Promotional items are given out so freely that most people throw them away or give them to Goodwill. If you want your promotional items to be used, here’s how to do it:
1. Start by choosing products people want to keep
No matter how cool your custom hand sanitizer label looks, when the bottle is empty, it’s going into the trash. Chances are, a tiny bottle of hand sanitizer won’t last as long as a magnet or a custom t-shirt. However, if you’re giving away hand sanitizer at an event that doesn’t provide hand wipes or hand sanitizer to attendees, your little bottles of hand sanitizer will be in high demand.
The trick to designing promotional items people want to use begins with choosing products that are appropriate for the event where you’ll be passing them out. For example, if you’re at a convention for beauty products, you might want to hand out tweezers branded with your logo. The trick is to choose items that people will want to put into their pocket, bag, or purse.
Unique but non-functional items probably won’t survive after the novelty wears off. Functional items that people already have – like keychains and pens – need to be high quality to survive the ride home. The moment someone realizes your pen doesn’t have good ink flow, they’ll chuck it in the trash.
2. You don’t always need to give away trinkets
Promotional items that can be printed online are often cheaper than items made from plastic or metal. Items like desk and wall calendars often make the best promotional items because they’re designed to be displayed for an entire year or more. However, calendars need to be sufficiently appealing to make people want to display them for a whole year.
Like any printed product, creating a calendar your leads will use requires following some basic principles:
- Avoid hot topics, unless that hot topic happens to be your specific market. For example, you should only include politics and religion if you’re promoting a specific political issue or religion.
- Using high-quality professional photos that follow a specific theme.
- Adding humor wherever you can. People love humor because it brightens their day. It makes sense to add humor to a calendar people will be looking at every day.
- Avoid making your calendar images overly-promotional. Nobody wants to look at a large version of your logo every month out of the year with an inspirational quote. Instead of using each month as a way to promote your brand, use each month to promote something related to your industry that people care about.
If you want ideas to take your promotional efforts to the highest level possible, check out what Diamond Packaging does each year with their corporate calendar. Each year, the company creates an intricately designed calendar that embodies the very techniques they use in their packaging options. The purpose is to showcase how they can help corporate clients elevate their brand through packaging that includes features like cold foiling and smart tagging.
3. Pay close attention to typography
When printing promotional materials, whether on paper or a physical item, typography can make or break the impression you leave on people. When it comes to printing, everything matters including font color, font face, line spacing, letter spacing, and margins.
4. Hire a professional designer to prepare your files correctly
If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re probably used to doing everything yourself. In most situations, that’s a great strategy. However, if you’re not trained in design, you need to hire a professional designer.
Designing files for print must be learned. Your logo and any other graphics intended for print must be created as print-ready files from the beginning. A professional designer will know exactly how to do this. Even when you’ve trained yourself on how to use Photoshop and can crank out some nifty designs, it doesn’t mean your files are print-ready. In fact, if you haven’t intentionally prepared your files for print, they probably aren’t suitable for printing.
When you create a new file in Photoshop, the resolution is usually 72dpi, which won’t work for printing. The color profile will likely be RGB, which is not a print-friendly color profile. For print, you need to start with a file with a resolution of at least 300dpi and a CMYK color profile. Anything else will generate poor quality results.
What promotional items do you keep?
Avoid buying promo items you consistently donate or toss. Look in the trash cans at events to see what people immediately toss, and be willing to spend a little more for quality items that people will want to keep for a while.