Pens can be amazingly effective as promotional items. But, in 18 years in the industry, I feel they are wasted and handed out thoughtlessly more so than any other promotional product.
They are easy to get right, but even easier to get completely wrong. Put some thought into it to ensure you get the best value for your promotional dollar.
1) Match Your Pen To Your Target Client
Ideal client, not necessarily current, average client.
Promotional pens are really about expressing your business’ personality, but more so, communicating to your clients (or prospects) that you understand them.
Giving them a gift that is actually useful will go much further in terms of resonating with them than a thoughtless, generic item aimed at the masses.
Think of your ideal client – once you have that mental picture crystal clear, select your printed pens with them mind.
Most clients and prospects will appreciate some form of a promotional gift as a gesture, but, you’re aim is to land the next big, loyal customer who will do business with you long-term.
Of course, it’s not just about usefulness, but also about style. In a digital world, pens have become more of an aesthetic item that is treated and cherished like an accessory. Match the style of the custom pens to your ideal client to make your brand memorable.
If your client or prospect receives your printed pens and thinks, “Why would they send this to me?” you’ve missed the mark and created a negative impression of your brand.
The Golden rule in marketing is that anytime a potential customer has a thought involving your brand, that association should be positive.
To make things simple, we’ve organised our promotional pens to make selecting the right choice much easier. Have a look here.
2) Get Your Delivery Right
Putting your pens in a mug at the front desk is not enough.
Before you even order your pens, you need a plan for getting them into the hands of the right people. You might have to allocate a significant portion of your project budget for this. Better to pay to get them into the correct hands than to get them into the wrong hands for free.
Targeting not only increases the likelihood of a recipient taking action, but it also decreases negative reception of your promotional product. An unwanted or irrelevant gift makes your branding efforts look like spam.
Use analytical tools available online, census information and other data to narrow in on your demographic.
Spending a little more time and a larger portion of your budget on Geo targeting can pay big dividends.
It helps, of course, to start with organised information about your prospects or existing clients first. If you’re targeting people who you already have some basic contact information for (such as mailing addresses, business cards, etc.), get in the practice of categorising this data in a spreadsheet.
When it comes time to design and order your logo pens, you can exercise some common sense as far as what type and quality of pen is most appropriate. Is the promotional pen more likely to be in an office setting, or is it a candidate for the chest pocket of a client as they take the golf course?
Making this determination becomes easier with a clearer picture of your intended audience. Remember, it’s your ideal client you’re after. Spending some time perfecting your delivery approach can reveal surprising things about your target market you may have otherwise overlooked. In this case, go back and rethink, revise and repeat Step 1.
3) Include a Call To Action
Always a must. Keep it quick, or emotional.
Do your pens have a point? (Pun intended.) Why send out custom pens that lack follow-through?
It’s rare to see a television commercial that doesn’t ask you to do something. This applies to virtually any type of promotion.
Your client (or just a prospect at the moment) has your logo-branded pen in their hand… so what? Or the better question is: now what?
If it’s not the very best, life-changing pen they’ve ever had the honour of writing with in their life, at least it’s of great quality and it’s free… right?
So, recognising that being a free, well-placed, timed, and thoughtful gift is the shining characteristic of your pen, it makes sense to ask for a little something in return. This is where a CTA comes in.
Now, I’m not in charge of acronyms, but I think it’d be better to refer this as Clarifying The Ask.
Your audience should immediately know how to reach you and what your brand represents. That’s the essence of what you’re doing… saying to the customer, “Enjoy this free item, compliments of our brand. Please consider reaching out to us, or performing XYZ action.”
Without a clear Call To Action, the customer may as well assume you’re a pen manufacturer (or other promotional item), without making the mental connection that this item is a gift.
Don’t be afraid to ask for action. If you have reservations about requesting something in return for your gift, you may want to consider the quality of your item – as mentioned earlier, the more thought and investment you put into the design and delivery of your custom pens, the more confident you’ll be stating what you’re after.
To Sum Things Up
Follow these three cardinal rules when planning out your printed pens campaign to avoid looking unprepared, or worse.
We’ve seen it all, and my team and I know how quickly a promotional run can go sour when these steps are overlooked. Doing it right is easy, and building your client base with this marketing method is proven and as old as business itself.
With each step, consider any implications it has regarding previous steps, and revisit them as needed until all three are on the same page. Design for your target, take proper aim, and have a desired result specified.
If you still need any help or some useful pointers, check with your supplier of promotional pens or ping us for some info.