Category Archives: Promotional Merchandise

Are Promotional Products Worth the Cost for Your Small Business?

Promotional products are everywhere these days – no doubt, you even own a few of your own, picked up from business fairs, markets, and promotional giveaways.
Whether it’s a tote bag, mug, fridge magnet or umbrella flaunting your company’s logo, promotional products are perfect for both attracting new customers, and keeping your business fresh in the minds of existing and past clients.

Not only are promotional products effective for larger companies, they’re also perfect for improving brand awareness and recognition for small and medium-sized businesses. But of course, you have to allocate funds within your advertising budget to order these products before you’ll start to see a return on your investment. And it’s also important that you know how to use such products effectively, so that they’ll make the biggest impact on your customer base and sales.

This guide will talk you through what exactly promotional products are, and give you some examples of how to use them. We’ll discuss how much promotional products cost, the benefits they may bring, and discuss whether the rewards are worth the investment.

What Are Promotional Products?

A promotional product is, in essence, any physical item that bears your company’s name, logo, or slogan. This could be a pen, a keyring, a flyer, a t-shirt – anything, really. It might be a one-use-only item, like a paper cup, or something that’s designed to last for years, such as a ceramic mug. The merchandise itself doesn’t have to bear any relation to the service or product that your company actually sells.

You might have seen businesses handing out promotional products at trade shows or conventions, giving them away as freebies to customers with their order, or using them as giveaway prizes.

Many people think that promotional products are something of a gimmick, or simply used as a token gesture of kindness – but that’s not the case. Multiple studies have shown that promotional products are an invaluable form of advertising that can help to draw in new customers, and retain the existing ones. They can even help to boost morale among employees of a company, and improve employee loyalty.

Examples of Promotional Products and How to Use Them

As you might have guessed, there are many different kinds of promotional products, available at a number of price points. For example:

Flyers, leaflets and postcards are some of the cheapest promotional products. They’re so affordable that you can hand them out to passers-by, or hire a company to deliver them directly to homes as part of a local advertising campaign.

• Magnets and keyrings are a step up in terms of price, but also durability. They won’t be discarded as quickly, and are perfect handed out as freebies with an order, or at trade shows and business fairs.

• Drinkware such as glasses and mugs are designed to be used for many years, and make great gifts of thanks to longstanding clients and employees. While they may be on the costlier side, they’ll be used by your customers and employees regularly, increasing your exposure and brand awareness. One marketing study found drinkware to be one of the most influential kinds of promotional product – a famous example being the iconic Sports Direct mugs.

• Clothing, bags and umbrellas are some of the longest-lasting and most effective promotional wares. They make great corporate gifts – the big benefit being that they’ll be taken outside, and be seen by the public!
The more hardwearing and high-quality the product, the longer it will last, and therefore the more expensive it will be to buy. But though these products may be pricier, they have the most usability and the longest lifespan – so they also have the most potential to help grow your business.

What Are the Benefits of Using Promotional Products?

The use of promotional products, gifts and merchandise will result in many tangible benefits for your business. Multiple marketing studies have shown that promotional products can:

• Increase brand awareness and identification. Your name and logo will be more easily recognised and remembered.

• Help improve brand image – change the way that people feel about your company. A study by the Advertising Specialties Institute found that people view companies who give them promotional items in an overwhelmingly positive light.

• Increase your company’s sales. A customer is more likely to do business with a company if they own their merchandise, rather than a competitor who sells a similar product or service.

• Increase employee morale, if your promotional products are given away to employees as a thank-you for their hard work.

• Keep your business fresh in the minds of past customers. A potential customer will look at a branded mug and see your logo every single time they drink from it. This is much more effective than, say, passing a billboard.

Don’t forget that your promotional products won’t just have an effect on those who own them, but also anyone who sees the product being used. For example, if someone is carrying around a tote bag bearing your company’s name, this might be seen by anyone who passes them in the street.

Will My Customers Actually Use or Keep the Product?

In short – yes. Obviously, not every (potential) customer will be interested in keeping a branded product in their home; they may have no use for it, or no room to store it. But studies show that the average consumer will keep a promotional product for an average of 7 months.

For more durable and practical products, such as umbrellas, this average increases to 14 months. All this time, not only will your potential customer be looking at your logo every time they use the product – but they’ll also be seen using it, either inside or outside the home.

Furthermore, over 50% of people who own a promotional product will give it away to someone else when they’re finished with it, rather than throwing it in the bin. This will further spread brand awareness!

To increase the likelihood that your customers will actually use your promotional products, take into account your target market. Try to offer the kinds of products that your particular audience will be most likely to use. For example, if your company is popular with the over-70s, USB drives and tech gadgets may not be a sensible choice – but things and mugs and umbrellas might be perfect.

How Much Do Promotional Products Cost?

The cost of any promotional product will vary depending, of course, on what kind of product it is. For example, our magnets start at £15.95 for a pack of 20 small magnets – that’s less than 80p each.

Our personalised mugs vary in price depending on whether you want a single image or a wraparound-style image, and how many mugs you order. The more you order, the more you’ll save – a pack of 200 single image mugs comes to just £4.26 per mug.

In general, products which cost more to purchase are:
• Larger
• Higher quality
• More durable
• Reusable
• Multi-purpose
• Designed to be used for a long period of time (months or years)

Though a personalised coffee mug might be more expensive than a branded paper cup, for example, it will have a more lasting impression on the owner (whether that’s a customer or an employee), and will therefore generate more sales and interest in your company.

How Do I Know I’m Getting a Good Return on Investment?

Promotional products offer a greater return on investment than traditional types of advertising (such as newspaper ads and billboards). In terms of cost per impression (CPI), promotional merchandise is the most cost-effective form of advertising, at around 0.5p per impression.

A 2014 study by the British Promotional Merchandise Association also found that:

• 96% of marketers who had tried promotional products thought they were worth the money, in terms of increasing brand awareness
• 73% of the public said that they would purchase from a company that had given them a promotional gift

Data also shows that many customers will also remember the brand on their promotional product for many years after they have thrown or given the item away.
In terms of your own business, the most direct way to monitor whether you’re getting a return on your investment is to closely monitor your sales, website views, searches and clicks, both before and after you roll out your new promotional merchandise.

How Do I Factor Promotional Products into My Advertising Budget?

As excited you may be at the prospect of rolling out your new promotional merchandise to your employees and customers, don’t go overboard. Make sure to factor in your spend on promotional products into your current advertising budget, to avoid overspending.
You may need to make some reductions in other methods of advertising, such as targeted online ads and promoted Facebook posts, in order to make room for your new ad specialties.
Think carefully about which promotional products you’ll need over the next 12 months when you begin your annual advertising budget. Start with products at a lower price point if you’re unsure.
Plan for a year’s worth of upcoming events, such as new product rollouts and seasonal sales. And be aware that it might take a while before you notice any additional revenue from your new products – but it will be worth it in the end.
Where Can I Order Personalised Promotional Products?

At 123Print, we offer a range of personalised promotional products including:
• Keyrings
• Mugs
Stationery such as notepads, letterheads and rubber stamps


All of our products are fully customisable. You can select one of our templates to edit as you please, or create your own design entirely from scratch using our editor. Upload your own artwork (such as your company’s logo) for free, and choose a colour scheme and font that matches your business’s aesthetic.

You can order your promotional products in quantities of up to 2,000, and the more you order, the more you’ll save. With fast shipping, competitive prices and a 100% satisfaction guarantee, you’ve got nothing to lose!

Personalised Mugs: How Much They Cost and How to Use Them

When you think of ways to advertise your business to potential clients and customers, personalised mugs might not be at the very top of the list. But company mugs are surprisingly versatile, long-lasting and universally loved as a gift or as part of a welcome pack.
Mugs (and other such products bearing your business’s logo) form a type of advertising known as promotional products, promotional merchandise, or ‘advertising specialties’. They are incredibly effective at keeping customers loyal, and drawing in new clients.
So, what can you use them for, and why do they provide such good value for money from a business perspective? Let’s find out.
What Are Personalised Mugs For?
For a nice brew, obviously!
But in all seriousness, there are many reasons why your business could benefit from personalised mugs. It might sound silly, but something as cheap and cheerful as a mug can have a real effect on your business in lots of different ways…
1) For the Big Opening Day

A mug may seem like an odd choice for a promotional product. If you want to promote something, fliers make sense: you can post them through letterboxes or hand them out, and they’re cheap to design and print. So, what’s the idea with mugs?
The point is that mugs are built to last. A good, solid mug can last for years or even decades. And what’s even better is that they see actual use, because, well, they’re for drinking from. A flier or a business card might get straight to the point, but both end up in the recycling, whereas a mug can sit on somebody’s mug tree for years.
The kicker, of course, is that a mug is more expensive than a flier! That’s why they’re best used for special events, like your big opening day, or when you’re networking. An opening day has a special ‘buzz’ about it, and customers that are there for your opening night are probably going to be good customers down the line, too. You can build up a special relationship with these customers with mugs, coupons and other goodies.
2) For Promoting a Sale, Advertising a New Product, as a Prize…

Beyond just the opening day, there are lots of ways to use personalised mugs to build up a loyal customer base. The prime example is definitely Sports Direct. Sports Direct mugs are famous for being huge, a neat tie-in that gives customers the impression of value for money. They’ve been given away for free and included as automatic add-ins to online orders, and being so cheap, they’re good for customers who need to add just a little to their basket to qualify for free shipping or a discount.
This is a great example of how versatile personalised mugs are. You could give them away as prizes, sell them cheap through your online store, use them to advertise something specific, or sell them straight to the customer!
3) For Building Good Client Relationships

Personalised mugs are even better if you work with clients rather than customers. Building up good client relationships is crucial, both in terms of ensuring that current business goes smoothly, and snagging repeat business.
While they obviously aren’t the ‘be all and end all’ of generating a positive working relationship with a client, personalised mugs can help. Again, a mug is like a permanent advert, a reminder to the client of the work you did together and the service they received. You can give them out as part of a ‘welcome pack’ to every client—while the other things you give depend on the trade you’re in, a mug will always be welcome! And if just one of these mugs helps drum up repeat business from a client, they’ll pay for themselves.
4) For Around the Workplace

Personalised mugs aren’t just good for building relationships with customers or clients, though. You can also get some for the office.
On the one hand, everyone likes to have their own ‘work mug’. This might be their favourite that they brought from home. But as you’re probably intimately familiar with, somebody might use your mug or even break it.
Having business-branded mugs can work here for a couple of reasons. First, you can have stock ready for if/when somebody breaks their mug. That way they can have a cup of tea without having to use someone else’s mug, perpetuating the vicious cycle of mug theft. Or, you could go the heavy-handed route and say that everybody should use a branded mug and leave their own crockery at home.
This can look good to any customers or clients who come to the office: everybody has a slick-looking branded mug. And if your employees choose to take their mugs home with them, they’ll also be showing off your company’s logo to the other members of their household – and anyone who comes round for a visit.
5) For Proud Business Owners

If you own your own business, you don’t need a reason to have a branded mug—you call the shots, and don’t have to answer to anyone! So, whether you want to show your pride in your business, create a consistent branding image in everything you do (and everything you drink), or you just really love your business’ logo, a personalised mug would make the perfect ‘self-gift’. You could also gift them to friends and family – it might even encourage them to try your products!
What’s a Good Price for a Personalised Mug?
Personalised mugs don’t have to be expensive. We offer high-quality white ceramic mugs with personalised printed designs from just £3.87! The price-per-mug depends on two main things: the style of printing you’d like, and how many you’re going to order.
Personalised Mugs in Different Styles offer two different styles of personalised mug: single image and wraparound image. Single image mugs have your logo printed on one side of the mug along with any details you want to add on. Wraparound mugs have an image that covers the entire outside of the mug, which can be anything you like: a photograph, a big logo, artwork—anything. Wraparound mugs are slightly more expensive than single image mugs because there’s more printed on them.
Single Order vs. Bulk Order

Depending on the size of your team, or how many mugs you plan on handing out, you could want anywhere from one or two mugs to one or two hundred. As is the case for any kind of bulk order, ordering personalised mugs in bulk means that you pay less ‘per mug’ than if you only order a couple. So, at, the cost per mug for orders of 200+ is almost half what you pay for just one on its own! The more you order, the more you save.
Is It Easy to Design Your Own Personalised Mug?
Designing your own mug is very, very easy. In fact, it only takes a few minutes. All you have to do is upload the artwork of your choice, or choose from one of the many professionally-made preset designs available. You can upload directly from your computer, or if it’s more convenient, from your Instagram or Facebook account.
You can also add any text you like: an email address or the address of the business, for example. You can save designs for later, too, if you’d want to spend a while coming up with something perfect just for you!
Our mugs are British made and we offer 2-day turnaround. If you need support, we offer a chat feature, or you can call 01772 625179. You can also request a free sample of our printing if you’d like to try out the quality before you buy.
With all those reasons to order, why not try personalising your own mugs today?

How to Use Promotional Products Effectively

Are you thinking about purchasing some promotional products to help your business? If so, you’re not alone. Promotional products are one of the most effective and popular forms of advertising in the world today. They are effective and affordable tools that can really boost a company’s sales, and draw in more clients and regular customers.
Promotional products are, in essence, any physical item that you give out to customers (or potential customers) in order to advertise your business. They typically display your company’s name, logo and website, and may include a description of your services. Some promotional products are disposable, while as others (such as fridge magnets) may be kept for months or years.
Today, we’ll explain exactly why companies use promotional products, and whether or not they really work. We’ll also discuss the most popular promotional products, and how you can use them effectively.
Why Do Companies Use Promotional Products?
Many companies use promotional products alongside more traditional forms of advertising – such as posters, billboards, TV, newspaper and radio adverts. Like advertisements, promotional products are designed to show off your brand and draw new customers in. However, they are slightly different to regular adverts, and much more effective.
The majority of promotional products are designed to be kept by the consumer, and used (or looked at) regularly. Some examples include personalised pens, postcards, mugs, t-shirts and fridge magnets, all bearing a company’s name and logo.
This clever merchandise may be given away at trade shows, as a competition prize, as part of a grand opening (or re-opening) celebration, or simply gifted to customers and clients as a ‘thank you’. An advertisement on a billboard may be forgotten within seconds of viewing it – but if your customers have a magnet on their fridge bearing your logo, they’ll see it multiple times a day.
Do Promotional Products Really Work?

Simply put: yes. According to research by the Advertising Specialty Institute, most consumers will keep a promotional product for eight months (on average). And when they no longer have need of it, over 60% of people will give the product away rather than throwing it in the bin.
Company mugs are particularly good examples of promotional products with staying power. The research suggests that around 50% of consumers who own logoed drinkware use it 2-3 times a week or more. The consumer might also serve drinks to visiting friends and relations in your company mug. So, not only will the person who originally received the product be constantly reminded of your brand, but their friends and family will be too. These repeated impressions can have a significant impact on a company’s reputation and sales.
It’s an established fact that consumers who have been given a promotional product will view the company in a more favourable light as a result. They’re also more likely to do business with the company whose merchandise they own, over a competitor.
How to Use Promotional Products Correctly
There are all kinds of promotional products out there. In fact, almost everything that can be printed on can be turned into a branded product bearing a company’s logo. We’ve seen promotional hats, bags, umbrellas, coasters – you name it.
But the most popular and commonly used promotional products are flyers, postcards, magnets, and mugs. Let’s take a look at each one and how you might use it effectively to promote your company, whether big or small.

Flyers are some of the most basic and affordable promotional products. The great thing about a flyer is that it’s lightweight, cheap to design and print, and perfect for slipping into letterboxes or handing out in shopping centres. You can order flyers in a variety of different sizes, and they’re essentially a blank canvas for your own design.
Advertise your company’s most popular services, or use them to feature a brand new product. Use them to promote your brand ethos, or what makes your company stand out. Flyers are great for advertising sales and special promotions, too. Either hand out your flyers to your customers when they purchase a product or service, or hire a door-to-door leaflet distributor. That way, you can draw in new customers in your area.

Postcards, similar to flyers, are flat printed products designed to be posted through a letterbox. However, postcards are much more robust. Rather than being made of flimsy paper, they’re a more durable and hard-wearing cardstock with a professional glossy finish.
Everyone enjoys getting a postcard in the mail, so they can be a great tool to help your business flourish. Choose a pre-set design template or create one of your own. Postcards are great for keeping your services or products fresh in the minds of current clients, past clients, and prospective clients alike. They work great as greetings cards (for Christmas, Easter, or other special times of year).

A magnet is an example of a promotional product that’s designed to last. The best thing about a magnet is that it’s often displayed on the fridge or freezer, in the busiest part of the home (the kitchen). Your client or customer, as well as the rest of their household, will be exposed to your logo every day.
Fridge magnets are versatile and can be used to promote virtually anything, from a specific product or event, to your company in general. As they have a practical purpose (to hold shopping lists, receipts, or notes in place), they’ll be used regularly, creating the kind of exposure your business needs.
Magnets work best as ‘freebies’ given away with the purchase of a product, but can also be used as an alternative to a business card. Hand out a magnet after a productive conversation with a prospective client and you’ll be sure to create a lasting impression.
Personalised Mugs

Personalised mugs are some of the most effective promotional products available to businesses today. Made of ceramic, they’re designed to last for years, and be used over and over again. We’re a nation of tea-lovers, so they work especially well in the U.K.
Because of this, mugs are used most effectively to advertise a business as a whole, rather than one specific service, sale, or promotion. They work great as:
• Freebies given out at trade shows and corporate events
• Competition prizes (company raffles, etc)
• Gifts for attending a grand opening (or re-opening, if your business has had to close for a while, e.g. due to Covid-19)
• Christmas and birthday presents
• Thank-you gifts for longstanding clients and repeat customers
They’re also fantastic given out as gifts to employees – they’ll take them home and spread the word of your business to their family and friends. Use them in your own home, too, and subtly advertise your company every time you entertain guests!
Where to Buy Promotional Products in the U.K.
If you’re looking for affordable yet high-quality promotional products, look no further than We’re an established printing company that specialises in promotional products such as flyers, postcards, magnets and mugs, as well as:
• Business cards
• Letterheads
• Address labels
• Notepads
• Appointment cards
• Greetings cards
As well as personal products, such as wedding invitations. When you shop with 123Print, you’ll receive a quality, professionally printed product that is compatible with any budget. What’s more, all of our products are fully customisable (for free). Use our handy editing tool to design your colour scheme, upload your brand’s logo and create a custom design that’s right for you.
Once you’ve placed your order, we’ll aim to ship it the very next business day, provided you place your order before 11am. We have a 100% satisfaction guarantee policy, so you can rest easy knowing your designs are in good hands!

Why We Love Promotional Merchandise (And You Should, Too!)

promotional mugs

It may be hard to believe but, with roots dating as far back as the 18th century, promotional merchandise has a magnificent and revolutionary history.

From one of its earliest credited uses paving the way for the presidential election of George Washington; to its contribution in building some of the world’s brand behemoths; it’d be accurate to say that promotional merchandise has a successful history.

Yet, even with so many success stories it is astonishing that with every year that goes by, more and more marketers are eliminating the promotional product from their marketing plans.

Did you know? Only 49% of Marketers think about using promotional merchandise.

This comes as no surprise however, as, with the growth of online marketing, ecommerce and an emergent number of articles singing the praises of the latest social network; it’s easy for promotional merchandise to be eradicated with other, seemingly more lucrative marketing initiatives taking its place.

Did you know? 21.8% of marketing spends in 2013 were spent online.

Yet, with every day that goes by the online marketplace is becoming a fierce place for small businesses to operate in.

In 2014 businesses are predicted to increase online ad spend by 3.8%. With the news that Facebook is continuing to sever the rope that connects you and your customers, to the ever irritating Google algorithm changes and the both confusing and expensive AdWords, online marketing is fast becoming a landscape where only the power of money talks. Put simply, small businesses just cannot compete.

Nonetheless, for small businesses, the outlook doesn’t have to be so bleak; perhaps it is time you look back to the remarkable results of promotional merchandise. Sure it’s still going to be important to build a presence online, but with an unstable online climate and with 44% of people finding marketing online ‘annoying’, there is perhaps an opportunity in the proven traditional promotional products.

A report from the BMPA in 2011 shows its support of this statement in its key findings:

Key findings:

• Promotional merchandise can deliver a higher or equal ROI than most forms of advertising

• 66% of respondents said they could remember the brand on the promotional product they received during the last year

• 79% said they were likely to do business with the company in the future

• 8 out of 10 (84 per cent) respondents said that a branded promotional gift increases brand awareness

• Over three quarters (87 per cent) of recipients said they kept a promotional gift for longer than 12 months

• Over half (56 per cent) of respondents said their opinion of the brand/company was more favourable after receiving the promotional product

We’re not arguing that you should drop online marketing altogether, but with the average ad spend online rising, the agony of fighting for customer attention and the price of promotional merchandise dropping, maybe it’s time you look back into past successes and invest in a trusted product that has unique opportunities for the future.

Did you know? Reddit, one of the most popular social news and entertainment sites, seeing 100 Million Unique visitors per month, only spent $500 on marketing, spending all $500 buying promotional stickers!