Mailchimp Socks + 11 Creative Swag Ideas For Email Campaigns

Mailchimp Socks and 11 Creative Swag Ideas

What is the best swag item you have ever given away or received?

To help your company decide on great swag items to give away, we asked PR experts and business leaders this question for their best items. From day planners to headphones, there are several items that may help you find the right swag items for your customers.

Here are 11 great swag items that your company should try: 

  • A Digital Detox Kit
  • Day Planner
  • Free Beer + Branded Growlette 
  • Reusable Water Bottles
  • Sunshade
  • Industry-related Swag
  • Company T-shirt
  • Hangover Kits
  • Everyday Items
  • Technology
  • Headphones

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A Digital Detox Kit

Mailchimp really cares about their partners, and we’ve received some pretty amazing swag from them. Besides a new Freddie (which of course is the best swag, in my opinion), my favorite was a beautiful “digital detox” box that Partners received one year during the holidays, complete with everything you need to unplug (freelancers and agency owners probably need that more than anyone!). It was so thoughtful, and I actually used it!

Emily Ryan, Westfield Creative

Day Planner

Lash swag is the best swag! I am obsessed with organization, which is why our Lash Technician Planner is my top pick. It is literally a business in a book with social media planning templates, expense/inventory trackers, and everything in-between. It is much more than swag; it is an incredibly useful planning tool that can revolutionize how lash technicians run their business.

Vanessa Molica, The Lash Professional

Free Beer + Branded Growlette 

I’m not even sure if this is legal, but we’d give out free beer to people who visited our office. And not just any beer, but our company branded IPA (Markitors IPA, specially brewed by the creative geniuses at Barrel Brothers Brewing Company). To give away the beer, we’d conclude meetings and office tours with an inevitable question, “want some beer?” We’d take guests to the office keg, fill them up a Markitors branded growlette with our company core values, and pour up a 32 oz growlette to go. I’ve never seen people leave an office so happy. Today, many people tell me that they still have the Markitors growlette, which gives me a lot of satisfaction knowing that they get some enjoyment out of a swag item that costs us about $1. 

Nikitha Lokareddy, Markitors

Reusable Water Bottles

As a professional printer, I am in the business of making “swag items” for several of my clients!  I recently worked on a job where the client wanted us to make custom reusable water bottles to hand out to clients and prospects. I thought this was a great idea as water bottles are an item that everyone uses on a daily basis, and it is a great way to spread brand awareness organically. I liked the idea so much that I ended up doing them for my business as well.

Eric Blumenthal, The Print Authority

Sunshade

My favorite swag item I ever received was from my mechanic, and it was a branded sunshade for my car. As an Arizona native, summers can be brutal! I use that sunshade every time I park my car outside, and it keeps it super cool, and it always reminds me to call my mechanic to keep my wheels in tip-top shape.

Brian Greenberg, True Blue Life Insurance

Industry-related Swag

Since we work primarily with dentists, we also receive teeth-related swag at any event or convention we attend. Giving out swag that creatively represents your business or industry is always remembered and appreciated well after it is given out. We always love to receive tooth-shaped pens, note pads, erasers, and more! 

Henry Babichenko, DD, Stomadent Dental Lab 

Company T-shirt

The best swag item I have received is a company t-shirt from my marketing agency! Not only is the shirt super soft and comfortable, but it also came along with a handwritten letter that made me feel like they really care about my company and me. 

Blake Murphey, American Pipeline Solutions

Hangover Kits

For a small business client exhibiting at an event for bar and restaurant owners, we decided to create hangover kits. The night before the panels and floor show opened, attendees had a wild party which most certainly equals hangovers the next morning. We created a kit with the tagline printed on the front of “A Hangover Kit for What Ales Ya” playing on the theme of the event being for the bar and restaurant industry. Attendees flocked to the booth just to get the kits, which contained useful items to help their heads and contained useful marketing about our client. This was a highly influential swag piece and had little expenditure for high reward.

Hana Ruzsa Alanis, Graphic Designer & Marketing Specialist

Everyday Items

To answer this, I just looked at the items I still have, still use, and are well branded. The first is a stylish, high-quality pen that is always on my desk. Not cheap and plastic, and it works very well. The second is a nail file I keep beside my bed. It has the company name boldly printed on the back, so I see it every time I use it. The final item is an insulated tote I keep in my car for groceries. These aren’t fancy or high tech, but I see the company’s name on a regular basis.

Rick DeBruhl, Communication Consultant

Technology

We’re fortunate to work with companies across several industries, including insurance and finance. Outside of venture-based technology companies, some of the best swag comes from the insurance and finance industries. You’ll typically see big-ticket items like iPads, MacBook Pros, or actual tickets being given away by these companies. But one creative thing these companies do when giving away a big swag item is to make sure everyone wins. No one likes to go home a loser, so whatever big item is given away, make sure everyone can access the feeling of “winning” in some way.  

Eli Patashnik, iFax

Headphones

As crazy as it is to admit, my favorite swag item came from a box of Budweiser. Red Bluetooth headphones that fold up for easy travel and the battery last surprisingly long. From a marketing perspective, a genius at Budweiser added a little feature that makes me smile every time I hear it. When you turn the headphones on, it repeats its tagline, “This Buds for you.” Free headphones with basically unlimited marketability. Genius.

Colton De Vos, Resolute TS

12 Creative Ways To Market Your Business

12 Creative Ways To Market Your Business

What is one creative way you plan to market your business in 2021? What do you have planned?

We asked marketing professionals and business owners about what they have in store for the year ahead. 

Here are twelve creative ways to market your business.

  • Instagram Reels
  • Prioritize Video Content
  • Plain Text Emails
  • Optimized Blog Content 
  • Join Online Communities
  • TikTok
  • Exterior Branding
  • Get Personal
  • Hit It Old School
  • Highlight Success Stories
  • Establish Yourself as Experts
  • Live Shopping on Apps

Instagram Reels

Everything is virtual these days and one of the most creative things you can do is capitalize on this. I am a big fan of Instagram’s “Reels” feature which is similar to TikTok. I’ve seen a lot of business owners using Reels to teach their followers something short and fun. You could do a simple “3 Tips for…” and set it to music. It makes for fun content and it gets a lot more exposure than a traditional Instagram post. Make sure to include hashtags in your caption!

Emily Ryan, Westfield Creative

Prioritize Video Content

Video creation is one of the most creative ways to market your business in 2021. Studies show that video content performs better on social media and also increases the average time on page for web users, and it is a powerful tactic that not many people use due to the labor-intensive nature of video production. We are excited to do more in this space come 2021!

Noah Downs, American Pipeline Solutions 

Plain Text Emails

Sending personalized, plain text email messages to existing and prospective customers is a simple, but underutilized marketing tactic. We receive so many emails every day, but if you can insert your business into an inbox in an unobtrusive way, then you are able to deepen customer relationships and be there when customers need you. 

Carey Wilbur, Charter Capital

Optimized Blog Content 

Going into 2021, we plan to create high-quality, optimized content to be featured on our blog.  Our goal is to be the most trusted experts in our industry.  This helps us organically rank on search engines and be the featured page when people are looking for durable device cases. We have gotten really creative with keywords and topics to appeal to potential customers and just rolled out a 3-month content strategy to aid in our marketing efforts. Content will be king in 2021. 

Peter Babichenko, Sahara Case 

Join Online Communities

One creative way you can market your business in 2021 is to join different online communities! I personally attend online webinars and meetups for female entrepreneurs and creatives to build my network and promote my company to potential clients. In addition to the reach these communities provide for my company, they also give me the opportunity to meet other prominent professionals in my vertical who help me get even better at my craft.

Nikitha Lokareddy, Markitors 

TikTok

A tactic we have been utilizing in 2020 and will use well into 2021 is TikTok. With over 800 million monthly active users, Tik Tok is officially the hottest new social media platform. While TikTok is thought to just be for teens, we have found that a lot of our target market is active on TikTok and looking for content geared toward them. We created an account and have been making our own videos and publishing them for the world to see. With no monetary investment, we just use our free time and creativity to spread the word about our brand. 

Stephanie Schull, Kegelbell 

Exterior Branding

We equip all of our vehicles with visually appealing exterior graphics to help capture what it’s like to “Cruise America.” We often hear positive comments from customers and prospective customers about these graphics. With more than 4,500 vehicles on the road, the more our vehicles are in use, the more marketing benefit our company receives. 

Randall Smalley, Cruise America

Get Personal

Not in a creepy way, but in a true authentic way. We are all exhausted from being online 24/7. Can you send a handwritten card just because? Can you organize a pickup/drop off spot for a joint activity or craft project? Can you organize a safe winter wonderland activity? I believe the secret sauce behind effective marketing in 2021 is going beyond the digital screen.

Audrey Hutnick, Smallwave Marketing

Hit It Old School

We’re hitting it old-school with some of our approaches this coming year to activate our wholesale network. Our plan is to resurrect the idea of “scratcher postcards,” but with actually great rewards under those silver flecks. Digital ads are becoming more expensive and are vying for subprime attention, while print advertising is seeing a resurgence in both affordability and the stronger eyes it gets.

Hana Ruzsa Alanis, Graphic Designer & Marketing Specialist

Highlight Success Stories

In 2021 we are aiming for the strategy of storytelling. We’re focusing on telling our clients’ stories. We believe storytelling, be it brand-led or customer-led, connects with audiences. We’re combining the two to show how our brand helps our customers through their success stories. It will take us some time to find the right stories, shape them for our audiences, and tell them in a way that showcases our clients’ hard work and success. Any good story has a setting, a character, character flaws, conflict, resolution, and lesson. Brand storytelling is not an exception. We plan on incorporating all those elements into our stories.

Natalya Bucuy, LiveHelpNow

Establish Yourself As Experts

When we look at 2021, it’s important to understand that we still have uncertain times ahead. Therefore, we need to not only have a Plan B, but we need to work our way a little further down the alphabet. We plan to stay innovative and ready to make a pivot whenever traditional marketing efforts aren’t paying off. So, we have targeted strategies for outreach, guest posting, and providing beneficial quotes for articles on high-traffic sites. By establishing ourselves as experts in our niche, we plan to exude trustworthiness and professionalism.

Sally Rong, Rellery

Live Shopping on Apps

In order to successfully market your business next year, the answer lies in adopting a combination of new social tools vs. tapping into just one. We’re anticipating that the next phase of retail will heavily focus on ‘Live Shopping.’ For example, our partners at Facebook and TikTok are rolling out new features that will make it extremely quick and easy for consumers to make purchases directly from interactive content—without ever leaving their respective app or site. In 2021, brands will be able to sell seamlessly through Instagram’s ‘Checkout’ feature and take advantage of TikTok’s first-ever commerce partnership with Shopify. This provides a great opportunity to work with influencers across platforms and explore new channel capabilities.

Greg Gillman, MuteSix

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