Promotional gifts serve a few important purposes, so they should be selected with care and creativity. The more customers connect the item with the business, the higher the return on the investment will be in the long-term. The goals are to let loyal customers know their business is appreciated, attract new customers, and increase exposure for the business branding or logo. In order to do that, the item has to be big relevant to the product or service offered by the company. Failure to do that translates into a waste of time and money.
There are some items that are so commonplace they should be abandoned. Key rings, for example, are cost-effective and fun, but do not effectively promote the business. They are small items so the logo is barely visible to the user, let alone anyone else. Key rings are mundane so they are rarely given a thought, unless someone loses their keys. Giving away five-hundred cheap items is not going to help attract new customers, or raise revenues. Be creative, do some research into what items are available, and select one that will be highly visible. It will be more productive to give away three-hundred tote bags that are printed in full color, than five-hundred key rings.
Business owners who fail to think of a creative solution, can get selection assistance from experienced companies that specialize in promotional items. Most companies have data that indicates which items are most popular, they provide design assistance for logos, and offer digital mock-ups of the item prior to printing. Discuss the product, the company, and the desired outcomes with the professionals and allow them to provide creative ideas.
They may think of something that will make a lasting connection between the business and customers. The first thing that may come to mind for the company behind pen.io, for a promotional gift is pens. The website is designed for people who want to publish articles and blog posts online. Pens are small and will not be noticed. There is a definite connection between the site and the writing tool, but the desired outcomes may not be realized. A more productive item may be a desk organizer with the logo printed on it. It is bigger, still relevant, and more visible.