Whether you’re thinking pens, lanyards or caps, promotional giveaways may sound decidedly old school. But here’s the thing – your customers actually prefer them to any other form of advertisement. 

A recent study showed that 48% of Canadians had received a promotional pen in the last year. At an equivalent rate of just 1/10 of a US cent per impression, they rank as the best value promotional giveaway.

However, there are a number of factors that influence what you give away and to whom you give it.

Read on for why you should definitely be using promotional giveaways, and how to make them fit your budget.

Promotional Giveaways – Why They Work

There are certain key features of promotional giveaways that other forms of marketing struggle to match.


Watch a pop-up or an advert and you’ll see it a couple of times before it gets annoying. With a pen, calendar or t-shirt you’ll see it hundreds of times – and it makes an impression each time.

Take pens as an example. One of the most cost-effective options, the same study showed that people keep these for an average of 6 months. That’s a lot of impressions.

With calendars, they usually stick around for the whole year and are the most referred to item for contact info.

Gift That Keeps On Giving

Once they’ve received a promotional giveaway, rather than simply discarding it, a staggering 64% of Canadians will pass it on. Each time your promo is passed on, it’s creating more impressions.

People usually like to receive something for free. Companies who use promotional giveaways, therefore, create positive impressions.

In fact, in another study, 83% of recipients of promotional giveaways said they were more likely to do business with the brand. Good returns for what could be a relatively modest investment.

Mass Appeal

All consumers said they prefer promotional giveaways to any other form of advertising. However, a little more cunning is required than just supplying a free pen to customers to make them love you.

Research has shown that certain items have a greater impact on particular demographics. Also, the usefulness of the item greatly impacts how successful it will be.

For millennials, think outerwear, such as t-shirts, jackets, and fleeces. USB sticks are very popular across age groups, and crucially, appeal to both men and women. They appeal both to rural and city dwellers.

How to Budget for Promotional Giveaways

When making your first forays into the world of freebies, think about what will have the most impact for the least investment. Pens could be a great place to start, and there are different options open to you.

Taking your investment to the next level, a wise choice would be USB drives. Rated as the most influential product overall, you literally put your brand in the hands of your customers on a daily basis.

The Verdict on Promotional Giveaways

They might seem like a blast from the past, but hey, they work! Ignore them at your peril.

With options to suit every budget, make sure they’re a key part of your marketing strategy.

Hundreds of firms trust us with their promotional products each year. Click here to see the great range of options we have to suit your company’s needs.