Promotional Ideas to Boost Your Campaigns


Advertising specialties can make many tactics more effective

Creating your marketing plan. Phew! It can be a daunting task. But once you get your marketing blueprint drawn, you have an even bigger challenge – implementing your plan.

If you’re not including promotional products, you’re missing an important element from your tool box. We’re talking power tool. Advertising specialties add to the success of direct mail marketing, marketing research, prospecting, referral programs, gift with purchase, employee incentives, advertisements, and the list goes on.

According to Promotional Products Association International, 76% of customers receiving promotional products are able to recall the name of the advertiser on a product received in the past 12 months. In addition, promotional products have been shown to increase direct mail response, increase trade show traffic, increase sales, increase recommendations and increase referrals. Recipients are also more likely to do business with the advertiser and they also provide a positive image of your company.

What’s not to like about that? And how can you take advantage of the power of promotional products in your marketing plan?

One of the first steps you’ll take before jumping into a marketing plan is research. Who is your prospective client? How will they use your service or product? What are the best avenues to reach your market?

At first glance you might think that promotional products don’t have a place in marketing research, but consider this – if you incorporate incentives, like a branded USB drive, you’re more likely to get a response. Offer no incentive and the recipients of your research inquiry might think answering your questions is a waste of their time. Whether to bulk up the mail to get it opened, or to offer for responses, promotional products help you get the information needed. Not only do promotional products increase response, but that incentive item will hang around with the prospective client for top of mind awareness, plus it offers yet another opportunity to make contact. The other great thing about USB drives? You can preload information about your products or services. Triple the benefit.


Say you’ve chosen to go a direct mail marketing route to generate leads. Each recipient will decide whether to open or trash your mailing in only a few seconds. Bulk gets it opened. It builds curiosity to get your piece read. Even if the recipient decides to discard the letter, they may keep the product as a reminder of your brand. When they need your service or product in the future, they keep the promotional product and that will remind them of your company.

And if you want to use a regular envelope for your direct mail, there are still a lot of items you can use to increase your response. Try a phone wallet with or without a stand. Handy piece when all you need to take is your phone! It can hold a credit card, room key, identification, or some cash. We also carry flat mailable pens you can pop together to fill out surveys or any response type of promotion.

Of course there are so many flat, mailable solutions from flashlights to maze tape flags to the always useful post it notes and magnets.


Referral programs are a critical element to any marketing plan. After all, your customer’s word-of-mouth is your best marketing. Whether you create an elaborate referral program or you prefer to keep it simple, promotional products will help. Even if you’re looking to send a simple thank you note with a gift, there are choices to fit a wide range of budgets and needs. There are fun pens that say, “Thank you very very much.” Or how about a little book of thank you quotes?

If you’re more interested in a formal program with points or levels, you can offer your customers a catalog so they can choose their own gifts. You simply give them a certificate and the transactions can be tracked for you. These are also popular for employee service awards.

Referrals are the best compliment a customer can give you. Don’t be afraid to spend some money. And yes, there are some gifts that can be made one at a time. One of our favorites is speakers, a great referral gift that says you appreciate them ‘speaking well’ of your company.

Gift cards are often spent and forgotten, but a branded item will be remembered each time your customers see it.


If advertising in print publications is your best route, consider turning your advertisement into a direct response piece with a call to action. Say your business is a wealth management firm and you advertise in a local city publication like San Diego Magazine. Share your success stories, pitch what makes you better than the competition, and then make your call to action: ‘Make an appointment with us today, and you’ll receive a leather bound journal to record your progress.’ Tying the call to action to a promotional gift can increase response to your ad. Your investment will be worth every penny – because you know that if you can get them in the door, you can dazzle them with your expertise.


Promotional products offer a creative way to improve your brand recognition, develop client loyalty, create top of mind awareness, and increase response to your marketing efforts. If you’re not utilizing them in your marketing plan, maybe it’s time to reconsider and add a power boost to your campaigns.

About Linda

Linda is the Marketing and Client Services Director for Brilliant Marketing Ideas, Inc., specializing in promotional products and the best use of the advertising medium. In addition to spending the past 17 years consulting businesses from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, she previously worked on the client side of the business running various divisions of a large Bank. She believes her client’s success is her success. She loves to create new ideas and welcomes the opportunity to meet with her clients to help them stand out from their competition!