Better Return on Ad Spend with Cost-Effective Promotional Products
Promotional products are consistently one of the most cost-effective advertising mediums available to both small and large businesses. According to the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), “The cost per impression (CPI) of promotional products can be as low as 1/10 of one cent – lower than nearly any other advertising medium – making it a great choice for smaller businesses lacking large advertising budgets.” ASI, an organization that provides research and educational opportunities for the promotional product industry, measures CPI as the amount of money spent to get one view of an item. So if an advertiser spends $10 on a branded hat and that hat generates 3,400 impressions over its lifetime, the CPI is less than 3/10 of a cent.
In addition to offering great ROAS (return on ad spend), promotional products are also the most highly regarded form of advertising in the U.S. and Canada. In their most recent annual survey of tens of thousands of North Americans, ASI found that consumers prefer the functionality and fun of swag over both traditional and digital media advertisements (TV, newspapers, radio, Internet and mobile ads). After all – who doesn’t love free stuff?
Promotional Products Build Brand Awareness and Loyalty
Promotional product giveaways (distributed via in-person events, trade shows, virtual events, and online contests) are a great way to increase brand awareness. Whether you host an in-person or social media giveaway yourself – or partner with another business – there is no denying that giveaways bring new awareness to your brand. Most importantly, promotional products help engage consumers in a meaningful way – unlike other types of advertisements (such as billboards, direct mail, streaming ads, and display ads) which can easily be ignored, muted or blocked. Social media giveaways, in particular, produce share-worthy content that will help your brand tap into highly coveted online word of mouth advertising.
In addition to raising brand awareness via giveaways, promotional products also help grow brand loyalty among existing customers. Swag helps make loyal customers feel valued! According to a November 2019 poll by Yotpo of 2,000 consumers in the United States, 45.8% of consumers seek gifts and swag in customer loyalty programs. In fact, so many shoppers today seek branded merchandise that they are even willing to pay for it! Promotional products are so beloved by U.S. consumers that 23% of those surveyed by ASI in 2020 reported that they purchased – rather than received – a promotional product in the past year. Selling promotional merchandise in-store or through online company stores is a growing trend among companies in a variety of industries and many consumers are eager to promote their favorite brands by purchasing popular promotional merchandise like t-shirts, hats and jackets.
Promotional Products with the Lowest Cost Per Impression
ASI’s latest Global Ad Impressions study examines the cost per impression of a variety of promotional products. As of 2020, the promotional products with the lowest CPIs are promotional writing instruments and reusable face masks. A logoed pen that costs $1 will have a CPI of less than 1/10 of a cent. Writing instruments generate an average of 3,000 impressions throughout their lifetime and are kept an average of 9 months.
An imprinted face mask that costs $5 will have a CPI of just over 1/10 of a cent. Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, face masks are particularly popular with consumers right now and, therefore, present an excellent marketing value for businesses in 2021. Branded face masks are currently a great opportunity for increasing brand awareness and building brand loyalty. They generate a sizable average of 4,235 impressions over their lifetime and 51% of surveyed consumers state they would have a more favorable opinion of an advertiser who gave them a logoed mask. In addition, 57% of consumers would be more likely to do business with the advertiser who gave them a promotional face mask.
Cost Per Impression of Wearables
Branded wearables and accessories that are perpetually popular with consumers – such as t-shirts, polo shirts, jackets, hats and bags – also have low CPIs, generate thousands of impressions throughout their lifetimes, and have good longevity (meaning they are kept for a long time by consumers). According to ASI, a logoed bag that costs $5 will have a CPI of under 2/10 of a cent – the lowest of any wearable or accessory! They are kept an average of 11 months and generate approximately 3,300 impressions throughout their lifetime.
Similarly, a logoed T-shirt that costs $7 will have a CPI of just 2/10 of a cent. Branded t-shirts are highly appreciated by consumers – 80% of North American consumers surveyed by ASI stated that they own promotional t-shirts! Promo t-shirts generate an average of 3,400 impressions throughout their lifetime and they are kept an average of 14 months – making them one of the best promo product picks across any category. Other cost-effective wearables and accessories include:
- A logoed hat that costs $10 will have a CPI of 3/10 of a cent.
- A promo jacket that costs $20 will have a CPI of 3/10 of a cent.
- A custom polo shirt that costs $10 will have a CPI of 4/10 of a cent.
85% of consumers remember the advertiser who gave them a t-shirt or hat, making branded shirts and caps some of the best promo products available for businesses seeking a cost-effective way to increase brand awareness.
Additional Cost-Effective Promotional Products
Some additional promotional products that provide excellent value for your advertising dollars include branded drinkware (such as water bottles and coffee mugs), desk accessories (such as mouse pads, letter openers and memo holders), calendars, and USB drives:
- A promotional calendar that costs $3 will have a CPI of 3/10 of a cent.
- A promo desk accessory that costs $5 will have a CPI of 3/10 of a cent.
- Promo drinkware that costs $7 will have a CPI of under 1/2 of a cent.
- A promo USB drive that costs $5 will have a CPI of 7/10 of a cent.
Beyond Cost Per Impression: Additional Considerations
Of course, there are many other factors to consider besides cost per impression when selecting the best promotional products to help your business increase brand recognition and loyalty among consumers. These include advertising campaign budget and goals. For example: audience targeting is an integral part of any advertising campaign strategy. Let’s say you are looking to increase brand awareness and loyalty among female baby boomers. Then you may want to consider a promotional giveaway centered around eco-friendly tote bags.
Not only do promotional bags offer excellent ROAS (a logoed bag that costs $5 will have a CPI of under 2/10 of a cent and will generate, on average, 3,300 impressions) but 53% of consumers age 55+ have a more favorable opinion of an advertiser if the promotional product they received from that advertiser was environmentally friendly – the highest of any age group, according to ASI. In addition, 53% of women (versus 40% of men) have a more favorable opinion of the advertiser if the promotional product they received was environmentally friendly.
Similarly, branded products that are made in the USA are increasingly popular with consumers with 57% of those surveyed by ASI indicating they would have a more favorable opinion of an advertiser if the promotional product they received was made in the USA. Baby Boomers are especially appreciative of advertisers distributing products that were manufactured in the U.S. ASI found that a staggering 70% of consumers age 55+ hold a more favorable opinion of an advertiser who gives them a promo product that was made in the USA.
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