Guide to Choosing Promotional Gifts for your Business

Mugs and Magnets

The Power of a Magnet and a Mug: You never know how much business a magnet or a mug might generate.

Think that promotional gifts don't make a difference in promoting yourself and your business? Think again! Promotional gifts like magnets and mugs can be the difference between enjoying the profits of a big sale and never having a particular customer walk through your door in the first place. It can also be that one big sale which went to your closest competitor because the customer simply didn't know you existed.

Placing promotional gifts into the hands of your potential customers is one of the most cost-efficient ways to imprint your company's/business' name on people's minds. But, as many business owners ask, do they really work? The answer is yes. Take the story of Ben and Trish. The couple had rented a small apartment in a mid-sized city for just over a decade, since the time they had gotten married and first moved to that city. Knowing that Ben and Trish were new to the community, a neighbor connected them with the local Welcome Wagon, who sent a representative to their home with a basket full of gifts and information from local businesses and community groups. One of those gifts was a mug from a local real estate agent. At the time, Ben and Trish weren't in the market to purchase a home, but put the mug in their cupboard, where they used it regularly for the next several years.


3 in 1 Photo Magnet

A decade later, when Ben and Trish were expecting their first child, they felt that their finances were stable and that it was time to purchase a home for their new family. Suddenly, Ben and Trish remembered that mug, the one that was first given to them when they moved to their community. After 10 years, the handle was cracked, but the information on the side was still intact, and they called the real estate agent that had given them the mug in the first place. The agent, Geoff, helped Ben and Trish locate a gorgeous three-bedroom house in a middle-class neighborhood across the street from an elementary school. Says Geoff of his commission on the home that he sold to Ben and Trish: "It was over five times what I paid for that order of promotional mugs. It was definitely a small investment compared to the profits I gained. And that was just one sale." In reality, Geoff had handed out hundreds of those mugs. Geoff estimated that at least two dozen more sales were a direct result of his promotional mugs, and possibly even more. Was it worth it for Geoff? "Definitely!" he states.

One dentist, who regularly promoted her practice by placing her information on refrigeratormagnets, which she distributed through Welcome Wagon, as well as handing them out to regular clients, and through a few other community events and venues, estimates that 30% of her new clients find her practice as the result of coming across one of her magnets. "I literally hand them out like candy. In fact, I don't hand out candy at all, I'm a dentist, remember?" she laughs. She likes using magnets because people put them on their refrigerators, where they look at them several, maybe even dozens of times per day. "It doesn't take people very long to recognize and remember my name" she says.

The great thing about mugs and magnets is that they are useful. Says one small business owner: "If you hand someone a flier or business card, they may glance at it once, but the tendency of most people is to immediately throw it out, or bury it in the depths of their wallets or purses, never to be seen again. But if you give someone a mug or a magnet, they take it home and actually use it." Someone who drinks coffee or tea out of a mug, even as infrequently as once a week, will tend to remember that business name first the next time they are looking for the type of product or service which that particular business offers. Says another small business owner, "People love to get things for free. Even something that may at first seem as small and trite as a mug or magnet has a much bigger impact on a customer or potential customer than a flier or newspaper ad, which is viewed once or twice and forgotten, or perhaps not even viewed at all."

So if long-term effects on your bottom line are what you're looking for, promotional giveaways like mugs and magnets are the way to go. When it comes to bang for your buck, few other forms of advertising can compare.

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