Thoughts About Promotional Items

When it comes to promotional items, put some thought into what the client might like, value and appreciate.

I recently saw a comment where the person mentioned that they didn’t want to miss out on any opportunity to give clients “something with my name on it.”

Sweeties, clients could care less about items with your name on it. Do you know how much of that crap get tossed in the “round file” as soon as it’s received? No one wants or needs yet another boring pen or letter opener with your name on it.

You’re going to waste a lot of money on stuff that no one but you cares about and isn’t going to make you memorable anyway (which is why people do these promo items in the first place).

Put some more thought into things, more originality. Think about it from the client’s perspective. And if you don’t know what they would like, value, appreciate or find interesting or helpful, then get out there and start talking to them now.

Demonstrating exceptional service is more memorable than any promo item. No one is going to become a raving fan shouting about you to others every chance they get because they got a pen with your name on it.

Giving something extra is more memorable. Go above and beyond once in awhile as a gesture of good will and just because you know it will help.

Creating some free info products (which can and should have your name and branding on it) is more useful to clients and they are more likely to pass those kinds of things on (which helps you get your name out there… exactly what you intended the ineffective promo items to do).

If you’re going to give a gift to a new client, make it a real gift, not some self-serving promotional item.

And when it comes to gifts, consider giving something they can experience rather than something that might only sit on a shelf or go in a drawer (or worse, the wastebasket). Maybe that’s zoo tickets. Maybe it’s a certificate for dinner for two. Maybe you send them over something unconventional and unexpected. Those are the things that are memorable to people. You’ll be forever associated with those good memories and feelings and they for sure will be telling others about the uniqueness of your approach.

No one raves to others about some humdrum pen or letter opener with your name on it. And when they don’t care about the item (and it gets buried or thrown away), you’ve just wasted money and effort imprinting them with your details.

If you’re looking for ideas for your new client welcome kits, I’ve got a New Client Welcome Kit Guide that covers all this stuff and comes free with the admin support biz sets I offer in our Success Store.

4 Responses

  1. Right on, Danielle! The longer I’m in business, the more I realize how crucial it is to thoughtfully consider any gift – it ends up giving back in the long run!

    Something I like to do is purchase unique gifts from some of my existing clients to give. It not only supports them it gives me an opportunity to introduce them and their products to my other clients.

    Thanks for reminding me not to be tempted by those email offers of 5,000 pens for pennies a piece!

  2. Great post, Danielle. I have heard VAs on some popular forums encourage others to get the freebies from VistaPrint and offer that to their clients… honestly do they think that a client isn’t going to know that you spent ZERO thought on a gift? And then to add insult to injury, it’s something that they themselves can get for free…. NO BUENO.

    @Jeannette, I love the idea of supporting your client by cross-promoting. That shows care and support. BRAVO!

  3. Julia Lilly says:

    I think an ebook is a great way to give back and show off your expertise as well. Great post Danielle.

  4. Yeah, it does double-duty: it’s a gift that (ideally) helps their business in some way, while marketing yours and establishing trust and credibility at the same time!

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