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7 Ways Business Promo Items Help in the Customer Buying Cycle

business promo items
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If you’re wondering how you can use business promo items to nudge prospects or customers along the purchase life cycle, you’re in the right place. Here, we’ll be discussing 7 ways to use custom promo items to encourage people along your value ladder.

Before you decide to sell anything, you have to determine who your customer is, what they’re trying to purchase, and potential stops they may take along the way–this is called “customer comprehension”.  At the core of any business, you need to make a profit, so it’s vitally important you know your customers, their goals, and how you can meet them along their journey in the customer buying cycle.  Business promo items can help you meet your customers in their journey.

The Customer Purchase Lifecycle

The scenario usually goes something like this…

There’s a person who realizes they want to pursue a new goal.  They may be discontent in their current situation, or they could simply be looking to try something new.  They’re unsure of how to do it, so they begin researching.  They find solutions, and they narrow down their solutions, then they compare their top potential solutions.

When customers are going on the journey to research, find information, shop alternatives, or make a purchase, where are you? Are you helping them to find the solution? How do you aid them in making their decision?

How Business Promo Items Help

Business promo items can help at various stages of the customer’s buying cycle.  They give you the ability to leverage your time and they work for you in your absence.  Let me show you how…

1. Impressions

Business promo items can range from things you use everyday like writing utensils, or they can be items that are typically placed in an as-needed storage location (like magnets).  Regardless, useful business promo items can get lots of impressions: from the potential customer and from their friends.

Many business experts talk about the “rule of 7“.  They say customers need to see your offer at least 7 times before they make a buying decision.  There are different ways to accomplish the rule of 7.  Some people use:


Business promo items are one very effective way of accomplishing the rule of 7.  With one useful product like a pen, the customer will see your offer several times when they’re using the promo item you’ve given them, and it keeps your business top-of-mind.

2. Messaging

The business promo item you use and the words you put on it will contribute to the buying cycle, and you want to be strategic about this.  With cold traffic, you want to give sufficient information so they’ll know what problems you solve and build trust with you.  In contrast, with warm traffic, you simply want to nudge them closer to the purchase decision.

Messaging matters.

Depending on your goals for the business promo items, you may simply want a logo for brand recognition, or you may want to add a slogan or additional messaging.  You can use business promo items to:

  • Inform customers of a sale or freebie offer
  • Build brand awareness
  • Increase brand engagement
  • or drive other key performance indicators thru the roof!

business promo items3. Usefulness

60% regift promotional items and 69% of consumers would pick up a promotional product if they deemed it useful.  When you’re thinking about your customer’s buying cycle, you want to think about things they would need along the way to closing a deal with you.  Maybe they’d need information and brochures, postcards, or blog posts could help with that.

Maybe they’d need to set up appointments, sign contracts, or take notes, and custom journals, padfolios, planners, folders, pens, and letterheads could be helpful with that.  You want to think about which business promo items would help them achieve their goals and how your company can help with that.

4. Repetition

Going back to the rule of 7, business promo items is one of the most voluntary forms of advertising.  If you use Facebook ads or Google ads, it’s an effort by the advertiser to get attention from the consumer, and it works, but it’s not nearly as appreciated as receiving a custom gift.  Added onto the favorable perception of a business promo item, if you identify a useful product, it’s likely that the client will use your product time and time again.

5. Competitive Advantage

Many companies do not diversify in marketing.  They may have business cards, but no website. They may have brochures, but no other business promo items, so they may be offering something that’s only useful to a small populace.  Instead, if they diversify where they have a variety of business promo items and a diverse marketing strategy, they can increase their conversion rates and split test which option works best.

6. Reciprocity

Often times, the company whose the most generous up front will win the business.  For this reason, many of the most successful marketers of all time (like Dan Kennedy, Michael Masterson, and Ryan Deiss) have said, “He or she who can afford to spend the most to acquire a new customer, wins.”

In his post on using the law of reciprocity correctly, Brian Tracy explained that the law of reciprocity says:

“If you do something nice for me I’ll do something nice for you. I feel obligated to reciprocate.”

When you’re giving business promo items, it triggers the law of reciprocity.  People appreciate the kind gesture that you’ve given them something (especially if it’s useful), and good people naturally desire to reciprocate.  As a warning, you still want to strategically position your business promo items to ensure you can remind or engage people after giving them the promo items.

business promo items7. Eliminate Procrastination

Sometimes, when your customer is going thru the customer life cycle, they may face fear.  They might worry about:

  • Whether the product will really deliver as it says
  • Whether they should act now or later
  • If there’s another alternative or update that’ll be better than what you offer now
  • and so on…

Business promo items can incentivize action.  You can give the items when they are the first few to act or when they act within a certain timeframe.  You can use business promo items as a means to nudge them to take action.


Final Words on How Business Promo Items Can Help in the Customer Buying Cycle

The goal of this article was to show how business promo items can help nudge customers thru the customer buying cycle. I’d recommend you think about everything mentioned, and decide on places where your customer may go when they’re looking for a service like yours.

Consider what products could be useful for them, and what messaging could you add onto the products to nudge them one step closer to purchasing with you. If you have questions or concerns about this, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section.  I’d love to help you out!

If you’d like to grow your business, check out my free e-course. It’s a framework to grow a business: from idea to enterprise. Check out the free e-course here.

Now, it’s Your Turn…

Have you used business promo items to nudge people thru the customer buying cycle?  What’s your experience?  If you haven’t used business promo items to help in your sales funnel, why not? Leave your comments below.

Popular Places to Buy Promo Products


If you're looking for promo products that can be customized 100% online, Vistaprint has one of the best online shopping experiences in the industry.


If you're looking for a huge library of promo products that can be customized in a very unique and trendy way, Zazzle offers a handmade feel that may be a god option for you.


A veteran in the promo product space. Deluxe has been offering products and services reliably for 100+ years. If you're looking for a reliable company, Deluxe is a good option.

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