Friday, December 4, 2009

No Less Than Minimum Charges

One of my suppliers is running a special until the end of the year. There are NO less than minimum charges until the end of the year!! Their website address is .

Monday, November 23, 2009

If you are looking for some ideas for client or employee gifts try the flipper catalog for one of my favorite suppliers Lanco. Just click on this link to view their holiday catalog . . . .

Monday, November 16, 2009

Holiday Gift Baskets

Sometimes it is hard to buy just the right gift for our client or employees. Gift baskets are a "No Brainer" in my mind. One of my favorite gift basket suppliers has a web catalog at You can pick search by price or theme or type of basket. My favorite ones are the Towers under the heading of Holiday pictured above. Why are these the perfect gift . . . . everyone loves food!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The 5 Senses

One of the great things about promotional products is that they appeal to our senses. Consider the following examples:

A scented candle appeals to your sense of smell
A chocolate bar molded in the shape of your company logo appeals to your sense of taste
A musical CD that has your logo on the case appeals to your sense of hearing
A pen that has a barrel that lights up appeals to your sense of sight
A soft leather mouse pad appeals to your sense of touch

No other advertising medium can do this. When was the last time that you said "Thank You" after viewing or hearing a commercial?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Send Out Cards

Two years ago I signed up to use and be a distributor of Send Out Cards. It is a wonderful company that allows me to send real cards from my computer. It's the "extras" that are great.

1. I can send a card to anyone from anywhere in the world as long as I have access to the internet.
2. They have over 15,000 cards in their card library from which to choose. Ever have trouble finding "Just the right card" . . . I don't!
3. I can create a custom card from scratch. I can download a photo or photos and SOC will print them on the cards.
4. I can add a title, a thought bubble, a speaking bubble.
5. I can send a postcard, 2 panel card or a 3 panel card.
6. I can send gifts with the card like cookies, brownies, books and more.
7. I can send the same card to different people in my contact list and SOC will change the name on the first line inside of the card . . . that is very cool!

Go to my website for Send Out Cards at and you can send a card free on me. Try it and you will be amazed. I use it all of the time to say Thank You, Get Well, Congratulations, Sympathy, Nice to Meet You and more!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I saw an ad in the local newspaper recently that caught my eye. If you called this insurance company and allowed them to quote on your insurance they would send you a FREE flashlight keychain. This is a smart move in a down economy. Be aggressive and go after business in a creative way. It is amazing what some people will do to get a free gift.

Do you want to drive business to your website, offer a free gift card.
Do you want to drive business to your booth at a trade show, do a direct mail gift vouchure to all of the attendees 2 weeks before the show starts.
Do you want to reduce accidents in your company, set up a safety program with gifts and awards and a nice party at the end of the calendar year for everyone that is accident free for the year.

FREE is KEY to helping you achieve success!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Why Promotional Products

The main reason you should use promotional products is to keep Top of the Mind placement with your clients so that they think of YOU when they need your product or service.


Thursday, October 1, 2009


I like items that have a long life and are useful and practical. Below is a photo of a battery-less hand powered flashlight. This is a great item to keep on hand for emergencies since you don't have to worry about your batteried dying. Best of all, they are low cost!

Friday, September 25, 2009

I really like this new Sticky Note & Flag Organizer. It will be placed on a highly sought after piece of real estate called The Desktop! At 100 quantity they are $5.19 each plus the setup charge. Best of all they can be debossed or screen printed (I prefer the deboss, very classy). I also like the fact that it also includes calendars under the cover. An item that will be used and appreciated!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Credit Card Shaped USB

USB Memory Devices are available in various items such as pens, key chains, bracelets, etc. I like the new ones that look like a credit card. They are easy to carry in a wallet, purse, pocket and also easy to mail. Best part is that they can be printed on the entire surface so you get a huge imprint area for your photo, logo and contact information. Check out the photo I took of two samples I recently received. They come in various storage capacities but pricing changes almost daily with all USB items.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sticky Notes are a great item to give to current or potential clients. I have a special running on the 4 x 3 size with 25 sheets per pad. Buy 500 at .60 each and get 500 free. Plus they are printed in full color on each page! The special is good until August 31!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Everyone is starting to gear up for fall and wearables are at the top of the list. Many clients are ordering items like polos, long sleeve shirts, jackets and uniforms. Some of my favorite suppliers can be found at and In my last post I mentioned that the HOT wearable items are moisture wicking, easy iron, and stain resistant.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What's HOT . . . . I get asked that question all of the time. My reply is always "What are you trying to achieve". Here is my list of what I think is hot now . . .

1. GREEN items that are recycled, recyclable, made of natural products, etc.
2. WEARABLES that are moisture wicking, require no ironing, and stain resistant.
3. MEMORY STICKS that come in various storage capacities and come in various forms like pens, keychains, wristbands, credit cards, compasses, etc.
4. Items printed in FULL COLOR, 4 COLOR PROCESS.
5. Fast turnaround in 1-3 days, people just don't plan far enough ahead so suppliers now offer RUSH SERVICE.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I found this very cool new golf item called Sure Putt. The Sure Putt product is a unique way to read the slope and break on a green. It can show any uphill, downhill, sloping right or sloping left break on any putting surface. The bubble in the spirit level will move around the dial to show you the direction of the break. If the bubble is directly in the center of the dial the green is level. But how often does that happen? By reading the dial around the disc you can instantly see the slope of the green. If the bubble moves right on the dial, that is the high side and the slope will be to the left. If the bubble moves left on the dial, then that is the high side and the slope will be to the right. Every quadrant on the dial shows you the path your ball will take on its way to the hole. The further outside the center circle on the dial the greater the slope or the greater the uphill or downhill break. To make it even easier the Sure Putt is large enough to have engraved directions in every quadrant on the dial and is heavy enough to lay flat on the green….giving you the most precise reading. Your artwork can also be engraved on this item.

Monday, July 20, 2009

People love specials. One of my main suppliers has some great specials and here's a link to their specials page . Check out the hat special, it is the BEST price I've ever seen on embroidered caps but the price is only good as long as the supply lasts and I think they're going to go fast. I even bought some at this price!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

It's now the middle of July and "Back to School" season is here. Various entities involved with preparing for the school year are busy reviewing and purchasing promotional products. One of my favorite suppliers can be found at They are running a special 10% discount on some of their products until September 30: .

Friday, July 10, 2009

One of the most popular low cost items is the Jar Gripper. They help you open up those hard to open lids and also help keep items from slipping. The photo above are samples of different stock shapes that can now be decored in full color with 4 color process printing. If you want to reduce your cost further just print them in one color instead of 4 color process. Loosens Jars, Light Bulbs, Garden Hoses, Radiator Caps, Nail Polish Caps. Helps prevent slipping of rugs, ladders and tools. For more information go to .

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Looking for an executive looking golf gift with a brand name. Here is the Nike Valuables Holder. Fits most range finders/GPS devices. Individual pockets have room to hold balls, tees, keys, divot tools, etc. It can be reversed and clipped onto your golf bag for easy access during a round of golf. Closed it is 8.5"w x 6"h x 2" deep. The imprint area is 3" x 3" on the back. Item NG021.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Remember, the fine art of networking is not so much about giving your business card to everyone you know but rather getting to know everything about the person, products, and services behind the business card that is given to you!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The wonderful thing about promotional products is that you can measure their effectiveness. Let's say that your business thrives on having people refer business to you so you decide to set up an incentive program for referrals from your existing customer database.

You run this program during the second half of 2009 and any referral that you receive that results in an order or a new client you give some kind of a reward to the giver. The more clients they bring in the better the reward. It is amazing what people will do to win points or a free gift.

A supplier of mine was running an incentive campaign and I ended up winning a new digital camera and a golf bag. It worked on me and I'm sure it could on your clients. At the end of the campaign you can see how many new clients you have and how much money you spent on advertising the campaign and the rewards. You can then MEASURE the results!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Being that it is the final day of the U.S. Open Golf Championship it is only fitting to talk about a golf product. Golf tees are an inexpensive way to promote your company at a golf outing or as a business gift that can be paired with golf balls, a polo shirt, golf umbrealla or a hat. Here is a link to one suppliers catalog page for the 2 3/4" tees. You can also find other products there as well: .

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Calendars are extremely popular because they are used 365 days a year and that gives you great exposure to your advertising message. Most of my calendar suppliers offer an early order discount. If you want to be safe order before the end of June and on the average you will get a 6% discount. The best part of this deal is that you can order now but request that they be shipped later in the year and you pay later as well. The calendar company will print them now, warehouse them, then ship them on the date requested. It helps them to spread out their work over the course of a year instead of the last 4 months of the year.

Here are some links to some of my very best calendar suppliers web catalogs: (computer calendar strip photo shown above)

Friday, June 12, 2009

When preparing artwork for an item I like to create a page in Adobe Illustrator that is the precise size of the available imprint area for that particular item. I will then arrange the artwork in that space, save it, then send a pdf file to my client to proof. I always suggest to them that they print it out so that they can see how it will look when printed the exact size on the item. When viewing the pdf on the item it may look great but remember that most of the time it is much larger than how it will be printed on the item. This process is especially important when printing in a small area on an item like a pen, golf ball, lapel pin, etc.

I also suggest following the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) philosophy when printing in a small area.

Monday, June 8, 2009

So you need something fast, go to . Leeds is a Pittsburgh supplier that can turn around an order in one day if we give them a perfect PO and artwork.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The WOW! Card

Have you ever wanted to know something but just didn't know where to look, who to ask, or just simply didn't have the time to figure it out? The WOW card gives the caller toll free access to a live 24/7/365 personal assistant.

You can ask the personal assistant to help you with anything such as driving directions, traffic/road conditions, price comparisons, movie times and dozens of other applications. The assistant that answers the call will address the caller by name and deliver a customized script such as "Hello Ms. Williams. Thank you for calling (YOUR COMPANY NAME) personal assistant. This is Amanda, how may i assist you?"

The card can be customized with your artwork on both sides. Being the size of a credit card, it fits conveniently in your wallet so you can use it anytime, anywhere. Here is the suppliers web catalog

The card can be used as a business gift, an employee benefit card, a trade show handout, a new member gift, a travel companion, or part of an incentive program.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Impact of Marketing

Many businesses tend to cut their funding for marketing and advertising during a recession thinking it will save them money and in the long run help their business. This couldn't be further from the truth because when the economy is slow the market is less saturated with advertising campaigns. Marketing helps drive customers to your business. You wouldn't get rid of the road to your store to save money would you? During an economic slump, it would make more sense to increase funding to marketing.

The beauty of promotional products is that you can conduct a direct marketing campaign and measure the results.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

One of my favorite low priced promotional products is the sticky note pad. Everyone uses them and they are easy to send in the mail. Bic has a special on the 4"w x 3"h pad, 25 sheets, until the end of August. For a quantity of 500 they are .60 each but you then get 500 free! Plus, they are printed in full color 4 color process. The above photo shows how you can print a halftone of a photo in the background and then 100% ink with a logo and/or copy. Did you know that you can send a 3" x 3" pad in an envelope with a letter for no additional postage. Why not send one with you next letter and keep your company in front of your client for many days to come. They may throw out the letter but I guarantee that they will keep the sticky note pad.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mouse pads have been very popular because they are a great desk top item so people see them every day. I like the hard surface mouse pads because they last longer, do not pick up lint that gets in your mouse, and the graphics really POP. Here are some very good specials from one of my favorite suppliers that does a great job printing in full color (four color process) . . . .

Thursday, May 28, 2009

People love to wear hats, myself included. Here is a great special from one of my hat suppliers:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I have helped many clients set up programs targeting a specific area of interest. Some of these would include reduce safety, increase sales with existing clients, saying "Thank You" to current employees with service awards, and holiday gifts to show appreciation for business during the past year to name a few. Also, sometimes they only need one gift or a small number of gifts spread out on different price levels.

The simple solution is to use gift catalogs. I use this supplier and they have some great information at their website.
The beauty of using gift catalogs is that the recipient receives the book and they can choose the gift that they can use and it is shipped directly to thier home. You don't have to warehouse any items and you are only invoiced for the gift after it has been shipped and received.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I was golfing at a local golf course last year with a very talented young golfer. He marked his golf ball and I think I could have seen the marker from Toledo it was that bright. After golfing I did some research and found the supplier that carried the product. They are made of a neon plastic and the plastic captures the light and it emanates on the outside edge of the ball marker. Here is a link to the product . . . . I suggest having a fish bowl filled with them at the registration table for golf outings or buy some zip lock sandwich bags and put some of them in the bag along with your business card and donate them for each golfer's goody bag.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Summer is fast approaching and it is a great time to build "Esprit de Corps". Some of the favorite logo'd promotional products to give out to attendees are Frisbee Flyers (hard plastic and fabric), stadium cups, Koozies, Travel Mugs, T-Shirts, Hats, Visors, Hoodies, Beach Towels, hand held or battery powered fans, Insulated Coolers, and Folding Chairs. Here are some links to some of my suppliers that have some of these items:

Monday, May 18, 2009

So you want to do a direct mail to a small target market. The best tip I can give you is to make sure that you include a promotional product that adds a little bulk to the packaging. The "Bulky Package" will get opened because people are curious and they love to get gifts and surprises. I think it goes back to our childhood when we would buy a box of Cracker Jacks just for the surprise prize inside of the box. Do a test direct mailing and see if it works for you.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Yesterday I introduced you to the Scramble Pic, a hot new golf item. Here's another one, The Aqua Caddy . The Aqua Caddy is a compact, portable, golf club cleaning device that attaches to your golf bag, cart or pull cart. Just add a little water to the Aqua Caddy before you start play and you can immediately clean your golf clubs after a shot.
It has a large imprint area of 3.5" x 3.5" on the top of the lid. Another great item that fall under $20 just like The Scramble Pic.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

With golf season here many people are looking for a new and unique favor to give the all attendees at thier golf outing. If you are using a "Scramble" format there is a very cool item that makes picking up your ball extremely easy while sitting in your golf cart and it is called the Scramble Pic. Here is the link to my suppliers web catalog . I like the one that is totally customizeable (yes, that is a word). Last year I purchased 2 samples to test them out. I played in a couple of scrambles so I gave one to each golf cart to share and use. I knew it was a great product when they didn't want to give it back to me at the end of the round!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Make sure that you choose the best decorating method for your artwork that will be printed on the item of your choice. Some items have only one decorating method like screen printing on golf balls but others like a portfolio may have screen printing, embossing, debossing, and embroidery. Don't assume that a traditional method is the best method.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The #1 category in the promotional product business is wearables. That would include items like Hoodies, Polos, Hats, T-Shirts, Jackets, Windshirts and more.

The hot (or I should say cool) material the last couple of years have been the shirts that contain the new moisture management material that wicks moisture away from the shirt. When the temperature is as high as your golf score these shirts really are great. They help to keep you cool and looking cool as well. I highly recommend them and when the humidity is high you will be saying "Thank You Peter" . . . . I guarantee it!

Go to
and check out some of the shirts that are marked "Dro Zone" or "Rapid Dry" or "Dry Fit".

Friday, May 8, 2009

On my post of 5/5 I talked about having your logo created in an eps or ai vector file artwork. Having that art file available will help tremendously when you need quick turnaround on an order.

Many suppliers have rush capabilities. A few of my favorites are,,, to name a few.

The sooner you can start the process of discussing your goals and when you need the product in hand the better. Start 6 months out and we have access to most suppliers in the world, 1 month out and most in the USA, 1 week out and now we have narrowed the field dramatically.

If you need the product somewhere other than your office it is a good idea to save time and money ship the product to the event site instead of shipping to your office and then shipping to the event site or taking them with you.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Pantone Matching System (PMS) assigns a name or a number for virtually any shade of any color. They also break this down into two areas of coated (shiny) and uncoated (dull). Any PMS color can be matched by most suppliers for a fee unless they are printing in 4 Color Process (4CP). The 4 colors used in 4CP are Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (K is for Black). The new PMS books are great because I can look at a PMS color as it will look when printed in a spot color by itself which is a match but to the right of it will be how that color would look when printed in 4CP. Most color photos printed on magazines are printed in 4CP. Many promotional products like a screen printed T-Shirt that has individual colors (without halftones or photos) are printed one color at a time with spot colors. If you want to consistently brand your company colors it would be wise to assign a PMS color to each color in your logo and then have all of your collateral advertising and marketing materials printed in the same colors. Consistency is key and as they say in Hollywood "Image is Everything". Here is a link to a website that shows the PMS colors but I would not trust the colors shown as they vary from computer monitor to monitor . . . .

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

If you want to make sure that you are ready to go when you want to place an order for promotional products I highly recommend that you have your logo in the correct file format. That file would be original vector artwork in either an eps or ai file type. Also, make sure that all of the fonts are outlined and saved. This ensures that your artwork is "set in stone" and cannot be altered or substituted when opened in another version of software.

You cannot take a jpg file, copy it to the clipboard, paste it into a page in say Adobe Illustrator and save it as an eps or ai file type. It is still a jpg file and this is low resolution and is not able to be reduced or enlarged to the available imprint area on the item. jpg files are great for websites but not great for use with promotional products.
This is my first attempt at a blog. I'm hoping to share my knowledge and wisdom about the various ins and outs of the world of promotional products. Having been a high school art teacher and coach I still have a strong teacher inside of me and this will be a great way for me to allow my teacher side to vent.

I believe that promotional products are a great tool that can help with marketing, advertising and meeting planning to name a few.

Stay tuned or I should say tune in and I will try to cover various topics and products and I would love to have you ask questions or make suggestions for topics that you would like me to cover.