What does research say about the effectiveness of promotional products?

Written by Kim Ramirez, Promotional Products & Apparel Division

Wondering if promotional items are effective? Wondering if you’ll actually get the 1st call when your customer has a project?

The answer is YES… and we have the numbers to prove it!

According to the 2016 Annual Ad Impressions study:

  • $21 billion was spent on promotional products & apparel
  • 94% of companies purchase promotional giveaways
  • 89% of recipients were able to recall the specific company name printed on the items
  • 83% reported they liked receiving promotional products, especially if they were useful
  • 62% of people reported doing business with a company after receiving a promotional product
  • Promos offer a higher brand recall rate compared to TV, print or online advertising
  • Promos are trackable- the only form of advertising you place directly into the hands of your customers!


So, what are the top 5 promotional items/categories being purchased?

  • #1   T-shirts/apparel            T shirts comprise 60% of all apparel sales
  • #2   Drinkware                      Used on average 2-3 times per week
  • #3   Writing Instruments     Costs 1/10th of a cent per impression = best value!
  • #4   Bags                                Generate more impressions than any other item
  • #5   Desk/Technology          91% keep USB drives because they are useful


So how do you know if your marketing efforts have the right market mix?

Fineline uses the data to ensure your choices drive the most appeal. 2015 was a great year for exciting and creative choices. Here are a few of my favorites!



Indy Welcomes All

As a result of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Fineline supported the community and businesses in the “Indy Welcomes All Campaign,” and was able to produce all of the following items with an unbelievable 2-day turnaround:

  • 10,000 T-shirts
  • 20,000 Buttons
  • 500 Window Stickers
  • 4 Car Decals
  • 5 Event Banners


Business Card USBs

Fineline used Business Card USBs during their attendance at a Medicaid Enterprise Systems’ trade show (the front was designed to look like an Insurance ID card, with the rep’s business card information on the back). A recent new Healthcare client from Pennsylvania had been given the card by a colleague who had attended the show. Fineline was able to engage with the client in less than 6 months after they received the Business Card USB. Overall, this has generated the potential 1st year of revenue value of $250,000 in sales.


Sales Info USBs

Netlogix uploaded videos and sales information onto USBs, and printed with their logo and the city skyline where their national trade show was being held. This type of item was not only kept, it had contact information on it for future sales. These items were so popular they ended up handing out hundreds of USBs to partners and prospects!

Magnetic Dry-Erase Boards

Fineline produced magnets & write-on/wipe-off memo boards for a local group of Senior Living Centers in which they are seen on average 11 times a day! They are highly useful and rarely taken down off the fridge!

Stylus Pens

Fineline’s local banking client uses a nice metal pen with a stylus for their members… they order them over and over again because of their popularity and price point.


Promotional products will continue to be one of the most effective, affordable and creative ways to be noticed among your competitors. More importantly, they can align with your company goals and branding initiatives! Are you maximizing your promo dollars?

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