The cost of any marketing program, including promotional products is always going to be important. Total costs will depend upon several factors such as the amount and quality of any promotional products as well as the number of different items you intend to give away.

Marketing of promotional products and gifts is a huge business- worth around £18 billion per year. An estimated 4,200 companies manufacture almost 500,000 different product lines for customers to choose from – items ranging from pens to clothing and everything else.

So how much does it cost to produce and market promotional products? Apart from the quantity of items that you need, several factors will affect the overall cost. Your initial cost will simply be for the blank product before your logo is even applied – for example, an order of 10,000 mugs.

There is also what is often called an imprint set up cost – the cost of producing a master design or template from which the others will be copied. The cost of this process is often the same regardless of the number of items you need; there is also the advantage that the original design can be kept on file for future use. And there are also production costs, based on the cost of actually producing your item as well as the amount of items you require. Larger orders are generally discounted and the discounts are often at pre-set levels so it may benefit you to order slightly more items than you need, to get the price break.

A set-up fee is also charged by most manufacturers of promotional products – this typically costs up to £100. And some companies may have a minimum order requirement – if you are a small start up company with a limited budget, this could be an important consideration. Some companies may offer you a discount if you use their services regularly or can guarantee increased orders in the future.

The cost per item can vary widely. Simple items such as pens, key chains and magnets tend to cost less than £1 to produce; calculators and notebooks typically cost from between £5 to £10. Products designed to be used in the office tend to be inexpensive to produce. More unusual promotional items such as gift baskets or seasonal items can cost anything up to around £100. The final cost may depend on the complexity of your design or logo and how many steps are required in production.

The importance and effectiveness of trade shows shouldn’t be underestimated when it comes to distributing promotional products. According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, it costs around £212 to contact a potential prospect at a trade show, as opposed to £308 otherwise.

As with everything else, you get what you pay for. Promotional items that are carefully chosen, designed and marketed can more than recoup their costs.

More information about promotional gifts can be found online by searching for the leading online suppliers of promotional products.