Promo items are a great way to promote your business and keep it in the minds of your customers. Useful items that they can wear or keep on their desks will remind them of your brand every time they see it. And the more impressions you get, the more brand recognition you have.  

If you decide to get promo items for your business, one of the first steps will be to place a promo item order. Although this may sound simple enough, once you get on the phone or computer, you may realize you are unprepared unless you have gathered some vital information in advance. 

With that in mind, here are some tips on what you need to place a promo item order.  

Your Goal

Your main goal with any sort of promo item is to tailor it to your specific marketing needs. You want to invest in a promo item that not only is useful to your customers but also makes sense in your branding. For example, if you are a pencil sharpener manufacturer, choosing to give away branded pens might not be the best idea. Branded pencils are the obvious choice!

You also need to keep distribution in mind. Where will you be giving out your promo items? Will the items be given away at a tradeshow or will you be handing them out in your office lobby? A swag bag full of items is fine for a live event, but you’ll have to consider postage costs you if you plan on shipping the swag bag to customers.

And what is the call to action that you would like to inspire in your recipients? Do you want them to call to book an appointment? Sign up for a newsletter, thereby adding their name to your email marketing list? These are all things you should consider to get the perfect promo item for your company.

Related: How to Maximize Promo Product ROI

Your Budget

Promo items can be a great investment, but you don’t want to break the bank purchasing them. To figure out how much you should be spending on your promo item, start by calculating your CPM (Cost Per Impression). You can find the equation to do that here.

You also need to consider if the items will be a recurring order and budget that according to how many times you will have to order during the year. Typically, these are your branded pens, notepads, etc. that you regularly give away to clients in your office.


The number of promo items you purchase will depend on where you are giving out your items. For example, if you’re hosting a corporate event, it would not make sense to order 1,000 branded coffee cups when the attendance is estimated at 300 people. On the other hand, if you will hand out the cups at a tradeshow event with 5,000 people, you will probably run out, so more would be better.

Time Frame

Think of when you will need your promo item and then work your way back in order to get your item in time. Be sure to consider that the company you order from will need time to get your items ready and then deliver them. Although time frames might vary depending on the company you use, it’s a good idea to allow 2-3 weeks for order and delivery.

Related: 10 Promo Items That People Keep in Their Cars Forever

A Contact Person

If you are running a busy company, it’s a good idea to have one person that’s in charge of getting your promo items together. This person should be able to handle all matters pertaining to your promo items, including the approval of proofs and the answering of any questions concerning the production process. Having one point of contact will make the decision making process far easier for both parties.

Artwork in Vector Format

If you are giving away a physical promo item, more than likely you will need to supply your printing company your brand’s logo in vector format. What is vector format? We have a full explanation here, but essentially, it is an image that can be scaled without losing visual quality. This makes it the ideal choice for printing promo items because your items will have clean, sharp-looking images on whatever medium you decide to use.

Shipping Locations

You also need to be aware of where your items are going. Typically, the more rural the area that your promo items are being shipped, the more it will cost to ship them; The same goes for national vs. international. Additionally, the quantity, weight and size of the shipping container will determine how much it is going to cost you.

That’s all the info you need to purchase your brand’s promo items. Now that you have a plan for your first promo item order, go ahead and contact us at Ironmark! We are ready for any and all of your questions.


Written by Blake Leppert

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