In Mission Impossible, Jim Phelps has five seconds before the tape self-destructs. For keeping secrets, that’s a great idea. But, if you want to make sure a message is remembered, well, burning the evidence just doesn’t work as well. This is one of the differences between secret-agent work and promotional products marketing.
A promotional product that quickly finds its way to the garbage can is a poor investment, indeed. You want a promotional product they’ll hang onto once you pass it along. In this regard, pens are an excellent option – they are clearly a king among promotional products.
The ink in a pen is not limitless. This is a drawback when handing out pens as promotional products; eventually, those pens will go dry. When they do, it’s all-but guaranteed that the pen will wind up in the trash can. But, the need for pens is inexhaustible. People always need pens, particularly people who are in business – the primary recipients of pens as promotional products.
While pens will run out of ink, they don’t run out overnight. This means that a pen has the potential to linger in the pocket, or on the desk, of a prospective client for a couple months or more, depending on how much ink they use.
As a frequently used item, a pen has the potential to put your name, logo, contact information and/or message in front of a prospect with the kind of repetition that makes other promotional products jealous.
Let’s suppose that the pen lasts for two months. Not only is it unlikely that a day will go by when the recipient of your promotional pen won’t use the pen, it’s far more likely they’ll use it several times each day. To be safe, let’s say that they’ll only use the pen, on average, three times each day. In a two-month period, that means they’ll use your pen, and, potentially, see your message, 180 times over the course of those two months.
If you agree with ‘The Rule of Seven,’ that it takes seeing your message seven times for a prospect to act, you’ve accomplished ‘The Rule of Seven’ almost 26 times. But, in terms of a promotional product, it’s not always a question that they’ll see your logo seven times and feel an uncontrollable, and unconscious, motivation to buy; rather, the frequency rate with which they see your message will ensure that, when they decide to buy, they’ll remember your name. They’ll even remember your name when they hear someone else who needs your products or services.
It’s not as exciting as a tape recording that goes up in smoke after giving you an offer of an assignment from which you may not survive, but pens have it all over self-destructing tapes in terms of promoting your product or service.