Essential Ideas for Successful Promotional Giveaways

A promotional giveaway is a nice way to give back to those who frequent your business, but it can actually help to encourage business as well. Giving away promotional products is one of the most cost-effective means of marketing available; in fact, promotional products cost less per impression than cable TV ads.

Giving free gifts to prospects or customers can increase loyalty and provide you with valuable leads. Here are a few tips for planning successful corporate giveaways that both please your customers and ultimately improve sales.

  1. Decide what you’re giving away

    Promotional Magnets Giveaway

    Magnets are outstanding giveaway items that you can also brand with your company's contact info.

    If your business is already merchandise-based, you may already have access to great giveaway prize ideas. Stores and restaurants can easily offer goods or gift certificates as a giveaway incentive.

    But maybe your industry isn’t quite so tangible, or the service you provide doesn’t make for an attractive giveaway prize. For example, a dentist’s office probably wouldn’t get much response if they tried raffling off free root canals.

    In cases like this, it might be best to seek out promotional products. There are many appealing gifts that you can customize with your company’s logo. Personalized coffee mugs, magnets, and other promotional products are relatively inexpensive and allow you to increase exposure to your brand.

    You should also decide how many products you plan to give away; this and your budget will help to determine the right promotional item. Whatever you choose to give away, just make sure it’s something that your target audience will actually want. This will make marketing your giveaway much easier in the long run.

    If you’re on an especially tight budget, you could enlist the aid of a sponsor. Many companies will be happy to provide a prize for your giveaway in exchange for a namedrop and a link to their website. This is a popular technique for blogs and organizations that rely on business-to-business partnerships. It can still help to attract attention to your website or place of business; just be aware that you’ll be splitting a portion of your promotional power with someone else. This technique works both ways; consider providing a prize for a giveaway on someone else’s popular blog.

  2. Choose a method of entry

    Facebook Giveaway

    Facebook can be used to facilitate a giveaway, but it comes with certain complications.

    An easy way to make giveaways give back is to choose a method of entry that works to your advantage. You could require participants to join your mailing list, refer a friend, or follow your blog or social media account. This will increase your customer base and help you to engage with prospects. Giveaway entrants can be collected online or at a public event like a trade show. Generally, the easier your corporate giveaway is to enter, the more engagement you’re likely to see.

    Be aware that social media sites like Facebook often have special rules about running promotions. If you’re running your giveaway through one of these sites, educate yourself and make sure your promotion stays within the guidelines.

    Also remember that a giveaway doesn’t have to be a “contest,” per se. You could simply give a free gift to your most valuable customers, or even your own employees. This can help to retain customer loyalty or express appreciation for your employees’ hard work.

  3. Plan the date and length of your giveaway

    You want to give your customers enough time to enter your giveaway, but you also don’t want it to run so long that it loses relevance and immediacy.

    A week or so is usually a good baseline for most promotional product giveaways; as a general rule, the bigger your prize is, the longer the entry period of your giveaway should be. There’s more opportunity to build up anticipation over a longer period of time if your prize is really exciting (like a shopping spree, for example).

    You also might consider running your promotional giveaway at a specific event, such as a convention or trade show. This lets you collect prospect information and pass out promotional products quickly and in person.

  4. Promote, promote, promote

    It’s no use planning a giveaway if nobody knows about it. Marketing is a vital step; spread the word about your promotion to as many people as possible.

    Free Kittens Sign

    Even those outside the business world know that the word "free" carries incredible weight. With enough promotion, your giveaway can elicit a huge response.

    Placing a banner announcing the giveaway on your website is a good start; if you’re part of a brick-and-mortar business, you can also place printed banners and other signage where potential customers are likely to see them. Additionally, you can use social media, TV or print ads, or your company newsletter to inform people about your promotion.

    Remember to make the terms and conditions of your giveaway perfectly clear. It’s doubtful that you can afford to send a promotional product to everybody who joins your mailing list, after all. Sending one to the next 200 people who refer a friend to your website, however, is much more reasonable. Spelling out your limits in your marketing will save you a headache later.

  5. Follow through

    Ever check the fine print of a contest or promotion and read something to the effect of “We do not guarantee that we will actually award a prize?” Often a company won’t follow through on the giveaways they announce, and this is always a disappointment. Whenever possible, you should always follow through on your corporate giveaways.

    If you’re running your giveaway through your blog or social media, privately request the winners’ mailing information so you can send them their prize (again, take into account any rules set by the blogging or social media site you’re using).

    If your giveaway is taking place at a specific event, following through shouldn’t be difficult if you already have your promotional products on hand. If you intend to give a prize to everyone in attendance indiscriminately, it’s a good idea to bring about 10% more items than you think you’ll need, just to be safe.

  6. Post-giveaway publicity

    Just because your giveaway is over doesn’t mean you can’t continue to capitalize on it. Don’t forget to announce the winner or winners of your giveaway via social media, a press release, your company newsletter, or some other source that people are likely to see. Publicizing your winners provides closure to your giveaway and shows the public that you’ve followed through. It’s a great opportunity to maintain your company’s visibility in a positive way.

    You might also want to remain in contact with your giveaway winners, especially if the prize is a product your company sells. The winners can be a valuable source of feedback and may even be willing to be part of a case study, which can help you improve future business.


A carefully planned promotional giveaway can end up being a major boon to your company. Spend enough time preparing the right product and the right parameters, and you’ll discover how to do a giveaway that gives back in a big way.

Posted in Marketing, Marketing Ideas, Promotional Marketing

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Printwand Staff
Author: Printwand Staff

Our marketing, design and printing experts are passionate about sharing their knowledge. We're eager to help make your vision a reality in print. Be sure to explore the rest of the Printwand blog for more reliable, easy-to-understand information.

One Response to “Essential Ideas for Successful Promotional Giveaways”

  • 1
    Ellen Hughes says:

    I do like that you talked about how you should consider giving out promotional products to increase the exposure of your brand. This is something that I will make sure to remember because my husband and I are thinking of establishing a business in the future. Our business will target passengers and drivers, so we’ll consider giving out promotional air fresheners. Thanks!

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