Motivation / Incentives
Imprinted products are often used to motivate sales teams toward more sales, production workers toward greater efficiency, credit departments toward more collections, etc. But they can also be used as incentives to get store managers to give you better shelf space for your products, dealers to load up on your product so they actually have to push it, consumers to purchase more of your product, delinquent library-card holders to return books and so on.

Recognition/Service Awards
Employees, customers and vendors are recognized for years of service, performance, volume or frequency of business, etc.

Traffic Building
Be it retail, business-to-business, associations... everyone has a need to draw customers. This may be to your store in general, for a specific promotion, to your tradeshow booth or to your special event.

Event Marketing
This might be a client golf outing, industry awards banquet, grand opening, building dedication, open house or anniversary, or you may be sponsoring or co-sponsoring a sporting event, concert, etc. Promotional products serve as thank you gifts media attention-getting devices and so on.

Safety Programs
Whether it's getting production workers to reduce their number of accidents, drivers to improve their on-the-road record or foremen to ensure that safety procedures are being followed, imprinted products promote the theme and message of safety programs, which can reduce insurance premiums.

Promotional products can be used as advertising materials, used as displays or as parts of displays in retail stores to draw attention to your product.

Direct-Mail Marketing
Using promotional products with sales letters can decrease the cost of securing a sales appointment by 65 percent, according to a 1992 study by the Silver Marketing Group for the Promotional Products Association International. The same study found that the inclusion of a promotional product with a sales letter yielded nearly twice the response of a letter with only a business reply card and offering an "expensive" clock increased the percentage response four times.

Employee/Community/Customer Relations
From building goodwill in the community to calming the waters after a crisis, companies, municipalities and organizations have used promotional products to inform, educate, thank, remind and apologize.

Clubs/Fraternal Identification
People are usually proud of their affiliations and enjoy wearing, carrying and displaying products bearing their club or organization's logo, colors, slogan, etc.

Cause-Related Marketing
From the "fur is not a fabric" movement to promoting breast cancer awareness, cause-oriented groups, organizations and charities use promotional products to promote their messages, and many companies will support those causes or market their own products and services through them.

How Well Promotional Products Work
Commonly known as the number-one vehicle for carrying an advertising message, promotional products actually offer more of a response mechanism than other standard media. Not all companies track their results, but some do. Using imprinted products such as gloves, caps, keytags, etc., as a way of promoting its "Call Before You Dig" seminars on maintaining safe working practices in cable line areas, AT&T generated a 95- percent success rate in scheduling seminars, which, within a year, translated into a 100-percent decrease in underground cable cuts. As a way of improving response to its customer-satisfaction surveys, a manufacturer/servicer of electronic document-processing solutions included a piece of foreign currency and a customized description with them. It generated a 43-percent response.

A Nabisco co-op promotion offering imprinted NFL merchandise with proofs-of-purchase garnered increased market share of 1.5 points and a $200 million increase in sales volume for the advertised brands. The Kirby Company used promotional materials to assist its dealer system in illustrating the benefits of a new home-care system. Those who used the materials achieved a 50-percent higher closing rate than those who didn't. For the grand opening of a new branch, Commonwealth Federal Savings Bank used a wide selection of promotional products as gifts to walk-ins and as incentives for opening new accounts or making deposits to existing accounts. Deposit amounts exceeded the bank's original goal by a staggering 225 percent and new accounts beat the goal by an equally impressive 209 percent.

Utilizing an incentive of two school-locker magnets, each featuring images of four top rock music artists, Warner Bros. Music, in a co-op with HMV Canada, a chain of record stores, achieved sales of 50,000 CDs or tapes of those artists in a one-month period.

At a Chick-fil-A fast-food restaurant, $181 worth of ad specialties led to a $1,249 increase in sales.

A desktop telephone message holder helped a Waco, Texas florist post an 11 percent jump in "goodwill standing."

Cost-Effectiveness of Promotional Products
Promotional products are used every day, often several times a day. They are looked at, written with, put on and involved in a whole list of other basic activities that allow for multiple direct or subliminal impressions of the imprinted ad messages.

By taking the general cost of a product (exact cost can vary because of quantity, intricacy of imprint and number of colors in imprint and possibly other specifications) and dividing it by the number of exposures the imprint receives, you can get a general idea of your cost per impression (CPI). Here are some examples:

The recipient of a 50-sheet notepad will have a minimum of 50 exposures to the message, which is imprinted on each sheet. If any of the notes are passed on, or kept, the number of exposures can double and triple. The CPI for a $1 notepad works out to be.02 cents per sheet for 50 impressions.

Key Chains
The message on a Key chain will be seen as often as 10 times a day. For a $5 Key chain, the CPI works out to be less than six-tenths of 1
cent throughout the one-to two-year life span of a Key chain.

People will look at their watch an average of twice an hour. If there are 8 working hours in a day, they'll look at their watch and have an impression of any message on the clock face - 16 times. For a basic $50 clock, the CPI for one day is .03 cents. With a three-year warranty, the number of impressions would be 17520, which makes the CPI .0024 cents.

The recipient of a calendar will be exposed to the message on it two to three times per day at home and five to six times per day at the office.
Working with the figure of three times daily (365 days per year), there would be 1,095 impressions. Dividing this figure into a $3 calendar brings the CPI to .002 cents.