Promotional Product Marketing Blog

Learn the best ways to market your brand with the use of promotional marketing products. Our blog gives you the best tips on ordering the right marketing merchandise to increase brand awareness within your target market. From creative marketing ideas to case studies of how others have used promotional items to promote their brand, we give you clear direction in aligning your promotional product campaign with your overall business goals.


Choosing a Mask Is Not Easy: Adjustability = Comfort

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the demand for face masks grows every day—especially since shelter-in-place orders are lifting and people are beginning to gather in public places. So, when brainstorming our Product of the Month for July, there was no question it had to be a face mask—and our 100% Cotton Reusable Face Mask with Adjustable Straps took top billing. Here’s why:

As you may know, governors all over the country are releasing mask mandates in public spaces, meaning citizens are required to wear masks for extended periods of time when commuting, shopping, and working. And if you have to wear a mask daily, you understand how uncomfortable they can be, especially if they don’t fit well around your ears.

Adjustable Fit for Complete Comfort

That’s why our adjustable face mask is an ideal choice for essential workers who require a non-medical mask, those with a medical condition, or those who take public transportation and have to wear a mask for hours at a time.

The adjustable elastic ear loops are equipped with a silicone toggle that allows the wearer to adjust the tension around their ears, creating an extremely customizable, comfortable fit.

Think of your favorite worn-out cotton t-shirt you’ve had for years—these masks have that same super comfy feel. They’re made with three layers of 100% ultra-soft cotton, are very breathable, and even machine washable. And, another “thumbs up”: the sides of these masks gather by your ears to keep them from slip-sliding, while keeping you safe.

Get a Close Up

For an even closer look at the features of these masks, check out this video.

Stay Relevant During the Pandemic

To stay relevant and keep audiences engaged many businesses are selling their very own face masks as a way to keep revenue flowing. If you’re entertaining this idea, you can read more here about other face masks you can customize for your business.

For even further guidance on choosing the perfect face mask for your needs, read our complete mask buying guide here. Then get in touch to learn more and place your order today.


The Benefits of a Local Networking Group

If there’s one lesson we’ve learned over these last three months, it’s that social connection plays a fundamental role in many people’s happiness and success—both personally and professionally. Because of wide-spread shelter-in-place orders, many social outlets and activities have been suspended, and for many, that means isolation from their professional communities as well.

From loss of communication with colleagues, to missing opportunities to grow and connect with a customer base, to missing out on professional development seminars and beyond, the effects of social distancing extend to every corner of the business world and are leaving many professionals feeling defeated and uninspired.

How to Grow Professionally and Stay Connected

Luckily, technology provides a means of connection when we can’t be physically together—and that plays a key part in continuing professional development during these times.

Greta, a wonderful member of our sales team, recently shared how she’s staying connected and honing her skills by meeting virtually with her local Business Network International (BNI) group.

Using BNI Groups to Grow Professionally

Every Thursday, Greta meets with her group (now via Zoom), which is made up of professionals from various industries including mortgage companies, financial institutions, car maintenance, heating and air conditioning, and more.

During each meeting, all members get a chance to pitch new products and services their company is offering, ask for referrals, and potentially sell to other professionals within the BNI group, all in hopes of making new connections and bringing in new business.

Making Connections and Getting New Business

Greta Presenting at BNI

When asked if these meetings open new doors, Greta said, “I didn’t get business at first—people need to gain your trust and get to know you because they’ll be referring their friends to you. But over time, I’ve definitely gained business. I have people ordering from the group, and they’ve referred me to their friends. It’s been a wonderful experience.”

Aside from honing her public speaking skills and perfecting her elevator pitch, Greta mentioned that meeting with her BNI group has also helped her deal more frankly with her customers and provide more valuable service to them.

Providing More Value to Customers

When reflecting on how she’s grown as a salesperson since joining her BNI group, Greta said, “Things happen with orders—we have to get on the phone and help our regular online customers. But with my BNI group, if something goes wrong or they have questions, I’m going to actually see them face-to-face.”

Sometimes, technology creates a barrier that subconsciously minimizes the positive effects of customer service interactions—but Greta says that connecting with her BNI group customers in person helps her see her customers, especially her digital ones, in a new light.

She notes that she’s learned to approach service situations from a more human, empathic standpoint—whether virtual or in person. Not only does this make her a more skillful salesperson, but it increases customer retention too.

Identifying Market Needs

BNI groups are made up of professionals from industries across the board, and Greta noted that consistently communicating with people in different industries is incredibly valuable for her as a salesperson.

These interactions have trained her to identify the common needs and interests that ePromos can fulfill for other companies and professionals. And perhaps most importantly, Greta notes that she’s more confident in her abilities as a salesperson—she uses the insight she’s gained from these industry connections to create razor-sharp sales pitches that are more targeted and effective. In other words, her professional growth is benefitting everybody in the business.

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The Benefits of BZK Wipes for Your Brand

Shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S., retail stores and websites were already running out of alcohol-based sanitizing gels and wipes. Manufacturers and retailers are still struggling to meet consumer demand for these products.

However, these formulations aren’t the only ones that can help keep your customers, clients, and employees safe and germ-free. Another substance might be just as effective against disease-causing microorganisms, including bacteria and viruses, and it boasts some sought-after benefits as well. It’s called BZK, and it’s the key ingredient in one of our newest offerings at ePromos.

Benefits of BZK

What Is BZK?

German Nobel Laureate Gerhard Domagk first discovered Benzalkonium chloride, or BZK, in 1935. Soon, researchers recognized its properties as an effective disinfectant and antiseptic and by the mid-1940s, it was being incorporated into U.S. products.

Today, BZK is FDA-approved as an antiseptic and can be found in disinfecting and skin-prep solutions, as well as first-aid and other medical use products. It’s also commonly found in the products below, which you’ve likely heard of and may already be in your medicine cabinet:

  • Antibacterial wipes such as Wet Ones
  • Antiseptic towelettes (ones found in a first aid kit)
  • Some over-the-counter antiseptic nasal sprays
  • Personal hygiene and cosmetic products (such as shampoos, conditioners, body lotions, and ophthalmic solutions)

Advantages of BZK

One of the primary benefits of BZK is it doesn’t dry out human skin, so it can be used in moisturizing formulas. Additionally, when applied to a skin abrasion or scrape, BZK doesn’t sting the way alcohol does. That’s why it’s such a popular choice for first-aid products and disinfectants.

The National Sanitation Foundation rates BZK as NSF E3 Certified for safety, so it’s often used in  in a number of sensitive contexts, including food processing, restaurants, and food manufacturing

BZK contains no volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. These are chemicals off-gassed from solids or liquids. VOCs can cause or contribute to a number of negative health conditions for human beings, including aggravation of asthma; eye, nose and throat irritation; allergic skin reactions; and even damage to the central nervous system.

Is BZK Effective Against Coronavirus and Other Harmful Microorganisms?

BZK is an effective anti-microbial disinfectant. In one NIH study, it was found to have caused a significant reduction of the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. But, is it effective against the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19?

According to one expert, Dr. Sidney Bondurant (chief medical officer for Three Kings Corp., a business that manufactures BZK-based products), some BZK products his company has evaluated produce a longer-lasting antibacterial effect than similar alcohol-based products. In fact, BZK might go on killing up to 99.99% of bacteria for up to four hours after use. Alcohol-based rubs and wipes may only give up to ten minutes of protection.

Introducing ePromos Hand Wipes

At ePromos, we’re always on the lookout for the best and most effective promotional products for your brand, and that’s especially true when it comes to health and wellness products, such as disinfecting hand wipes.

These alcohol-free wipes include BZK as an active ingredient at a .13% concentration. They come in a resealable pouch with 15 gently scented wipes, each wipe sized 5.9″ x 7.8″ for convenient portability. A complete ingredient list is printed on the back of each pouch. You can have a full-color imprint of your logo and branding printed on the pouch as well.

Standard production time is currently 15 business days. However, due to extremely high demand, actual delivery dates and lead times may vary, so be sure to check with us when ordering to make sure your product will arrive in time for your needs.

These BZK wipes are the perfect solution to the hand-sanitizing problem, both during this pandemic and beyond. Show your clients, customers, employees, and colleagues how much they are valued by keeping them well. BZK wipes are a safe, effective, and affordable way to stay germ-free on the go.


4 Creative Ways to Keep Employees Engaged During Virtual Meetings

Let’s face it, work looks A LOT different than it did a few months ago. Between the remote offices and the social distancing and the endless virtual meetings and Zoom conferences, “going to work” isn’t the same—and, likely, won’t be for a very long time.

Now more than ever that sacred work-life balance is out the window—for better or for worse. While many enjoy the comfort, convenience and, yes, elevated productivity levels that come from working at home, there’s still a serious stress factor. Think about it—your employees and clients are likely teaching fifth-grade math, whipping up lunches, and working non-stop from a makeshift office in the middle of their living room. Convenient? Sure. One-way path to Burnout Central? Also, YES.

This can certainly be a challenge, especially when you’ve got a mission-critical virtual meeting on the books. So, what to do? Keep employees, clients, vendors, and partners engaged and upbeat with these creative solutions.

#1. Send a “Swag Box” Ahead of Time

Employers are hyping up their employees for meetings by sending “Swag Boxes” ahead of time. These goodie boxes are packed full of items employees can use during and after the meeting—anything from notebooks to drink tumblers to phone chargers, and beyond.

Try assembling your own version of a “Swag Box” and sending them off to your employees to get them excited about virtual meetings. Not only will it boost their spirits, but it will encourage interaction and conversation between everyone as they share what’s in their box (but be sure to allocate a specific amount of time for this in your agenda—more on that later).

Chelsea, sporting her North-Face branded jacket in a virtual meeting

Need some ideas? Try tossing in a customizable tumbler cup for your employees to enjoy their favorite beverage poolside at the end of a long workday, or a stylish baseball hat they can bring along on their weekend trips to the lake. Apparel is always a hit and can be worn during the meeting (just be sure to get the sizing right)!

Notebooks are also a wonderful option—they’ll encourage employees to take notes during the meeting and write down any questions they have. . If the virtual meeting is scheduled during morning hours, your employees would definitely appreciate a coffee mug to wake up with.

Don’t forget to customize each of these items with your company’s logo—it’ll give your employees a sense of camaraderie and shed a positive light around attending the virtual meetings. Because who doesn’t like gifts? Especially when it’s not yet the holiday season!

Browse our Top 100 list to discover more products you can add to your “Swag Boxes!”

#2. Turn it into a Happy Hour

If there’s one tried-and-true way to get your employees excited about a virtual meeting, it’s by turning it into a happy hour. What’s better than throwing together an ice-cold cocktail and enjoying it with your colleagues (while ALSO getting some work done)? Talk about encouraging a work/life balance…

Encourage your employees to mix up their favorite drink and tune-in—it’ll make the obligation feel less like work and encourage them to have some fun if they’ve had a stressful day.

If you’re sending out goodie boxes, include some happy-hour essentials such as wine tumblers, drink Koozies®, beverage cubes, reusable straws, and more. You could also get super fancy and send them a drinkware gift set, too.

#3. Create an Agenda Beforehand

When planning a virtual meeting (especially if it’s a happy hour meeting), be sure to organize and publish a meeting agenda beforehand—it’ll help you stay on-track and be productive in case you start having too much fun and drift off-topic.

Share the agenda at least two days beforehand so all participants have ample time to prepare for the discussion and write down their questions and concerns. Giving employees time to prepare will contribute greatly to the fluidity and effectiveness of the meeting.

When creating the agenda, be sure to include these key aspects for each topic you’ll touch on:

  • How much time you’ll spend on this topic (allocate about 20% more time than you think is necessary for each topic—this will ensure you aren’t rushed through the agenda)
  • Why this topic needs to be discussed
  • What will be accomplished when discussing this topic
  • What you need from participants for each section (suggestions, possible solutions, etc.)

#4. Encourage Participants to Stay off Their Phones

Perhaps the hardest—and most awkward—part of staying on task during virtual meetings is reminding your employees to stay focused and off their phones.

Working from home doubles the possibility of personal life interruptions and being in their own homes might make employees feel more comfortable breaking the rules.

A creative way to encourage participants to keep their phones out of sight is by supplying them with their own wireless charger—it’ll encourage them to use the time to re-charge their phone, rather than use it, for the duration of the meeting. Looking to really wow them? Combine the charger with a phone sanitizer (these are hot in 2020) – it’s a win-win.

You could even allocate a specific time for this in your agenda—send them the charger a few days before, and when it’s time to tune-in, tell participants to fire-up those chargers and set their phones aside.

We’re full of ideas over here at ePromos, so give us a call to strategize about your next virtual meeting together.


How to Keep Restaurant Patrons Engaged as You Reopen

Before the current COVID-19 pandemic, 20% of U.S. consumers reported eating out at least once a week. In 2019, over one million U.S. restaurants employed approximately 15.3 million workers.

The national lockdown severely impacted the restaurant industry and has threatened the survival of even the biggest and most popular chains. For those that have made it through, the process of reopening safely brings even more challenges.

Of course, the virus that causes COVID-19 hasn’t gone away, and any restaurant or bar that wants to reopen will need to do so responsibly. But while it may seem like distancing and isolating measures hamper the very level of social engagement that makes dining out a pleasurable activity for many people, there are ways to engage your clientele while still adhering to safety recommendations and making dining out a fun, enjoyable experience.

Reopening Phases for Restaurants and Bars

As the country and the world begin the process of resuming business as usual, government and healthcare officials are stressing the importance of proceeding slowly, step by step, instead of rushing to resume full-service dining as it existed before the lockdown began. It’s important to remember the risk of infection still exists, and it’s incumbent on every business to moderate that risk for itself, its employees, and its clientele.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control have released new, more detailed guidelines for the phased reopening of dining establishments and bars. These guidelines establish existing levels of risk for the resumption of various levels of food and drink service. For example, curbside pickup and delivery still remain relatively low risk, while outdoor dining carries an additional level of risk but less so than indoor seating options.

This doesn’t mean, however, that dining out can’t still be fun and enjoyable for your customers and your staff. One way to increase engagement during the current pandemic is with promotional products that can help your restaurant or bar create the atmosphere your patrons miss, even if dining out today is a little different than it used to be.

Fun Floor Decals

Social Distance Floor Decals

Help encourage safe distancing (and help your employees enforce those guidelines) with fun floor decals that guide patrons to stay six feet apart while waiting in lines for service. Printed directions should be clear and succinct but can also include a little humor or human interest to help entertain your customers in a way that’s friendly and relatable while they wait.

For dining establishments that anticipate longer lines and directional control issues, try road-sign-shaped decals such as this “one way” diamond with a directional arrow or this rectangular one-way arrow decal to help your customers find their way safely through the ordering and pickup process.

Outdoor Signs and Flags

Promote your restaurant or bar with attractive, festive outdoor flags and signs. For example, these large feather flags can be customized with a full-color imprint to proudly display your own branding and are perfect for both indoor and outdoor use.

Or use this classic standing A-frame sign to announce your specials, unique events, or themes along with your branding. With a molded handle for easier handling and water ballast to keep it secure outside, this frame holds two signs with full-color digital graphics, printed with UV-resistant inks.

Games and Other Printed Materials

Disposable coasters with field goal cut out makes for great entertainment

To keep your customers engaged while dining outside with more distance, add a mix of promotional products that help announce your brand and entertain your diners at the same time. For instance, use these disposable printed coasters to promote your brand, specials, or events. Add simple tabletop games, like a pocket sudoku game or this mini-cornhole game (sanitized, of course) so your customers will have something to do while waiting for orders or delivery of their meals. The addition of germ-free tools for diners can help add an extra level of safety, too.

And don’t forget your employees. Give them germ-free disposable branded pens for order taking, then they can tell their customers “keep the pen!” when they pay the bill. Finally, consider having a supply of hand sanitizer in small bottles on hand to give out to customers. It’s a great way to show you care about them and their well-being as they return to patronize your business.

Looking for even more ideas about keeping customers safe and engaged as businesses reopen? Get in touch with one of Account Executives today.


The New “It” Accessory: Germ-Free Tools

Predicting the next hot gift or accessory trend is part art form, part data-science, and part luck, too. However, the current global health crisis and existing buying trends suggest one thing we’re fairly certain of: antimicrobial products are in demand right now, and they will be for some time to come.

Keep these products on your radar both now and in the future for your promotional marketing campaigns. Not only will you be seen as safety minded, but you’ll also be boosting your brand, which makes them great gifts for clients, customers and employees.

What Are Antimicrobials?

An antimicrobial is a substance, material or compound that helps inhibit the growth of any microorganism, such as bacterium, viruses, molds and mildew. By reducing or removing these disease-causing substances, antimicrobials help prevent illnesses and keep us healthy.

Some antimicrobials are manmade, while others are naturally occurring. When it comes to gifts and products, you’ll often find a mixture of the two.

Antimicrobial UV Light Tools

Do you know what the dirtiest item in your home is likely to be? If you said your toilet seat, guess again. The average cell phone has up to ten times more bacteria than most toilet seats, according to 2017 research from the University of Arizona.

Enter the UV Phone Sanitizer Box. A small durable box with a UV lamp inside, this tool is approximately 3.5″ x 6.7”. It can sanitize your cell phone, keys, or any other small gadgets. It also comes with a wireless charger. This tool makes the perfect gift for top-performing employees and special clients.

Germ-Free Utility Tools

One of the most creative product designs to result from our current global health crisis is a key-shaped utility tool to help reduce the spread of germs. Available in a number of colors, designs and style configurations, the basic concept is a multipurpose gadget with no moving parts (and thus nothing to get jammed or broken) which acts as an extension of the human hand. You can use these tools to press elevator buttons, operate card reader number pads and even open doors. They’ll even work as a stylus on touchpads at the ATM or on a cell phone screen.

With a variety of materials to choose from, including wood, acrylic and brass-coated zinc, you can select a design that resonates with your brand’s image and style. You can also select a long-lasting plastic design with a slim, compact profile that includes a full-color imprint of your logo.

Antimicrobial Office Supplies

Whether your team or clients are working from home or headed back into an office setting, antimicrobial office supplies will be a welcome gift to help keep them safe and well.

For example, antimicrobial mouse pads can be customized with a four-color logo. Pair it with one of these Clic® Stic® Antimicrobial imprinted pens in one of five color choices with blue, black or red ink. Whether you’re sharing writing utensils or telling customers to #keepthepen, these high-touch items make an ideal gift. Additionally, the antimicrobial lanyard will be a welcome addition to anyone who must display their identification or maintain easy access to security cards.

Antimicrobial Clothing

Coming soon to our site (but available now via phone) is an anti-microbial-T-shirt. Through the application of a long-lasting spray substance, the T-shirt fabric becomes germ-resistant and helps prevent bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms from attaching to the surface. Each application of the antimicrobial spray on the t-shirt fabric will last up to 25 washes, giving wearers an added layer of protection, especially during travel or at events where they may come in contact with a higher-than-average number of people.

Keep Them Safe and Show You Care

Showing your customers, clients, prospects and employees that your company sincerely cares about their welfare is an ideal way to express your core business values, advance brand awareness and keep your important stakeholders safe at the same time. Along with high-demand items like hand sanitizers and face masks, plan to incorporate these germ-free tools into your upcoming promo campaigns, events and holiday gift-giving plans.

Interested in learning more? Get in touch with questions or ideas as you make plans for your next promo campaign.