The Psychology of Sales: A Deep Dive Into Promotional Giveaways

Who doesn’t love free stuff?

As humans, our brains are wired to assign a disproportionately large value to items that come at zero financial cost. The positive charge that’s experienced when offered a freebie feels like a rare gift to the average consumer. Especially when you consider the rising costs of living, to be on the receiving end of a promotional giveaway feels like a win.

This positive association to promotional giveaways is what makes the promo industry so unique and evergreen. It also explains the overwhelming effectiveness of promotional products with an average lifespan of more than a year.

So, as a distributor, how can you parlay the popularity of promotional giveaways into success for your business? It’s all about finding the hidden value of these promotions to secure long-term customers.

Make a strong first impression.
One of the biggest reasons that promotional products are a $26.1 billion industry is thanks to the tangible experience of receiving a promo gift. ASI’s 2023 Ad Impressions Study compiled data from all the most popular items in the industry and found that, since most promo products are designed for practical, everyday use, they receive thousands of impressions over their lifespan. Consumers are also significantly more likely to do business with an advertiser that gave them a freebie.

With so many companies competing for consumers’ business, it’s essential to get a leg up any way you can. Promotional giveaways are an easy way to create a positive association to your brand, and this emotional connection is more likely to turn into a loyal business partnership down the road.

Establish your brand identity.
Going hand-in-hand with making a great first impression is ensuring that you create a positive word-of-mouth about your brand. There’s a place for digital and print marketing in every campaign, but now more than ever, it’s hard to get a foothold in these spaces as a newcomer in the industry.

The power of promo is the ability to cut out the middleman and hand your marketing material directly to a consumer. Recent studies show that 62% of businesses use giveaways to boost brand awareness and create a positive association with prospective customers. And because these products get used over and over again, your brand name will be out in the world. That’s even more exposure for your company.

Getting products into prospects’ hands is just half the battle – you also need to choose the right products to align with your brand identity. Whether you’re in the market for a well-rounded product that anyone can use, like a reusable water bottle or a T-shirt, or you want something a little more niche, like tech products, it usually pays to consider high-quality, eco-conscious items to meet current consumer demands.

Engagement leads to conversions.
While establishing a connection and building trust are important first steps, they won’t mean much if you’re unable to convert sales. While these promotional giveaways appear to be free on the consumers’ end, it’s important to know that you’re essentially buying information from them that you can use at a later date to close a sale. Capturing the leads can take many forms – unique tracking codes, QR scans, email lists, landing pages, website visits and much more. Tracking this data provides valuable insight into whether your campaign is successful or not and will give you the necessary information to try and tweak things in the future.

Retain brand loyalty.
By following through with all the previous steps, culminating in closing a sale, your primary goal now that you have a customer is to keep them for as long as possible. With some slight tweaking, you can continue your giveaway strategy with retaining customers by instituting a rewards program and other sort of milestone gifts to drive home the point that you appreciate their loyalty and continued support of your brand.

Promotional gifting isn’t just a phase; it’s an ongoing opportunity. Be a part of the conversation by capitalizing on trends, seasons and other factors that consumers take into account when making purchasing decisions and continue to establish your brand as an innovator in the promo space.

Want to learn more tips to help your business run smoothly? Download our free e-book, 8 Steps To Kick-Start Your Promo Business and Generate Profit.


“The Power of Promo: How Promotional Giveaways Can Drive Sales.”