Promotional products and direct mail

We still love to get mail. With technology continuing to drive rapid change in marketing and communications planning, traditional media is not disappearing. In fact, mail is thriving.*

With the average unique open rate for direct mail at about 90%, and over half of the population finding printed marketing the most trustworthy of all the channels, then it’s clear it’s still set to be a valuable marketing tool in 2017.

With this in mind, here are five promotional product ideas that are perfect for sending in the mail.

Video Card

Incorporating some 2017 tech advances, this is a new product that is looking like a winner for 2017. Video cards allow you to showcase your brand in a visual way but with the convenience of a direct mail piece! Portable, easily charged and easy playback means this could be the promo product of the year – watch this space.

7 inch video cardPens

Yes they might seem old school, but the pen is still one of the most popular promotional products. You don’t necessarily have to stick to a standard ink faithful – pens on the market now include USBs incorporated in the tips, novelty pens that act as screen cleaners and stylus options to make using your phone a bit easier.

Power-Man-PenDrinking Bottles

OK you’re probably thinking how am I going to mail a water bottle!!! But we are talking about collapsible versions that collapse flat when empty – ideal to keep in a handbag or glove box for a refreshment emergency. Versatile, compact, easy to carry.

folding bottleMagnets

Why not turn your business card into a magnet? This way it can easily be stuck to the fridge and seen every day instead of being chucked in a drawer and forgotten about. This is a low cost promo product that is still surprisingly effective – promotional fridge magnets are kept on average between 6 – 8 years!

1 Fridge Magnets


This is a nice little gift to get people talking or as part of a seasonal campaign such as valentines, Easter and Christmas. From cake pops to mints and nostalgia sweet pots this range is growing in popularity. Nothing like some jelly beans to put a smile on your face!

Jelly bean Pillow pack

*Royal Mail Research

How to use promotional products

The industry is vocal about the benefits of using promotional products and research from the British Promotional Merchandise Association clearly backs this up. Stats from the recent PSI Event, the leading European trade show of the promotional products industry, say that the industry is growing.

The PSI Institute surveyed 1,958 companies in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, France, Italy and Spain, and the report confirms that notion.

Altogether, 76 per cent of suppliers (prior year: 62) and 67 per cent (60) of promotional products consultants in Europe recorded year-on-year sales increases in 2016. By contrast, 14 per cent of suppliers (24) and 15 per cent of distributors (20) registered a drop in sales. The majority of companies expect sales to grow over the course of the next five years. The figure for suppliers is 87 per cent (84), for promotional products consultants 84 per cent (83).

So, we know companies are deploying promotional products as part of their marketing campaigns but what and why are they buying and using promo for?


Free giveaways are commonly used at tradeshows and events are great for creating awareness and reminders about your brand. Products such as USB drives, pens, mugs, calendars and diaries have all shown to be effective in enabling people to recall a company name or message.

USB StickLoyalty gifts

Sending your most loyal customers a branded gift to say thank you, as a Christmas gift or just to celebrate a date in your company history, not only keeps you in their minds but shows they are important to you. 64% of recipients say that receiving a promotional gift makes them feel appreciated.

jsm-0529Employee incentives

Why not reward your employees for outstanding service, for a long work anniversary or as an employee of the month award. Promo is a good alternative to a monetary gift – and small things can make an employee feel valued:  a branded uniform or a welcome pack for new staff with branded pens, paper, tech etc. can go a long way.


Promotional products have been used as fundraisers for years – because they are effective! It’s a great alternative to asking for money and the products give the supported something to keep as a reminder as well as something useful to encourage others to donate.


These are just a handful of examples of how to use promotional products, but the opportunities are endless…..clubs and schools, souvenirs, retail pack promotions, direct mail, product launches….ask us today how we can help with your next campaign!