Advertise with us

Enjoying this blog? Check out the rest of the Business Channel Subscribe to this Feed

Home Biz Notes

Do Promotional Pens Have Value?

by Mary Emma Allen on September 23rd, 2008


Yvonne Russell, my co-blogger here at Home Biz Notes, has written a couple of posts about promotional pens…whether they’ve outlived their usefulness or not.

Promotional Pens & Products Revisited

Have Promotional Pens Had Their Day As Marketing Tools?

As a writer, I have a fondness for pens. I collect them, not necessarily to save them, but to use them. Some simply feel better in my hands. Some have unique coloring and designs. Some designate special places or events. Some write really well. Then there others that have none of these characteristics, so I put them in the jar holding odds and ends of pens the family uses.

Do I notice where they come from?  Yes, usually.  However, I’m not sure if the name will stick in my mind because of the pen or whether that’s just part of my nature as a writer/reader…to read most everything that passes by me.

Some people collect antique pens and promotional pens from other eras. A gentleman stopping by our recent yard sale inquired whether we had any old pens. He said he collected them.

Then there are people who make pens.  I discovered a very interesting business recently operated by a lady who makes pens by hand to sell on her web site.  I’ll be writing about her in a future post.

Do pens have value to you?  Do you use them in your business?  Do you collect them?

(Amazon image; click for details)

(c)2008 Mary Emma Allen

POSTED IN: Business Ideas, Promotion

5 opinions for Do Promotional Pens Have Value?

  • Kelly
    Sep 23, 2008 at 4:41 am

    On a whim one year, I decided to order a box full of pens for our law firm. I thought it was a bit extravagant (we went for the nicer pens) but figured we could, at the least, use them for document signings, etc. They were a huge hit - people asked to take them home - and it was the single best promotional thing that we’ve ever done in terms of takeaways.

  • Shannon Cherry
    Sep 23, 2008 at 5:28 am

    Interesting post, Mary Emma. I actually believe unless pens really link to your business, they aren’t worth much for promo purposes. I advise my clients to find a promotional item that relates to their business, but is also useful.

    For example, one interior designer bought tons of pens, which no one thought about after she gave them away. Once we switched to a flower clip that attaches to purses, everyone was a buzz about how chic and interesting they were. And the more people talked about them, which meant more exposure for her!

  • math worksheets
    Sep 23, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    As a younger man I often looked down on the simple idea of a pen as a promotional tool. It felt tacky. I worked for a while in the office supply business and I saw new ones come by quite often.

    Now later on in life and as a home business wanabee myself I have started to see their merits. I doubt they’d do much to help me sell a law firm or a new car, but they have their place. If you’ve got an absolutely great website that but nobody knows about it a few hundred dollars worth of pens could get your name to thousands of people. Those people probably won’t spend enough to pay for the pens initially, but them knowing about your great website and sharing that knowledge could be the turning point from failure to success.

  • Jean Murray
    Sep 24, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Sure, people love free things. But how often have you ever looked at a free pen and said, “wow, I need to call this place and get an appointment?” Probably not likely.

    If you have a local business, a t-shirt is the best promotion - people can see what the shirts say, and they are conversation starters. “Hey, what is that? What kind of business is that?”

  • Unique Promotional Tip From Shannon Cherry
    Sep 25, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    […] response to my post, Do Promotional Pens Have Value?,  Shannon Cherry, of Startup Spark, responded with an interesting comment and promotional tip that […]

Have an opinion? Leave a comment: