4 Steps to a Trackable Promotional Marketing Campaign

Promotional products, otherwise known affectionately as “swag”, are too often considered an afterthought in the marketing world. The event has already been planned, or the trade show booth booked and suddenly there is a realization that giveaways would have been useful. This is a missed opportunity as incorporating swag into your initial event or marketing budget can dramatically boost your ROI (Return on Investment).Take a look around you. How many promotional products do you see? Chances are, three to four items you use on a regular basis have a logo on them. Has it made you remember the company that gave you that product or changed your perception of that brand?If it has, you’re not alone:

  • 84% of recipients of promotional products can identify the advertiser

  • 42% of recipients of promotional products have a more favourable impression of the advertiser

  • 62% of recipients of promotional products did business with the advertiser after receiving an item

  • The average promotional product is kept for 7 months!

Given these stats, incorporating promotional products into a marketing campaign or an event can have pretty powerful results.  If you’ve shied away from using swag previously because you felt it was hard to track ROI, we’ve shared 4 steps below to put together a highly trackable campaign.

Step 1. Identify what you are going to Measure

Begin the planning as you would with any other marketing initiative. Identify what results you are trying to drive and how you are going measure success.  Examples are: increased revenue, more demo requests, higher conversion rates or increased brand awareness. The key to this is defining succinctly what you are measuring so that you can use this benchmark to track your success

Step 2. A/B Test

A/B tests are all the rage in technology circles and can be immensely useful in measuring the impact of your swag.  Try cohort A/B testing by dividing recipients into two groups.  For tradeshows, try two different giveaways and see which one gets better results.  For an email campaign, send one cohort a drip campaign of 3 emails, send another cohort the same drip campaign followed by a mailer with a promotional product.  Physical touch combined with digital magic can keep you on the minds of your prospects.

There are several tools that can help you A/B test.

Web platforms like Unbounce help you build, test and optimize a page so that the traffic you do drive to your site, both on and offline, is captured more often. MailChimp is a great email tool that can help you A/B test your email campaigns and optimize them for success.

Most tools have a free trial period. Take advantage of this to find the ones that work for you and your marketing budget.

Step 3. Drive recipients to a specific landing page with a Call-to-Action



In running a trackable campaign, each product you give away can include a URL to drive people to a specific landing page with a call to action. This does not mean your website address should be plastered across the product.  Instead, position the landing page address using a touch of retail detail.  If you are giving away a notebook, add an insert. Shirts can make use of a hang tag and winter jackets can be subtly screen-printed with inside labelling to display your URL.

Step 4. Measuring End Results

Tracking results from a promotional products campaign requires a longer time horizon.  Sometimes it’s months after that notebook has been sitting on the recipient’s desk or they have worn the t-shirt multiple times that they take action to learn more about your brand.  The key thing is that swag done well has amazing longevity and a powerful grassroots impact.A few months after the event took place or the campaign finished, revisit the success metrics and do the cohort analysis.  What was the end result?  Did getting a tangible branded product in the prospect’s hands drive visits to the landing page and help with conversions?  You’ve got the metrics to track it so be sure to close the loop on measuring the ROI.Great swag complements your event. When done well, it can drive some serious results and create awareness for your brand. Not only do branded promotional items drive this awareness, but they present a worthwhile, trackable opportunity to measure your ROI.

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