Home > Sales and Marketing > Marketing Innovations > The Best Promotional Products of the Year: An Infographic

The Best Promotional Products of the Year: An Infographic

The Best Promotional Products of the Year

While many small business owners know that promotional products are a way to advertise their products or services, there’s often a question about which ones are right for them. Bags? Pens? Stationery? It’s completely understandable—there are so many options on the market that it can get overwhelming.

The Power of Promotional Products

But before diving into how to find the right promotional products for your business, it’s worth the time to discuss the value and impact of promotional products. The Advertising Specialty Institute’s Global Ad Impressions Study highlights significant findings.

Key facts:

  • Consumers are nearly 2.5x more likely to have a positive opinion of promotional products compared to internet advertising.
  • Promotional items are the most highly regarded form of advertising, coming out on top of newspaper, radio, magazine, television and internet advertising.
  • Recipients keep promotional drinkware for an average of 12 months, bags for 11, and writing instruments for nine.

That’s a lot of staying power for your message!

The Best Types of Promo Items

Now back to the topic at hand: what are the best promotional products of the year and how can they work for your business?


Up first: custom bags. And there’s a reason for its number one position: for a promotional bag that costs $5, it will have a cost per impression of under 2/10 of a cent. This is why they’re must-haves at trade shows and conferences and great for giving as a gift with purchase.

There’s also the eco-friendly factor of reusable bags, whether you go with totes, backpacks or drawstring. Many states are banning the use of plastic bags, which means when you pass out reusable bags, your logo will be seen at the grocery store or mall over and over again.

And get this: 42% of people also have a more favorable opinion of an advertiser if the promotional product they receive is environmentally friendly.

Writing Instruments

Promotional pens and pencils are great if you’re looking to dip your toe into the promotional products world without investing too much.

These writing instruments generate 3,000 impressions throughout their lifetime, and 51% of people state that they would be more likely to do business with the advertiser that gave them a promo writing instrument.

When choosing pens or pencils, think about what you’re trying to convey or the audience who will be receiving them. Metal pens give off professional, luxury feel and pens with full color logos grab people’s attention.


Custom mugs and tumblers earn a spot in the best promo products of the year list for the simple (and impactful!) reason that people take them everywhere. From the gym to work, work to the coffee shop—that means a lot of eyes are on your logo.

Promotional drinkware can range in price, so think classic ceramic mugs for an everyday handout and higher-end tumblers for client thank you gifts.


Stationery is also essential for your marketing toolkit. Whether you choose journals, notepads, notebooks or note caddies (which have lots of helpful sticky notes), these are always a much-appreciated gift.

Tech & Utility

And last but definitely not least are tech and utility promotional items. These have skyrocketed in popularity recently, and it’s due in part to consumers rating quality and utility as their top reasons for keeping promotional products.

Items like light bars and multi-functional tools get customers and prospects out of a bind and they’ll always thank you for that.

The Trends in Promotional Products

Trends are another thing to keep in mind when selecting your promo products, as they help your company or cause stay relevant.


As mentioned earlier, many people are interested in companies that align themselves with eco-friendly values and because of that, there are many promotional products made from recycled or eco materials.


Keep an eye out for metallic items, too. While metallic is big for any business, it’s great for the beauty, fashion, and spa industries, in particular.

The Selection of Promotional Items

Choosing promotional products for your business should be easy, and with the infographic below, you’ll find all the info you need to start generating more impressions!

Sources: ASI Global Ad Impressions Survey (2019 Edition) and 2019 purchasing trends of National Pen promotional products.

Published: February 7, 2020

Trending Articles

Stay up to date with
Catherine Olin

Catherine Olin

Catherine Olin is the Content Marketing Manager at National Pen, which is a world-class provider of promotional products that help businesses market themselves and increase customer loyalty. Offering a broad range of promotional items, National Pen currently operates global facilities across North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia and is part of the Cimpress family.

Related Articles