How to calculate the ROI of promotional giveaways

Promotional products can be one of the most cost-effective ways for you to advertise your business. However, it can be difficult to ascertain the exact ROI of the promotional products that you giveaway.

You need this information to gauge whether your promotions are working. Luckily this doesn’t have to be too difficult. We will explain how you can calculate the ROI of promotional giveaways to have a better idea of how effective your promotional campaigns are running.

What is ROI?

When trying to work out ROI, it is first important to have a clear definition of what this term means for your business. It is usually a fairly simple formula; however it becomes far more complex when trying to calculate it for promotional products. The “Return on Investment” is the figure that will show your overall profitability.

Promotional products are measured by impressions which are how many people see your product. This focuses on the brand image which is the main target in a promotional product campaign. So to help you gauge if your promotional giveaways are making you sales, here are some ways that you can measure impressions based ROI without needing a calculator.

3 ways to calculate your ROI

1. Longevity

 Many products go viral and can become successful, but often this is only for a limited period. The success of your brand will ultimately depend on the staying power of your products.

If they bring real-world usefulness to your customers, then they will return to purchase them. This is why creating giveaways that last for a few months or longer can increase your ROI.

It means more potential consumers have a chance to see your product. Every new customer that sees your promotion is vital as they would essentially be promoting your product everytime they use it. Therefore you can measure ROI by viewing long-term impressions of your promotion.

2. Image

In the world of advertising, the image is everything. One of the benefits of promotional products is that they can rapidly spread your brand image.

A promotional product will allow for far greater brand recognition. It is important to remember that the perception that customers have of your brand will ultimately be pivotal in its overall success. Promotional products are a very powerful method of increasing awareness.

A promotion can allow your brand image to be more positive and memorable. Therefore another way of measuring the ROI of your promotion is by conducting tests to see how your brand image is changing as a result of the promotion. This change in perception is hard to quantify, but the qualitative data can show you just how effective the promotion has been.

3. Consumer reactions

The consumer response to your promotions will be highly significant. Promotions are far more personal than regular forms of advertising. TV and online ads are generic and designed to reach a mainstream audience.

A promotional item is different because it allows a consumer to develop a meaningful bond with the product. This makes it hugely different from traditional advertising where a customer would most likely not give the product a second thought.

If your product improves your consumer’s life in some way, then the consumer would develop an appreciation for both the product and your brand. If you focus promotions on satisfying the customer, then you can be sure to improve the ROI. Customers are fond of items that are useful and ones that can catch their attention.


If you prefer a more quantitative method alongside these other methods, then certain formulas will allow you to work out the ROI of your promotional campaigns. Just keep in mind that quantitative ROI’s for promotional products will not carry the same accuracy as other digital marketing campaigns since the primary goal is different.


No of Items x Cost Per Item = Total Spend

Impressions per product x No. of Items = Total Impressions

Total Spend/Total Impressions = Cost Per Impression


The concept of ROI is different when applied to promotional giveaways. This is because the main motive of promotions is not monetary value, rather it is to gain important impressions from customers.

These methods of measuring ROI do not require any complex calculations. Rather they provide a qualitative way to assess how effective your promotional giveaways are and whether they are fulfilling their purpose of further developing the perception of your brand image.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
Executive Editor at Best in Australia. Mike has spent over a decade covering news related to business leaders and entrepreneurs around Australia and across the world. You can contact Mike here.
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