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Choosing Promotional Pens

Guide to Choosing the Right Promotional Pens

Types of pens, pen features, how they are customized and what to look for when buying logo pens

Why Promotional Pens?
Promotional pens are one of the most common items chosen by businesses and organizations looking for a cost-effective way to reach out to a large audience. Everyone uses pens, in the office, at home and on the go, so they're a product with a truly universal appeal. They're also small, which makes them a good choice for direct mail or event marketing.

Maximizing the Impact of Your Promotion
Here I explain some of the main types of promotional pens used by businesses as a part of their promotional marketing and advertising, as well as some of the primary imprinting and customization considerations. Pens are popular promotional item, and there are thousands to choose from. Your target audience has probably received one before, and the key to getting the best promotional mileage out of your pen purchase is selecting and customizing a pen so it has the maximum impact and conveys your advertising and branding message.

Types of Ink: Ballpoints, Rollerballs and Gel Pens
The most common types of promotional pen are ballpoint and rollerball. Ballpoint pens use an oil-based ink and require more pressure when you write, so they are ideal for use with carbon copies. Also, since they used oil-ink, writing won't run when it gets wet. Rollerball pens use water-based ink and a different ball mechanism. They require less pressure when writing and the ink will run if it gets wet. You'll find plenty of ballpoints and rollerballs in our promotional pen department, at a variety of price points, like our cheap promotional pens under $2. Gel pens, which are becoming more common, are halfway between the two. They use a water-based ink that is more viscous, like an oil-based ink and a ball mechanism that has similarities to both ballpoint and rollerball pens. While ballpoint pens are more durable, many people prefer the feel of writing with a rollerball or gel pen. Since your message gets seen when the pen is used, it's important to pick a pen your recipients will enjoy using. For example, a rollerball might be a good choice for a B2B campaign because the recipients may prefer it to the ballpoint pens their office provides.

Body Styles: Click, Twist and Stick
There are three common pen designs. Stick pens are probably the most common, and these are the ones that are simply a barrel and a cap. Click pens have a clicking mechanism that exposes or retracts the point, and twist pens use a twist mechanism to do that. Again, it's a matter of personal preference. Click and twist pens often serve a dual function as a stress relief toy, and they don't have a cap to lose. There are plenty of options available of all three types to fit your advertising or marketing needs and budget.

Unique Options: Light-up, Novelty and Message Pens
There are thousands of types of promotional pens, and some of them really stand out. Some novelty pens incorporate a shape or theme that may tie-in to your brand or message. Light-up and glow pens are great for trade shows and event marketing because they attract attention and drive traffic to your booth. Message pens, or video pens, use the click mechanism to display a scrolling message which gives you the opportunity to be creative, or simply convey more information that would normally be possible with a promotional pen.

High-tech Options: Stylus and Multifunction Pens
Stylus and multifunction pens are a growing category as PDAs and other electronic devices become more popular. Choosing a multifunction pen gives increases the likelihood that the pen with your brand and message will be useful in a way that no other pen on the recipient's desk can match.

Branding Your Pens: Artwork, Imprinting and Customization
Pens are typically pad printed or screen printed, and depending on the pen you can have your logo and other information printed on the barrel, the cap and/or the clip. Imprint locations and the number of colors will vary from pen to pen, so if your logo uses three colors and you need all three on the pen, keep that consideration in mind from the beginning of your selection process. Also keep in mind that, regardless of the pen you choose, the imprint area on a pen is limited. Think about what information you really need to accomplish your marketing and advertising goals. If it's more than a short line or two of text, you may want to consider creative ways to revise your message or other products that may give you more space to work with.

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