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How Do I Use My Promotional Products?

Alyssa Mertes

Published: December 2nd, 2022

You can't just order promotional swag, throw it in a room somewhere, and expect it to be a worthwhile return on your investment. You actually have to use these items in a creative way. The question is - where do you start?

Are you ready to get more eyes on your brand? Start using promotional items! Here are a ton of different ideas on how to incorporate swag into your advertising.

What is the Purpose of Promotional Products?

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Promotional products are an easy way for you to create a fandom. Whether it's a t-shirt with your logo that's worn on the weekends or a promo mug for coffee in the mornings, these items are meant to be seen and used over and over again by customers, increasing brand exposure and impressions as a result.

Of course, none of this works if your promotional items are boring! Your goal should be to order swag that is cool, funny, interesting, and above all, useful. Nobody wants another cheap pen, but they may want a pen shaped like a pickle. Creativity matters!

2 cups and spoon

How to Use Promotional Products

People love stuff and likely won't say "no" to branded swag. Do you want to try this ad strategy? Here are some ways to start using promotional products now!

Crowd at tradeshow

Trade Show Swag

Studies show that trade show visitors are 52% more likely to visit a display if they see a promotional giveaway or freebie being offered. Plan to bring plenty of swag next time you're company is setting up a trade show booth.

3 people looking at phone

Social Media Contests

Increase engagement on your social media channels by hosting a fun contest. 94% of the time users will share the contest with their friends and family right after entering. Just imagine how many eyes will be on your brand if you're offering cool promotional swag as a prize to the winners!

2 chairs outside gift shop

Gift Shops

It isn't only museums and theme parks that have gift shops. McDonald's, St. Jude's, and Dunkin' are just a few popular brands with their own online stores, filled to the brim with branded swag. Try to open your store if you want to raise funds and create a bigger fan base.

Bow on wrapped gift

Free Gifts With Purchase

Have you ever been to DSW? This popular shoe store offers customers free gifts with a purchase all the time, ranging from stylish tote bags to cozy blankets. Give this marketing strategy with branded promotional items. Cool swag is a great incentive to get people into your store, especially around the holiday season!

Swag bag

Swag Bags

Are you hosting an event like a banquet, awards ceremony, or 5K run? Offer all the participants a complementary swag bag filled with promotional items. You can ask all of your sponsors to supply promo items and coupons, or throw in branded items exclusively from your company.

Raffle Prize

Raffle Prizes

Are you a nonprofit? Put promotional products in a few of the gift baskets as part of a raffle. These logo items will feel more special if they're won vs. if you're just giving them away for free.

group of prizes

Pop Up Shops

According to Business Insider, 8 of the 10 biggest retailers in the world opened a successful pop-up store in 2019. Follow in their footsteps and set up a pop-up shop for people to come check out. You can offer promotional items for free to every visitor, or sell these branded goodies at the event.

Person holding envelope

Direct Mailers

Surprise people in the local area with a free promo gift in the mail. Try to pair the item with a quippy message to really make your brand start out. For instance, an auto shop can send out a coupon for an oil change along with a promotional ice scraper. The ad copy can read: "Ice isn't nice, but a change will do you good!"

Wrapped gift

Client Gifts

Lawyers, wedding planners, realtors - take note! It's always a good idea to show gratitude to clients, so offer promo items as welcome gifts before a transaction or as a "thank you" after the exchange is done. You can also order swag around the holidays as gifts for your entire client base.

Guerilla Marketing

Guerilla marketing is a good way to go if you want your brand to be surprising and unexpected. This unique ad strategy often causes positive reaction and inspired people to take pics for social media. Plan your own daring move with promotional stickers, hanging banners, or any other items that fit your campaign.

Ice cream cone

Business Supplies

Do you run a restaurant, bar, coffee shop, or bakery? Take pride in your brand by printing your logo on all the supplies you use every day. This should include to-go cups, napkins, pint glasses, and anything else you need to operate.

People are more likely to care about promo items if they received them at an exciting event, or won them as a prize in a cool contest. Before you try a new campaign, sit down and brainstorm how swag can make it more exciting.

Do Promotional Items Really Work?

Promotional products

If you're scared that your promotional items won't work, this stat will put your fears to rest. 85% of people who receive a promo end up doing business with the company afterward. That's more than 8 out of 10 people working with you just because they liked your swag.

With all that said, you can't expect to magically get a bunch of business just because you handed out promotional pens, shirts, or some other giveaway item. It's your job to pair your promos with creative campaigns and to do the necessary follow-up on leads to actually see an ROI.

Promotional products

Why Should You Use Promotional Products?

Person holding cup

Advertising tends to feel impersonal. People are smart and know that you're ultimately trying to get them to spend their hard-earned money. However, 76% of consumers are willing to buy from a brand with whom they feel a connection. By using promo items, you're showing consumers that you want to forge that relationship and care about making them feel happy.

After all, your customers can't really do anything with a Google ad, but they can definitely use a new coffee mug at home! Hand out your promos in a thoughtful way and the leads will follow.

Person holding cup

The Bottom Line

Do you feel inspired? Start by sitting with your marketing team and coming up with an advertising idea. Now choose promotional products that fit with your plan. Maybe it's copper mugs for a community treasure hunt or cake stress balls your new bakery can hand out at a trade show. Whatever you do, make it memorable!

Quality Logo Products are experts on all things printed and promotional. Let our team of awesome, incredibly good looking, and fun promo nerds help you select awesome promotional swag today!

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Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products. As a promo expert, she's uncovered the world's first custom tote bag, interviewed the guy behind rock band ACDC's logo, and had a piece published by the Advertising Specialty Institute, a leader in the promotional products industry.


Peer to Peer Marketing. Social Media Contest: How to Run & Generate Lots of Leads in 2022. Retrieved from,

Keyes, D. (2019, June 11). Pop-Up Shops Are Paying Off for Retailers. Retrieved from,

Sprout Social. #BrandsGetReal: What Consumers Want From Brands in a Divided Society. Retrieved from,