Category Archives: Marketing Tips

How Premium Gifts Can Uplift Employees

Premium gifts serve the basic purpose of your standard gifts, to reward good behavior and encourage your employees to strive for more.  Encouraging this type of behavior will make your employees feel respected and appreciated.  It will also help determine who wants to develop their career for the long term. Here are some reasons to give your employees the not just gifts, but Premium Gifts!

Thank you gifts

Numerous studies have often said employees love when their manager tells them “good job!” A thank you gift can go a long way to improving employee morale. It doesn’t have to be over the top or too expensive either.  It just simply has to display how thankful you are to have them on your team.  Consider a pen and journal set with a special thank you message.

Top Performer Gifts

everyone knows the saying of “Show me the money” but sooner or later, your staff will want to be recognized as the top worker bee.  Reward the person, the department or the company who performs the best.  Maybe it’s a special coffee mug, stainless steel water bottle or portfolio for them to show off around the office.

Most Improved Gifts

Keep morale in the office high by showing you notice the people putting in effort, trying to develop their skills and taking on challenges they once hid from.

Consistent Award Gifts

They show up every day, rain or shine, with the same can-do attitude. They put out the “fires” at work and find ways to still make the office life enjoyable for the people around them.  Need them to work a little late and they have no problem.  They are your consistent performers who you cherish.  Show them why you love to have them in the office.  Deluxe Lunch bags or ice coolers that resemble them grabbing their “lunch pail” and hard hat for a great day of work is a gesture to show how much they are cherished by your organization.

Team Award

Did accounting figure out a way to save on spending?  Customer Service find ways to keep customers coming back for more?  Or maybe sales knocked their quota out the park?  Reward the departments that show the best results and let their team celebrate together. Its important to foster an environment of winning together and rewarding the victories.

5 Sport Promotional Items to Give at Sporting Events

Sporting events are a great place to gain exposure for your brand. There you will find a diverse group of people in a relaxed environment, coming together for a common goal.  An easy way to connect with them is to offer promotional items they can use at the game displaying your logo to go along with the positive feelings of the game itself.

Here are 5 winning sport promotional items to distribute at sporting events:

Can coolers

Start simple. Most people in the lead up to the big game, from pro to college football, often enjoy more of the pregame festivities than the game itself.   Walking around in the tailgate section of a big game handing out can coolers for all the thirsty potential clients to keep their beverages nice and cool while keeping their hands dry.

Bottle openers

Those same thirty tailgaters will love bottle openers they can use that same day and to keep for future use. Bottle openers are great for targeting men and a high-quality bottle opener can go a long way for very little investment.

See Through Bags

We live in an ever-changing world of new security restrictions intended to keep us safer at large gatherings. The NFL in recent years has led a charge to only allow see through game day bags in for fans.  Being as these bags are not yet too popular, tis is a good idea to hand out these types of bags wth your logo on it as many people will need these at the stadiums.

Rally Towels

Down by 6 with 2 minutes to go. Bottom of the 9th inning, bases loaded and two outs.  Whatever the game is, rally towels do a great job of generating a positive reaction.  Seeing multiple people in the stands with rally towels, will get the people without a rally towel asking “where can I get one?”  And even better, rally towels are sport promotional items that often find their way into homes because people generally don’t throw towels away for no reason, instead they will try to find a reason to use your rally towel.

Pens?

I’m assuming if you’re reading this you already know the great benefits of the Pen. But did you ever notice that there are millions of different kind of pens, all doing the same thing, writing and promoting your business.  So make sure you get a good deal, with high quality ink and trustworthy service!

4 Basic Drinkware Options and Their Advantages

With so many options to choose from, knowing which one to invest in can be excruciating.  Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of some of the options is the goal if this blog.  Here you can find some basic options to choose from and great ways to use these drinkware options.

  1. Coffee mugs: Full color vs. one-color

    Ummmm Coffee! Who doesn’t love it and need it to get the day started.  Coffee mugs are a great promotional item that you know will be used.  Full color options give you the ability to display your logo the way it was meant to be.  Also coffee mugs offer large decorating areas to enhance your brand and logo with cute and funny comments or decorations.

  2. Water bottle: Plastic vs. Stainless Steel

    If your brand has anything to do with a life-style, water bottles can bring it to life. Healthy living, sustainable energy, green living or just out to display a positive refreshing message, water bottles deliver.  Like a lot of things, timing is everything and January for New Year’s resolutions is a great time to be giving out your water bottles for all the new gym membership owners.

  3. Glassware: Glasses – Size – Shots

    Tends to not be used as daily when it comes to promotional items but does bring a high quality presence to your brand. Investing in Glassware will be playing the “long game” but will surely pay off.  Often times, people buy drink ware as a souvenir that brings positive feelings and promotional glassware will do the same.

  4. Plastic Cups

    Inexpensive drink items for the day will get people noticing your brand as strong as possible. If you can strike a deal with an event to hand out your plastic cups with your logo, great!  And even if you can’t, sometimes handing out your plastic cups at a sporting event, outdoor event or casual get together can do the trick.

4 Easy Ways on how to have a Successful Happy Hour with Clients

We’ve all been there, trying to open a new account, someone you’ve been prospecting for ages but just can’t seem to find the solution to closing the deal.  You call, email, mail and sometimes you even fly across the country but can’t get it done!  Sales are slow and you know if you can just get this one client, all the hard work will have been worth it.  Well, a good sales person knows that if you can’t get in the front – back – side door, well then, change the venue.

In this blog, you’ll find the basics on how to have a successful happy hour to set the setting on closing the deal.

1 – How to ask – It’s simple. Just ask.

For some, asking a client out can be scary, and for others it the perk of the job.  I often go with the basic “Hi XXXXX, I’ll be in town on this date, what’s a good bar or restaurant we can meet for happy hour?  I’m buying!” It’s simple, straight to the point, provides a small sense of urgency with open ended response, plus the client knows he won’t be spending much money to go to his/her favorite watering hole or place they have been wanting to try.

2 – People

Sometimes talking one on one can lead to some downtime or awkward moments as you try to get the client to relax and open up. So ask him if there is a co-worker or manager who might want to come with. The client will fill more comfortable and now you have someone else who you can try to convince in case you get stonewalled by your client.  And perhaps you may even find out better perspective of who the client reports to, what he struggles with in the office or what his manager looks for.  Tip: if they do invite someone, think about inviting one of you coworkers so you’re not out numbered and so if you stumble, you’ll have help to overcome obstacles.  But make sure they add value to the conversation and mood.

3 – Place

As mentioned earlier, try to let the customer decide. If you take them to a place they have wanted to try, it will evoke a positive experience.  Just make sure, it’s a place where you guys can talk so not too loud music, comfortable seats and a not too complex menu for picky eaters.  And have a backup place just in case you can’t get a seat or the place just doesn’t turn out to what you expect.

4 – Perception

Nobody like a Debbie downer. Stay positive, upbeat and remember just because you’re not in office, you’re still working and representing your company and/or business.  Keep the conversations light, ask more about them and listen to what they are saying, or even not saying sometimes.

5 Reasons Promo Calendars are Good Marketing Gifts

Promo calendars represent the perfect gift to help you increase visibility for your brand

Marketing managers across the nation will tell you promotional marketing gifts truly do work to enhance the visibility and prominence of a brand within a specific industry. Whether these promo items are used at a tradeshow as a handout for customers and prospects, or they’re sent out to clients or prospective customers during a high-volume mailing campaign, promotional gifts work. And there are few promo gifts that are as effective as top quality promo calendars. Continue reading

30 Days to Prepare for Small Business Saturday Promotions

Small Business Saturday is less than a month away. Are you ready?

It’s been several years now since American Express first promoted their newly-created Small Business Saturday (SBS), and it has now grown into a lucrative promotional opportunity for small business owners everywhere.

Sandwiched comfortably between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this relatively new “holiday” has made a lasting and sizeable impact on the number of individuals who choose to shop at small businesses instead of large retailers over this key shopping weekend.

In fact, according to CNBC, more than $14 billion has been spent each year, for the past few years, at local retailers on Small Business Saturday. To continue our series on preparing for Small Business Saturday, keep the following promotional tips in mind as the holiday nears:

SBS Tip 1: Get Started

It’s possible you haven’t done much yet to prepare for SBS. If not, that’s ok – just hit the ground running right now. Get the word out, talk to customers about the upcoming holiday, and begin talking to other businesses in the area to lock down cross-promotion opportunities. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t followed the preparation steps up to this point, just make sure you stay focused on making your business as visible as possible leading up to the holiday. You still have time to create promotional flyers and other local advertisements. You can also order gifts now and still have them in time for some small business marketing materials.

SBS Tip 2: Website Maintenance

Even though the holiday focuses on small businesses, you should still expect customers to view your website and make buying decisions before ever stepping foot in your retail storefront. Ensure your site is up-to-date and provide easy access to the products that will be prominently displayed in your store. Your website will help steer your success this Small Business Saturday, but make sure you have your specials well displayed by signage throughout the store.

SBS Tip 3: Hammer Social Media

Nearly 65% of adults are active on social media, with some age demographics spending several hours per day engaged with one or more social media sites. Ensure that your Facebook page and Instagram profile are up-to-date and there is active dialogue surrounding Small Business Saturday. You could offer a Facebook- or Instagram-only promotion that ties into the day, or simply use your pages to feel out consumer interest. Ask your followers what they’d like to see in the store and what is most important to them this holiday season.

SBS Tip 4: Join the Fun

Just because SBS is tucked between two major shopping days doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, too. Take advantage of the fervor surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday by creating your own Small Business Saturday marketing promotions that start on Friday and run through Monday night. There is no reason why Saturday should be the only day to focus on – instead, create a 4-day extravaganza with in-store giveaways or refreshments that will draw in customers throughout the long weekend.

Small Business Saturday is right around the corner with only 30 days left to go. As you plan your Small Business Saturday promotions, give people a reason to shop locally at your store and see the business results over the big holiday weekend.

5 Best Trade Show Swag Items for Your Brand

5 Best Trade Show Swag Items

If you’ve ever attended a trade show or other large, industry-level event, you know that those little plastic bags the attendees are toting around probably contain more than just pamphlets and flyers. They’re often full of promotional giveaway products and trade show swag items that are handed out by exhibitors in order to provide a memorable link between the tradeshow, the exhibitor, and the attendee.

Consider the following gifts as some of the best trade show swag items to hand out to prospects and clients alike:

Trade Show Swag Item 1: Power Banks

power-bankTalk about effective swag. Power banks are coveted promo items because they can be used by virtually anyone in your industry. Long days on the trade show floor require an easy access solution to keep gadgets fully charged.

Try to keep your branding as minimal as possible, as no one wants a product that overtly shouts the company’s brand message and feels like an advertisement. Keep it simple and classy, and your clients will have a trade show swag item they will appreciate and use daily.

Trade Show Swag Item 2: Promotional Pens

promo-pensThough there is no shortage of pens in the world, you’d be amazed at how effectively you can market your business when you employ a batch of top-quality promo pens.

The trick here is to emphasize quality over quantity. Cheap pens often find their way to the back of the desk drawer or the trash can in no time. You’ll want your company to be synonymous with quality; not with a pen that easily falls apart.

A pen that writes smooth, fits comfortable in the hand and has a nice, sleek design will bring positive value to associate with your brand.  Make sure you check out the Paragon Pen & Stylus Tip, great for writing purchase orders and navigating your tablet as you present your product or service line.

Trade Show Swag Item 3: Lip Balm

lip-balmWhether you live in a cold weather area or a bright, sunny part of the nation, promotional lip balm is a thoughtful and useful gift that is universally applicable to virtually any client.

Go for unique patterns and imprints, but shy away from scents or flavors that are too strong, as they might be off-putting to some. Try simple flavors that appeal to the masses, like mint, lemon, vanilla, and raspberry.

Trade Show Swag Item 4: Reusable Water Bottles

water-bottleLogo water bottles are highly effective as trade show swag, as they are inherently useful and promote a sense of responsibility. Your customers will love minimizing their environmental footprint, while also enjoying a convenient way to stay hydrated at all times. You can brand your agency’s name on the side of each bottle, where it will dutifully advertise your business with each sip.

Trade Show Swag Item 5: LED Flashlights

lakFlashlights offer plenty of power and terrific battery life, and are quite inexpensive, especially when purchased in high volume quantities. Consider some of the flatter variants on the market today that takes up little room and delivers super bright light. In particular, keychain flashlights are hot trade show swag items.

The ever popular LED Flashlight Key Chain contains a shiny metal barrel with laser engraved finish.  Bring high value and functionality to your promotional items ensuring your customers will use these promotional items daily.

The five promotional items listed above are highly effective and can make your swag bag as appealing as possible during an upcoming trade show or marketing campaign. When looking for the best trade show swag for your next event, consider the value of the gifts you’re providing, no matter how big or small!

5 Top Pink Promotional Products for October Breast Cancer Awareness Month

october-breast-cancer-bannerOctober is known for more than just Pumpkin Spice Coffee, Halloween, and sweet treats. For many, October is best known as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) and many small businesses do an excellent job to help raise awareness for this great cause. With National Pen, we offer a large supply of pink promotional products that fit well into this category but deciding can sometimes be overwhelming with so many options to choose from.

Don’t worry, National Pen has you covered! View 5 top selling pink promotional items that can easily help you align your marketing goals with this great cause in October or for your year-round marketing plan.

1.  Domestic Ribbon Tote Bag

Domestic Ribbon Tote Bag

Domestic Ribbon Tote Bag – National Pen

From the moment you set your eyes on this tote bag, you can see very easily why this makes for a great Pink Promotional Product giveaway. This cute tote bag is offered in Black or White with a Pink Ribbon handle for excellent brand awareness. The Tote Bag measures 15″ W x 12″ H x 5”D, plenty big enough to take to the grocery store, weekend sporting events or as a great bag to go Trick or Treating for Halloween.

2.  Awareness Ribbon Stress Reliever

Awareness Ribbon Stress Reliever - National Pen

Awareness Ribbon Stress Reliever – National Pen

Squeeze. Relax. Squeeze. Relax. Fun products that are useful and raise awareness keep customers engaged. Nothing rings truer than a stress reliever your customers will keep with them in the office or at home. They’ll associate your business with a relaxing, easy to work with the company that puts the “fun” in “functionality.”  Made durable and comes in attractive Pink Ribbon designs to maximize the promotion of your brand message!

3.  Classic Squiggle Pen

Pink Ribbon Squiggle Pen - National Pen

Pink Ribbon Squiggle Pen – National Pen

The classics never go out of style!  There’s a reason why this pen has been a shining beacon in National Pen’s lineup of top full-color promotional items.  The Squiggle Pen is highly customizable with full-color decorating ability. Choose a custom image, all Pink barrels or the Pink Ribbon design found in the custom design section. Pens are the ideal promotional item for every new business. It’s often stated a pen will pass through 7 people before it’s discarded. Match the power of the pink ribbon and your business imprint.

4. 11oz. Ceramic Coffee Mug

Breast Cancer Awareness Themed Coffee Mug - National Pen

Breast Cancer Awareness Themed Coffee Mug – National Pen

 

Speaking of full-color designs, nothing brings positive branding than a cup of “hot Joe” paired with your brand.  Drop a full-color pink design featuring the pink ribbon and you’ll be spreading awareness for this great cause every morning for your customers. Our 11oz. ceramic coffee mug can currently even be found in our “Buy 1, Get some Free” category.  Not only do these make for great promotional items, but mugs work just as great as thank you gifts your most valued customers will use over and over again.

5. Soft Touch Paragon Pen in Fun Pink Color

pink-paragonOur best-selling Paragon pen just got a whole lot brighter. Now offered in fun bright colors, with a rubber painted aluminum finish, this pen will quickly become your customer’s favorite. Take your brand and logo to the highest quality with a laser engraved finish and stand out from the rest. With two lines of custom engraving possible, make sure you imprint your brand and save one line for this special cause.

With so many options to choose from this October, make sure you head over to National Pen’s Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Pens & Merchandise page for our full line-up of customizable promotional products in pink, pink ribbon and breast cancer awareness designs.

4 Top Promotional Products for Insurance Agents

4 Top Promotional Products for Insurance Agents

In the world of influencer marketing, social media campaigns, and other tech-driven promotional ideas, it’s easy to overlook more traditional marketing activities that continue to prove effective. One longstanding tactic is the distribution of marketing gifts. Promotional products for insurance agents range from simple to elaborate, but they all have one thing in common: They are designed to provide real value to clients and to remind them of the importance of your mutual business relationship.

Here is a list of the top promotional products for insurance agents and ideas to help boost your business:

1. Promotional Pens

It doesn’t get any simpler than a pen. Yet, they are incredibly effective and often priced far below most other giveaway items. Here’s the best part: even if your customer somehow loses your promo pen, you’ve just doubled your advertising exposure when the next person picks it up. Strike the perfect balance between quality and quantity, and you’ll discover an insurance promotional item that is effective and affordable at the same time.

Tip: Since pens are so lightweight and compact, they’re perfectly suited for high-volume marketing activities like mailing campaigns or tradeshow networking.

2. Custom Calendars

National Pen Custom Promotional Calanders

National Pen Custom Promotional Calendars

Imagine delivering a promotional gift to your insurance company’s client or prospective customer that is designed to provide at least 12 months of use. Calendars top the list of insurance promotional ideas since they can be customized with your choice of personalized imprint to help deliver your marketing message, business contact information, company logo, and more. The constant reminder of your insurance company and/or agent name will imprint on the minds of the lucky recipients. This enhances your odds at securing new business in the future.

Tip: Order early to ensure your customers get a full year of use out of your promotional calendar. Then, tailor the calendar’s design and imprint style to your target market.

3. Business Card Magnets

Custom Business Card Holders

Custom Business Card Magnet

Take a look at any office or home refrigerator, and you’ll notice one commonality among them. They all have magnets stuck on the front or sides. Not only are business card magnets incredibly economical to purchase, but they are designed to last for years and can provide a high level of marketing impact for pennies on the dollar. If you specialize in home insurance, consider ordering house-shaped magnets. Car insurance guru? Opt for car-shaped magnets instead.

Tip: Provide two magnets to each prospect via your desired marketing channel, then suggest they keep one on their home fridge and one at the office. Let them know that in the event of an emergency you’ll be there for them, whether at work or at home.

4. Reusable Shopping Bags

Promotional Tote Bag

Promotional Tote Bag

Over the years, traditional plastic shopping bags at the grocery store will eventually be replaced by more environmentally-friendly and economical recyclable/reusable bags. Provide your clients with value-priced promotional tote bags, and they’ll thank you for starting them down the road of shopping more responsibly, all while acting as a mobile billboard for your business.

Tip: Give two bags to your insured clients and then ask them to drop by the office anytime they want more. This will increase the number of touchpoints, and allow you to discuss policy upgrades or simply check on your client.

Plan out your calendar of events and open houses in advance, and order products that will bring the most value for each group.

Ordering promotional products for insurance agents is quick, easy, and affordable when you order these value-priced gifts and use them effectively.

60 Days For Small Business Saturday Marketing

If you’ve already worked through the initial planning stages for a successful Small Business Saturday, here’s what you’ll want to accomplish over the next 60 days leading up to the event!

Small Business Saturday (SBS) is one of the most important marketing events for you to leverage over the next few months. After all, you likely already have marketing plans in place for the fall season, winter holidays, and into the new year, but by taking advantage of this retail-driven holiday, you can bring awareness to your brand that simply may not have been there before. More and more people are in the mindset to shop local, so make sure your business is ready with a successful Small Business Saturday marketing plan.

Create Memorable Touchpoints

With any marketing event comes an opportunity for you to flex your creative muscles and engage with your clients in a meaningful and memorable way. If you operate a physical location or retail storefront, create countdown calendars that can be hung in the store and deliver a new message each day. Include small discounts, promotions, or giveaways tied to the countdown. Anything you can do to keep the SBS holiday and your related promotional offerings in mind will pay off down the road. A simple solution is to add some brand swag – a pen, button, or personalized candy wrappers – to their checkout bag.

Use Direct Mail Marketing

To generate buzz and excitement for the upcoming Small Business Saturday holiday, consider creating a direct mail campaign that will target either those in your geographic area and/or those who have a high likelihood to buy. Add a sales incentive to the mailers, create high-quality images that deliver a professional tone, and include coupons or discounts good for SBS. Use whatever asset you design as a flyer, as well, to hang in your window and where allowed on community bulletin boards.

Leverage Social Media

One way to shine a light on the upcoming holiday is by linking SBS to your social media profile and related posts. Start by creating new blogs that tout the value of Small Business Saturday or demonstrate the importance of small businesses to the economy. Twitter and Facebook can also be used to effectively market your business, and you can embed links that will route back to your landing page or promotional site.

Add Value with Cross-Promotion

Now is the time to focus on the cross-promotion part of the equation. Whether that means you’re driving foot traffic into a location near you, or you’re directing clients to a partner’s website or store front, the tighter the networking web the better off you’ll be. A fun idea is to design themed bags with your company’s logo, tagline, or affiliation with what it means to “shop local.” Also, consider hosting an in-store SBS party with other vendors/businesses offering customers home-baked treats and favors for stopping by.

Get Excited

This is your time to shine, so plan events, activities, and promotions that will draw others to your business. Show how excited you are, and don’t be bashful when explaining how your small business helps the local community. You’d be amazed at how much goodwill you can generate when you put a local spin on something. For example, by simply designating 5% of the profits from SBS to a local school or worthy cause, you may drive in significantly greater numbers of shoppers than you ever thought possible. Not to mention getting into the holiday spirit of giving back to the community.

November 26, 2016 represents an incredible opportunity to grow your business and increase awareness of the importance of small business in America. Get creative in your Small Business Saturday marketing approach, leverage social media and traditional media options, offer customized promotional marketing gifts to reward client interest and loyalty, partner with others, and put a plan in place today that you will benefit from later.