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by Cathy Houston Cathy Houston on November 3, 2016

What To Do With Leftover Promotional Giveaways

Promotional products can continue to maximize your ROI even after their original use.

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You took the plunge and ordered a bunch of promotional giveaways for your company’s recent event. Surely, the giveaways made impressions, facilitated brand exposure, and resonated with your prospects and customers. In other words, they did their job. However, just because the event has passed, doesn’t mean there’s no further use for any of the extra products you may have leftover.

There are a couple of promotional dos and don’ts every marketer should follow when it comes to dealing with left over items. Using the suggestions below, ensure your company follows proper promotional protocol when dealing with extra giveaways.

1. Reuse

Just because you didn’t use all of your giveaways for the event they were originally intended for, doesn’t mean that they’re no longer usable items! Find a way to repurpose your extra items that will benefit your brand. Here are some ways to reuse your extra items:

  • Give them away as an employee or client "thank you" gift
  • Save them for an upcoming trade show or other event
  • Incorporate them into a gift basket giveaway
  • Raffle them off at an event or in your office
  • Craft a social media giveaway campaign for your company's followers to participate in

Leftover giveaways aren’t a nuisance – they’re another marketing opportunity. Get creative and think of new ways to use your extra products.

 

2. Donate

Donation may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of leftover promotional items; however, professionals and other organizations can make great use of your leftover giveaways as items for gift baskets, event handouts, and more. Here are some great donation uses for popular promotional giveaways that you may have leftover:

  • Water Bottles: Charities and other types of nonprofits often hold walks and runs for fundraising and awareness purposes. Your leftover promotional water bottles may be used as incentives for the participants in the walks and runs. Also, this is a cool way to have your brand associated with a nonprofit.
  • T-Shirts: Promotional t-shirts are often used for company events and promotion. Unused t-shirts are ideal donations for thrift stores and other clothing donation organizations like Goodwill, Savers, and The Salvation Army.
  • Tote Bags: Have leftover tote bags that went unused from your last trade show? Tote bags are useful promotional items for companies that are holding events and need some type of gift bag for attendees. Bags generate more impressions in the U.S. than any other promotional item, so keep up your brand exposure by donating your extra tote bags to a company or organization that needs them.

 

3. Recycle

In my past blog regarding sustainable promotional products, I covered the ins and outs of what makes a promotional product “sustainable.” Sustainable promotional products are convenient items to have left over because many of them are also recyclable. To ensure your extra items are recyclable, be sure to review your product's materials and best recycling practices. To get you started, here are some of the most common materials promotional products are made out of, and whether they’re recyclable or not:

  • Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET): PET is a commonly used material in consumer products that can be recycled to make polyester fiber for fleece and carpets.
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC): PVC is a soft and flexible plastic material commonly found in promotional products. Unfortunately, it is not recyclable.

 

So, we’ve covered what to do with left promo items. But how about what not to do? In my mind, the biggest mistake a marketer can make with left over promotional items is to let them lie around and take up space (or worse, throw them away) while they could be used to maximize your ROI. Use the ideas above to make sure your extra promotional items don’t go to waste.

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Cathy Houston

Written by Cathy Houston

As an innovative forward-thinker who looks beyond traditional promotional products, Cathy takes pride in finding unique products that meet her clients’ needs while integrating seamlessly with each aspect of their marketing strategy.

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