Is it a Pen or a Promotion
Pens are one of the most popular promotional items. Imprinting them with a company name, logo, contact information and marketing message is just the first step. That's not a promotion, it's just something to give away. To make a promotion, you need to think about objectives and target audience, among other things. Here are 7 tips to help you in that direction. Many are geared to small business, while others are applicable on any scale.
It should go without saying (but it doesn't) that quality is an essential component. There are pens available at just about any budget level, but even if your budget is limited, be aware of the difference between an inexpensive pen and a cheap pen. A cheap product can reflect poorly on your company and destroy any benefit your marketing might have gained.
A pen is lightweight yet causes a regular envelope enough distortion that it will usually get opened. If you’re sending a letter to prospects and you want to increase the chance your letter will get opened, a pen will do it. Combine this idea with Prize Derby or Design Contest (explained later) and you could have a real promotion on your hands.
Think of your audience not as companies but as individuals. Where do they frequent when not at work? A local coffee shop? A hair salon? If you're a member of your local chamber of commerce, why not leave some pens on the counter? What about the gym or health club? Wherever you expect to find your target audience, ask the owner or manager if you can leave a supply of your pens there.
Quick Draw McGraw
Think about how many times a week you hear somebody say “who has a pen?” Be the solution. beat everyone to the punch and hand over your pen (complete with your marketing message, of course). Delivered at a time of need, it will be most appreciated.
Forget Your Pen
On purpose. Every time you use your pen to sign a credit card receipt, leave it behind. Whether it's a restaurant, a retail store, or whatever, just leave it. Pay if forward.
Permission Based Usage
Ask local restaurant owners if you can supply their wait staff with your pens. Instruct them to encourage patrons to “steal” the pen. If you've selected the right quality pen to begin with, they'll want to.
Pen Design Contest
Have your clients and prospects supply you with ideas on a unique design for the imprint of your pen. Post the top designs on your website letting your clients and prospects know through email or snail mail that the designs are up. Let them cast their vote for their favorite. Make sure you get their email and other appropriate contact information as you are now building your database. The winning design wins 50 of the pens. you can bet they’ll show them to everyone they know. This whole tactic is designed to drive people to your website. Of course, everyone who votes gets a pen.
Many pens can be sequentially numbered for a little extra cost. Imprint the pens with a message to visit your website to see if the number matches a number on the prize page. The prize can be something related to your business product or service, or another promotional item such as a T-shirt, mug, or tool. You can drive repeated visits by changing the number weekly.
Search, Explore, and Ask
You might be visiting a trade show and be asked to fill out a sign-up card with a plain pen. Maybe you can replace them with yours. Have you ever been to the bank and found the driveup tube canister doesn't have a pen? Be generous. Consider the opportunities around you, especially with non-profits. The next time they send out a mailing asking for donations, maybe your pen can be included.
Pens can be a powerful promotional marketing medium when supported by an effective, appropriate and creative idea. But it's up to you. If you don't look, you won't see. If you don't ask, well, you know the answer.