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Easy to Mail Custom Gifts for Direct Marketing,
Staff & Students

published: September 10, 2019  |  updated: March 19, 2021
Flying orange kite on a sunny day

With COVID, Sending Branded Gifts & Giveaways by Mail Makes More Sense Than Ever

The pandemic has radically changed how businesses, organizations, events and education operate. Virtual events are in; in-person trade shows, conventions, conferences, assemblies and spirit rallies are out. Remote working and virtual learning are in; working from the office and attending classes are out. With more and more people doing their work from home, sending promotional gifts through the mail is perhaps the most effective way to show customer appreciation, keep employees engaged, and lift student and faculty morale.

Below we’ll discuss the major strategies to employ and objectives to achieve by sending swag through direct mail as well as highlight thoughtful, easy to mail gift ideas.

Corporate Gifts for Employees & Customers

Especially for people used to the office environment, working from home can be a lonely affair. Occasional corporate gifts mailed to the home lift spirits and remind employees that their work is noticed and valued. And, as important as they are for recognizing long-term employees, promotional gifts are just as effective for keeping new employees motivated and confident in their chosen career path. For customers — many of whom are also working from home, don’t forget — a direct mail gift is sure to make an impression, and perhaps create a stronger personal connection than a gift delivered to that customer’s place of business.

School Spirit Gifts for Students

Schools are using a variety of educational approaches that (usually) combine virtual and classroom learning. One constant: Students and faculty will be venturing into unknown territory, and the traditional gatherings that build school spirit will be scaled down or eliminated. For remote learning, nearby or long-distance, gifts with the sch ool logo remind students and the staff that they are part of something bigger, keeping morale and commitment to education high.

The Perks of Direct Mailing Campaigns with Promotional Gifts

Pandemic issues aside, even in the digital age, direct mail marketing has its advantages, showing results equal to, and in some cases, even better than email advertising. According to G2 Crowd, a business solutions software company, “Adding a promotional item to a direct mail campaign doubles its open and response rate.” Whether your envelope stuffer includes a flyer, coupon, or promotional giveaway, promotional mailers are a great way to connect to your target audience, attract new business, and reward existing customers.

What to Include in a Direct Mailing Campaign:
Types of Direct Mail Marketing
  • Marketing Materials

    Put the best face of your brand forward with well-designed direct mail postcards, flyers, infographics, and other printed marketing materials. See our Promotional Giveaways section below for more innovative ways to present your contact information and some key features of your business. Make sure to boldly display your website url and any social media addresses that you would like recipients to visit.

  • Free Product Samples

    Depending on what products you sell, free product samples make an ideal envelope stuffer and are a great way to attract new customers as well as reward existing ones. Fun fact: according to Small Business Trends, a lumpy mail object leads to a nearly 100 percent open rate, as “People are curious what’s inside, and the curiosity gets them to open it. Now your job is to make it personal, relevant and captivating to get your piece read.”

  • Offers/Coupons

    Take advantage of your direct mail campaign by including a coupon or offer, to encourage people to choose your business or service. You can also tie the coupon code to sales or contacts to track the efficacy of your campaign.

  • Catalogs

    Along with a letter of introduction, a free sample, or offer, if you have a printed catalog, this is a great chance for you to get it in the hands of potential new customers.

  • Promotional Giveaways

    In addition to the direct mailing ideas listed above, there are a variety of promotional products that are just the right size to fit in your envelopes, many of which do not even require extra postage. Here are our top 31 choices of giveaways for direct mailing campaigns. Choose just one, or choose several, and make sure that you indicate on the outside of your mailing that there is a gift inside.

  1. Silicone Tech Pocket. Promotional phone wallets like this are perfect for businesses or schools, because anyone with a mobile phone will appreciate them. And, like all the products in this list, they are the right size, shape and weight for economical mailing.
    Silicone Tech Pocket
  2. Wallet Magnifier. Another popular option for school or work, the pocket magnifier is handy for reading the fine print in a contract or the footnotes in a reading assignment.
    Wallet Sized Magnifying with Logo
  3. Multifaceted Bookmark. This unusual — and unusually useful — item is a combination bookmark, magnifier and ruler. Useful for just about any level of learning.
    Magnifying Bookmark with Ruler
  4. Jar Opener. Jar openers are handy to have around the house, whether the recipient is an employee, customer or student. Everyone uses them but no one thinks to buy them. PromoManagers has options in a wide range of shapes and styles to fit any academic or commercial brand. The House Jar Popper is a style that fits with “home sweet home” theme that is such an important sentiment these days!
    House Shaped Jar Popper
  5. Microfiber Cleaning Cloth. These logo cleaning cloths are the best way to clean eyeglasses, electronic screens, mobile phones and tech items. For direct mail on a budget, they are also as close to mailing air as you can get.
    Fully Customized Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
  6. Press-N-Stick Calendar. People can always use a handy calendar in various spots around the house, especially now, when virtual meetings are frequent and class schedules are changing all the time.
    Small Sticky Calendar
  7. Webcam Cover. Logo webcam covers provide workers, students and faculty with security, as well as protecting cameras from scratches and other damage. This item also reinforces the message that your brand prioritizes security and personal safety.
    Customized Webcam Cover
  8. Can Cooler. If you’re working or studying from home, you’ll be needing to keep your drinks cold for long stretches behind a desk. Logo can coolers, always a popular promotional item, are tailor-made for virtual work and learning, and are another natural for direct mail delivery.
    Fabric Can Cooler with Imprint
  9. Seed Packets. Wouldn’t it be nice to look out your window while working on a dreary assignment and see a colorful bed of sunflowers? Seed packets are a way for people to beautify the landscape, and are of course, easy and inexpensive to mail. PromoManagers has several seed varieties you can mix and match.
    Seed Packs with Logos
  10. Letter Opener. This letter opener is popular because of its quality and compact design. With nine product colors and 25 imprint colors from which to choose, you can create a logo gift that perfectly fits your brand.
    Letter Opener
  11. Business Card Magnet. Business card magnets are superb direct mail gifts for any service business. For restaurants, retailers, realtors, landscapers, dry cleaners, banks, and many more, a logo magnet reminds people whom to contact when the need arises.
    Business Card Magnet
  12. Post-it® Notes. PromoManagers offers a gigantic collection of customizable Post-its®, in all the sizes and colors you could need. These items are invaluable for reminders, as we all know — but they are also widely used in education and the business world to organize notes and as critical thinking aids.
    Post-it Notes
  13. Square Mints. Our logo plastic peppermint dispensers keep your mouth feeling fresh. Of course they are a great giveaway for events, but even when working or studying from home, people will definitely want to have a mint after sipping coffee all morning working on a tough assignment.
    Peppermints in Square Case
  14. Luggage Tags. The “Escape” luggage tag is an inexpensive (and inexpensive to mail) item that is elegant enough for an executive gift.
    Luggage Tag with Full Color Logo
  15. Tech Taco. The Tech Taco is a tech cord organizer that students will find useful! It will also make an appreciated gift for employees working from home or multiple locations.
    Taco Shaped Cord Organizer
  16. Exercise Stretch Band. People working and studying from home are also exercising from home! Promote health and wellness by giving students, faculty, customers and coworkers this versatile exercise band.
    Imprinted Exercise Stretch Band
  17. Tubular Bandana. Face coverings are essential no matter who or where you are, and these bandanas offer a touch of variety, style and comfort that many find superior to face masks. These logo printed items are practical, and also convey to the public that your brand is serious about health and safety.
    Customized Tubular Bandana
  18. Awareness Wristlet. These wristlets, available in 12 colors, enable you to express a message of support for causes your organization cares about. These are great morale boosters, especially for students of all ages.
    Engraved Silicone Wristlet
  19. Sticker Rolls — 2” Circle. These indoor stickers can be used for advertising, for reminders about upcoming virtual events, or to promote a cause. They can also be a lot of fun for families with primary school-level kids!
    2 Inch Sticker Rolls
  20. Air Fresheners. These air fresheners come in a variety of scents and shapes such a car, house, or circle. Custom air fresheners make for the perfect giveaway as they will likely be seen daily, keeping your company top of mind with customers and clients.
    Scented Air Freshener with scalloped edges
  21. Reusable Forehead Thermometer. Health and safety giveaways like this reusable thermometer are increasingly popular as it’s a great way for your company to promote wellness and show employees and clients you care.
    Reusable forehead thermometer
  22. No Touch Tools. Add your branding to these handy gadgets that help reduce the spread of germs. This tool can be used to prevent individuals from having to touch dirty, high-contact surfaces such as doors or screens.
    Touchtool button presser and door opener
  23. Smashlight®. Send your staff and clients a bright message with this flat and mailable flashlight.
    Smashlight flat flashlight
  24. Golf Tees, Divot Tool & Kits. With outdoor activities like golf becoming more and more popular, golf swag like the Tee Pack is a great way to stay top of mind with clients on and off the golf course.
    Pack of golf tees
  25. Bottle Openers. Household items like a bottle opener are sure to get plenty of use and therefore great visibility for your brand. Bottle openers are also great to send out for virtual happy hours!
    Aluminum bottle opener key ring
  26. Mouse Pads. With more people than ever working from and it becoming the new norm, custom mouse pads are great option for your next promo.
    Recycled mousepad
  27. USB Flash Drives. USB drives are a classic direct mail piece as you can send them to clients and recipients with a presentation, data or files already uploaded. With less in-person events and networking, USB drives like the Fold-a-Flash allow you to stay connected.
    Fold-a-Flash USB Drive
  28. Pens. Writing instruments like the Easy Writer are a classic direct mailer as they are lightweight, fit in most envelops and come in a variety of styles.
    Ergonomic pen with logo
  29. Bluetooth Speaker. This mini Bluetooth speaker is easily portable and perfect for listening to music at home or on the go as it includes a carabiner clip to be taken on any adventure.
    Bluetooth speaker
  30. Keychains and Key Tags. The Large Rectangle Key Tag is flat, lightweight and allows for a full color imprint. Combine it with the Key Clip Multi-Tool or Flashlight Keychain for a winning combo. You can get clever with fun quotes and sayings like “unlock your key to success.”
    Large key tag
  31. Coasters. A customer favorite, the Absorbent Stone Coaster is a giveaway employees and clients will love. It makes the perfect desk accessory that will get daily use and provide great visibility for your brand. Paper coasters like the Seed Coaster are also popular as they are lightweight. Plus, it’s eco-friendly as the coaster can be planted to later become flowers. Another customer favorite that adds a pop of color is the Splash Coaster.
    Drink coaster

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