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Why use promotional pens?

The pen can still be mightier than the keyboard; many of us prefer to take handwritten notes at meetings, or see writing as something special and highly personal.

Statistically, the promotional pen is still mighty too – recent BPMA research on what sorts of promo items people are using and keeping the longest shows the promotional pen is still rocking the charts in the promotional popularity contest!

Why are promotional pens still effective?

Muticoloured eco-friendly pens with company logo

1. They've got staying power

Promotional pens have serious staying power – the BPMA research showed a whopping 83% of people have purchased from companies that supplied them with a promotional gift, and 89% of the promotional items they keep and use are pens.

2. They are real value for money

No matter your budget, you’re guaranteed to find a pen to suit you – there are literally thousands of designs and lots of different suppliers to choose from. 

How to choose a promotional pen

The first thing to consider when choosing a promotional pen is who the target audience is and your giving scenario.  Personally giving a gift to your best client(s) is very different to event or trade show giveaways.  

1. Quality

The quality of the pen can be determined by the type of material it’s made from, for example:

  • Plastic Pens: These are generally the most popular type of pen and are more often purchased in high volumes at lower prices, so work well for brand awareness campaigns using events or direct mail to reach a larger audience.
  • Metal Pens: These are particularly useful if you want to portray a more high quality brand image, especially if you opt for brushed metal / satin finishes, which exude high quality. They can be used for general gift-giving scenarios such as special conferences or seminars within a gift pack, or as a special gift for specific clients. They are still cost-effective as they can be purchased in bulk.
  • Executive Pens: These tend to be more expensive and premium – which is why they are often top choice for companies wanting to send an extra special gift. They can also be engraved with personal names and messages.

2. Look and feel

What message are you trying to convey, and what do you want recipients to think/feel when they receive your pen?  With regards to product design, the aesthetics are important – from shape and size, to colour and materials.  For example, if you’re trying to convey an eco/green message as part of a CSR campaign, you could consider a natural fibre or recycled pen. Premium ‘executive’ brand pens such as Parker are often used to convey a high quality image, so work well if your brand messages are about quality and you’re targeting a more discerning customer.

By considering the overall look and feel of the pen, combined with your brand message on it, you can provide a brand awareness for the lifetime of the product which compliments your specific campaign and target audience.

gold pen branded "be the change" and black pen with the name "Daniel"

3. The right branding

Think about how you want people to contact you and what you want people to do when they receive your branded pen – what’s the call to action?

A company logo and strapline is great, but a means to get in touch provides the recipient with easy-to-recall contact information when it’s required – so consider placing a contact telephone number, email address or website address on the pen. For specific campaigns, the web address could be a link to a specific landing page or microsite, or it could simply show the URL of your social media feeds or just the icons themselves.

The size and shape of the pen may determine how much print space is available for your brand messages, so make sure you get the details of print areas and message options for the pen you’re interested in.

You can also create impact using different print methods such as the simple screen print through to engraving. Branding can be placed on the barrel of the pen, clip, tip or a 360 degree ‘wrap around’ to maximise your brand’s exposure and the use of the print space available.

A subtle touch is to get specific parts of the pen produced in your company’s brand colours, such as the clip or barrel.

a rainbow of Senator biodegradable pens

Lead times on branded pens

Lead times are generally quite short at around 10-12 days though they can vary depending on the order quantity, complexity of the branding techniques and the design of the pen.

We always recommend planning ahead, so if you know you’ll be running a campaign or event in a few months’ time, give yourself at least a month to factor in all of the design, branding and budget decisions that need to be made before your order is placed. This will ensure you have the right pen, at the right price, with the right message!

BUT if you are in need of pens at short notice, we can organise an express service with a lead time of 2-5 days depending on the type of pen and the supplier, so get in touch anyway and see what we can do for you.

don't scratch around for the right pen!



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