1. Apparel

The variable with any promotional product is the creative. That being said, if the artwork and distribution is done correctly, t-shirts will bring the most impressions out of any promotional product. They are practical, and people can never seem to have enough. Embroidered polo shirts are another great option for promoting businesses, especially if they are high quality products. Hats are another fan favorite if your key demographic is an outdoorsy bunch. Again, the higher quality the product, the more likely it is to impress. 



2. Bags

Bags are a very close second for best promotional product, and could even be considered to be in the apparel category. The most popular promotional bags are tote bags, backpacks, duffel bags, and drawstring bags.  A staggering 31% of consumers own a promotional bag, and businesses commonly use them to stuff other promotional materials in them. Drawstring bags are commonly screen printed and are super cost effective, whereas backpacks are embroidered and can vary dramatically in price based upon quality.



3. Writing Instruments

Everyone knows writing instruments are a huge part of advertising for banks and other financial institutions. However, they can be just as valuable in other industries. When bought in bulk you can get a lot of product for less than $1.00 per unit, which is always a plus. In fact, at one-tenth of a percent, writing instruments tie with bags for most impressions per dollar. 



Conclusion

At the end of the day, the effectiveness of any promotional product will depend on the creative (i.e. artwork), and the method of distribution. Promotional products can be extremely effective in promoting other aspects of a business, such as growing social media following and receiving feedback from customers. Like I mentioned earlier, this is a "macro" approach that will expand your reach exponentially over time. Patience is key.