Metal Pens or Plastic Pens: Which Promotes Your Brand Best?

If you’re promoting your company, cause, or occasion by customizing a pen, congratulations! Whether you pick a metal pen or plastic pen, you’re choosing a marketing medium that’s inexpensive, highly effective, and easy as pie. A piece of cake. A walk in the park.

But we digress. We’re here to help, not run through a bunch of metaphors that mean easy-peasy. The point is, everyone likes promotional pens and they’re a slam-dunk in the giveaway game (last metaphor—at least for a sentence or two).

When it comes to deciding between a plastic pen and a metal pen, you’re looking at a giveaway winner either way. Still, a plastic pen’s perfect in some situations and a metal pen rocks the house in others. Here’s how to choose:

Where Is Your Recipient In the Sales Funnel?

The sales and marketing funnel goes something like this: Your target customer starts at the top of the funnel, along with a bunch of other prospects. As they get closer to a purchase, their numbers decrease and they travel deeper into the funnel. The converted customers are those that pass through.

If your prospect’s at the top of the funnel, you’re trying to get your name out there without overspending on an unqualified lead who might end up changing phone numbers just to avoid your calls. A promotional plastic pen may be in order at this stage.

If your prospect’s about ready to purchase, you want your giveaway to assume the sale, seal the deal, and move the recipient right through the bottom of the funnel and into your active customer bucket. You might be thinking metal pens at this stage of the game. Maybe in the middle you want plastic with chrome-colored trim!

Here Are Some Pen Options:

Top of the Funnel (Awareness Stage): The Amber Pen’s plastic—and priced to get your name, well, everywhere!

Middle of the Funnel (Consideration Stage): The Metallic Cirrus Stylus Pen is plastic with a metallic look and chrome-colored trim.

Bottom of the Funnel (Purchase Stage): The Deluxe Madison Pen is metal and has the look and feel of a gift—and a business relationship—meant to last.

Hitting your prospects with the right giveaway pen at the right point in the sales funnel makes good business sense and budget sense.

Who’s Your Target Audience?

Another way to decide between a metal and plastic promotional pen is by looking at your customer. Are you leasing yachts to the champagne-sipping set? Selling car washes to the coupon-clipping value shoppers who never forget a sale? Advertising your cleaning services to the harried Joe or Jane who’s pretty much just looking to get through the day without forgetting a kid at school or leaving the dog out in the rain? Will a customized metal pen or plastic pen resonate most with your target audience?

A Few Pen Examples in Each Area:

Luxury: If your customer comes to you when they’re looking for the very best, you can’t go wrong promoting your message on the Cross® Click Chrome Ballpoint Pen.

Penny-pincher: If your customer is looking to you for good quality and rock bottom pricing, the plastic Brittany Stick Pen’s for you. It’s tried, true, and priced for generous distribution on any budget!

Mass Appeal: If your offering appeals to a broad audience, the plastic Cirrus Pen has just the right amount of style to get your name noticed—at an always pleasing price point.

No matter which industry or offering—from tax preparation to food service to fundraising—you can always decide between a metal or plastic pen based upon the target customer you’re looking to attract.

Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget?

Finally, in solving the puzzle of the plastic vs metal pen, your budget won’t fail you.

  • Lower Per-Pen Budget: If you’re distributing logo pens with abandon at job fairs and college campuses across the country, you’re going to need a lot of pens at a lower cost per pen—and custom plastic pens are your best bet.
  • Higher Per-Pen Budget: If you’re looking to kick off a new client relationship with a special pen set, your per-pen budget’s probably higher and a custom metal pen’s the way to go.

In general, metal is more expensive than plastic, but you can still look high-brow in plastic or be budget-minded in metal.

Check out These Examples:

The Brinsley Pen is a value-priced plastic pen with a metal look and feel.

The Matte Paragon Pen is a metal pen without the higher price point.

Metal Pen or Plastic, if It’s a Pen with Your Name on It, You Win.

Whether your recipient’s a customer, prospect, party guest, or star employee, customizing a pen gets your logo in their hands and keeps your name top of mind. Happy promoting!

Karleen Wise Andersen

From marketing tips to product recommendations, I’m here to help small businesses be their best.

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