't go wrong with this classic idea. And branded pens offer lasting visibility: the same ASI data set referenced above reveals corporate pens will generate an average of 3,000 impressions throughout their lifetime.

Promotional 10" Balloons

A popping choice for... Brand appearances at events where you want your logo to truly stand out amidst the crowds. Think stands at trade shows, freshers' fairs and so on - promotional balloons are perfect for creating a fun, eye-catching display that will make your business unmissable to passers-by.

Take your pick from a whole range of colours - including primary shades and pastel tones - and if you're after something bigger, don't fret; these logo printed balloons are also available in a 12" size.

Of course, if you're planning a trade show appearance, there are a huge range of other promotional items you could consider to make sure your brand truly stands out, as our trade show essentials guide demonstrates.

Low Cost Stress Balls

Order these for: A topical talking point that will open-up conversation with staff and customers regarding wellbeing. Also, promotional stress balls are giveaway classics: they prop up (well, not literally) desks all across the UK and provide moments of solace and distraction for even the most frazzled of minds.

One of our best-sellers, our Low Cost Stress Balls can be printed with your artwork in up to four colours, ensuring unmissable visibility for your branding. However you use them and whoever you intend to give them to, you can be confident that these are promotional giveaways that will last. 

Biodegradable Polythene Carrier Bags

Choose it if... You're after an eco alternative to plastic carrier bags for your store or pop-up shop. Whether you print your artwork in one-colour or four-colour and to one side or both sides, you can be assured that these printed bags will complete your customers' experience with your brand in style.

With a shelf-life of around 18 months, you can be confident these bags will last. An essential promotional giveaway for events - such as consumer shows, trade fairs and freshers' events - these branded carrier bags are perfect for ensuring your branding lives on after interactions with customers. These branded biodegradable bags are also a great way to show your business is taking its Corporate Social Responsibility seriously, too.

Mailer Smartphone Stands

Talk technical to me: Cheap and cheerful, these promotional phone stands combine low prices with high impact. Great for handing out as part of an awareness drive or for posting to long-distance customers, these printed mobile phone stands are a tech-savvy match for smaller budgets.

Emblazoned with your full colour artwork, this printed cardboard phone stand is a thoroughly 21st century way to positively promote your business without costing a fortune. Offering your customers a practical purpose, you can feel be assured it will be used

P5 Keyring

Unlock the branding potential: Once added to a bunch of keys, a promotional keyring will travel with your customers wherever they do. Whether it's attached to house keys, office keys or car keys, the right keyring will become a small yet significant part of your customers' daily lives - and with prices from just 26p for our best-selling full-colour-printed P5 Keyring, what's not to love?

Promotional keyrings are a fantastic giveaway option for all sorts of businesses, ranging from garages to hairdressers and builders to supermarkets. Offering your customers a constant yet undemanding reminder of your business is a fantastic means to create subliminal brand awareness, meaning your company will be the first they think of. 

25 Sheet A5 Note Pads

Choose these if: You're keen to offer staff, students or customers a fuss-free writing experience, neatly adorned with your logo. These low cost branded notepads can be printed in anything from one-colour up to full colour with your artwork - it's entirely up to you.  

Perfect for jotting down notes, memos, to-do lists and more, these promotional notepads are the perfect addition to desks across the UK, whether used in offices, hotels, salons or even at home!

From low cost promotional items to industry-exclusive merchandise offers and discounts, Total Merchandise has all the budget-friendly items your business could need this spring. Need help finding a specific item? Simply contact a member of our friendly and experienced Sales team on 01376 509092 today! 

Main image via Pixabay.

Written by

Adam Carter | Head of Products

Adam has been leading the Product team for over 18 years, during which time he's built up an enviable reputation as one of the industry's most trusted authorities on promotional merchandise. As well as supplier relations, product sourcing and pricing, Adam is also responsible for ensuring our promotional merchandise is presented on the website in the most effective manner. His expertise makes him the go-to person on the team for spotting merchandise trends and he's highly experienced in identifying the best branded products to meet our customers' needs. When he's not working, Adam enjoys travel, electronic music and all forms of cinema.

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