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Jun 06, 2000
How To

Pick Promotional Items, Freebies and Giveaway Items Internet Marketers Will Really Go For

SUMMARY: No summary available.
Branded t-shirts, mugs, mousepads … do same-old, same-old promotional items really work anymore when it comes to influencing Internet marketers? What giveaways should you consider printing your logo on next?

“It’s got to be new, unique and useful,” says Cliff Farbstein, president of Dimension Strategic Marketing, a firm that hooks up marketers – with the right little something for a giveaway. We agree. In fact the favorite freebie of attendees at London’s recent Internet World show wasn’t stress balls or hats, but a whoopee cushion!

Here are some more ideas:

MOUSEPADS: If you want to do a mousepad, you have to come up with one that will make recipients throw the one on their desk away. MarketingSherpa's three faves are:

1. Faux-fur flocked surface pads, $3000/m
2. “Cybergel” pads $8,500/m
3. Pads that double as horizontal photoframes for pics of our choice $3680/m, a service provider to the content industry, has had enormous success with this last one. In fact at an event we attended this week all the other exhibitors were trying to trade their freebies in exchange for this one.

SOUND CARDS: FedEx recently sent us a little fold-out card. You open it up and a dog starts barking. We love that little dog bark and carry it around everywhere just to play with it when we have a spare moment. And we’re not alone, “Sound cards cost five or six bucks a piece, Farbstein says, “But it’s something you’ll show to five or 10 other people. That’s how you make an impression on the marketplace.”

PERSONAL CARE ITEMS: served up a lip balm at a recent e-business show in Phoenix, purchased from of New York at $1650/m. “The lip balm was a success,” says LivePerson VP of Marketing Larry Wasserman. “Came in handy on the jeep excursion into the desert!” Other marketers tell us retro-versions of little black plastic combs are making a come back.

T-SHIRTS: Recently Oxygen Media won the t-shirt wars with a revolutionary move. They handed out unusually high-quality shirts in smaller sizes. Female marketers were enthusiastic. “Finally a t-shirt that fits me and looks nice enough to wear to the office!” a media buyer who asked to be anonymous told us, “even the shirt was too big and cheap-looking.”


1. Allow lead-time for your order. Farbstein says, “For a September show, order in July to avoid air-freight costs and rush charges.”

2. Have promo versions of your logo on hand. “When people are designing their logo, they should design a line-art version as well. Even if they have a two-color version, they should have a one-color version as well for items you can’t use color on.” Farbstein advises.

3. Remember to pad your budget to allow for shipping, not just from the promotional maker to you but also from your office to various shows. Plus drayage charges at union-run convention halls can be higher than you imagine.

Useful links related to this article:

Cliff Farbstein

Best Impressions
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