Saturday, November 9, 2013

4 Savvy Ways to Get Customers to Buy Your Marketing Materials

Free publicity is often the best publicity – but what about publicity the customer pays to spread around for you? Many businesses have had their logo printed on “swag,” items such as pens, tote bags, T-shirts and mugs, and give them away to customers (and potential customers) at trade fairs and festivals. Free swag is a great way to remind potential clients of your business every time they use the items. However, savvy businesses can get customers to actually buy swag and use it. Start with these four simple tips and your marketing material could be as sought-after as the products and services you sell.

Target the Audience

Before you begin, consider your target audience – which should be the same as the target audience of your products or services. Focus on how to make your brand appealing to your target audience and how to best get the word out about the products you intend to offer. Social media will prove an excellent way to make your marketing campaign more interactive. The more you ask your customers to participate in the campaign, the more likely they are to pay attention when you sell swag.

Use social media not only to spread the word about your swag, but in the swag design itself. For example, come up with a hashtag related to your brand, products or services. If the hashtag takes off in popularity, incorporate it into your design. When someone new sees the hashtag on a customer’s swag, she’ll be inspired to discover the buzz behind the word or phrase.

Design Something Marketable

Once you know who you’re targeting and how you’re going to get their attention, focus on your design. You probably already have a business logo; if you can’t or don’t want to change that, that’s fine. If you are open to a redesign, getting ready to sell swag might be the ideal excuse.

In addition to your logo, come up with a fun, cute or attractive addition to your logo that appears on your swag and the marketing material for your swag. This should be something your customers will want to wear or show off for aesthetic reasons in addition to a love of your brand. For example, if your target audience is elementary school kids and their parents, a cute mascot animal could prove popular on T-shirts, pencils and notebooks.

Support a Charity

Donate a portion of the swag proceeds to a charity related to your industry or the community. For example, if you’re primarily a local business selling products for seniors, offer to support local senior centers and programs such as Meals on Wheels. If your business is aimed primarily at women, choose causes especially important to women, such as breast cancer research and support for abused women and children. Your customers and supporters of the charitable cause will spread the word about the promotion, which will lead to more sales. 

Start Small

Don’t look at the swag sales as a huge untapped revenue stream. Inc. 5000 cautions against thinking of marketing material as a substantial part of your profits, but stresses that real profit can be made with careful planning. Start with small vendors and see how sales of the items go before broadening sales.

Sell the swag exclusively out of your storefront or online store, or partner with a local store related to your industry to sell the goods. Focus entirely on the local market. If sales prove successful, branch out to more national avenues and broaden your online marketing strategy to include other regions. If you find you’ve ordered too much swag and it’s not selling, dial back on the campaign and re-strategize.

When you sell swag rather than give it away, loyal customers are getting the word out about your company by financially supporting your business. However, if you’re going to ask customers to pay to promote your business, you have to offer something that is worth paying for. Having a compelling logo and design that people want to buy gets people talking about your business.

About the Author: Gary Austin can provide your company or organization with the best promotional pens in the industry. Visit to find out more.


  1. Great post. it is very important to learn about online marketing is to understand the adv and disadvantage of international business marketing. you blog was nice about. this point. But want to be more effective. Thank you

  2. Selling a business consumes time and distracts you from the day-to-day operation of the business. A business broker can provide some valuable advice.


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