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How to Use Business Gifts to Market Your Site

Updated on February 15, 2019
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Heidi Thorne is the author of "SWAG: How to Choose and Use Promotional Products for Marketing Your Business."

Leather-like bookmark used to promote website featuring books and educational resources on promotions.... as well as to encourage recipients to "bookmark" the site.
Leather-like bookmark used to promote website featuring books and educational resources on promotions.... as well as to encourage recipients to "bookmark" the site. | Source

Ironically, sometimes you need to use offline marketing and advertising, such as business gifts, to promote your website. Why?

  • Your Site (or Business) is New. If your potential audience doesn't know you exist, they will not be looking for your name online.
  • Your Topic or Offering has Low Search. If your product, service or topic are keywords that are rarely searched for online, traffic to your site could be minimal. It doesn't mean that it doesn't have profit potential since many "long-tail" keywords can have highly committed audiences. But you need to get the word out to these niche markets.
  • Your Audience is Not Regularly Online. Some groups are just not heavy users of the Internet. However, at this point in the computer revolution, it's likely that even casual users are online at times. Since their time on the Internet is minimal, they need to be directed on the best places to visit (which, of course, is your site!).

How Business Gifts Can Work

Business gifts can be used to promote your site to either:

  • Get Attention. It is difficult to not pay attention to an interesting or valuable business gift when received. This is especially the case when delivered as part of a direct mail campaign or when given in person. It's like Christmas no matter what time of year it is!
  • Get Retention. If the item you give is useful and valuable to your audience, you increase the chances that it will be retained and referred to whenever a need arises for what you offer.

What Items are Best Suited to Promote a Site?

While any promotional product can be used to promote a website, some are more suited to the task than others. Here are some that make good candidates since they are used with or near devices accessing the Internet:

  • Computer Accessories: USB speakers, USB hub ports and microfiber screen cleaners for either desktop or laptop computers.
  • Desktop Accessories: Pen holders (yes, we still need them), device charging stations and mugs.
  • Mobile Accessories: Texting gloves, mobile phone holders and touchpad styluses.
  • Adhesive Notes: Removable adhesive notepads with holders or note cubes (print website on every sheet of the cube).

For any item that is related to computers or mobile, select items that are generic and not specifically designed for a particular device. This will help ensure greater acceptance with recipients and increase the promotion's life. As well, purchasing higher quality items also can help increase the "keep factor."

In addition to these items which would be suited for any website, also consider items that are specifically relevant for your industry or business. For example, if your site offers cooking instruction or recipes, imprinted cookware or utensils may be good choices.

Using QR Codes

Especially for mobile websites to be accessed with a cell phone, consider including QR codes on your gift. Printing QR codes on surfaces other than paper can be challenging. The videos in this article offer tips for getting the best imprint.

How to Decide What Business Gift is Right for Your Business

All of the above ideas are great for some, but not for everyone and every business. How do you decide what business gift is right for your crowd?

In Choosing a Method of Advertisement for a Business, the concept of "where" was introduced to assist in choosing the best advertising placements. Same principle applies to choosing business gifts to promote sites. You need to ask yourself: Where will my potential gift recipients likely be when they access my website?

Some examples:

  • Mobile Website to Assist Travelers Away from Home. Travelers will likely be looking at this website to access information on the go on their mobile phones. So choosing a mobile accessory is a good tie-in.
  • Cooking Instruction or Recipe Site. Cooks are likely to want to access the site on a mobile tablet or even a desktop or laptop while trying new dishes at home. A mobile phone would be difficult to reference while cooking. As suggested earlier in this article, cooking utensils with the website's address would be a relevant gift. A microfiber cleaning cloth to wipe cooking mess off of computers or tablet devices might also be welcome.

Another where question to ask is: Where will I be giving my business gifts? This is more a convenience question for marketers. For example, if you'll be sending your gifts through the mail, you'll need to consider how heavy, bulky and expensive it will be to ship. That may also help decide what's an appropriate item.

Use the "where" concept to choose an item that helps your audience easily remember "where" to find you on the web!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2013 Heidi Thorne


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