Pens offer a useful and cost-effective way to promote your business, organization or event. Unlike sticky note cards or can coolie, pens slip into a person's pocket and see constant use.
Plus, using pens to take notes actually helps people remember pertinent details.
Of course, even buying pens can prove a process filled with decisions. One of the main choices you'll face is whether to get metal pens or plastic pens.
Both kinds are readily available and have pros and cons.
So let's jump in and see if we can't make choosing a little easier for you.
COST OF METAL PENS
Most people jump to cost as the first factor in their decision making, so we'll start there.
On a per pen basis, you can get a basic plastic pen for around $0.44 and a metal pen for about $1.22. The catch is that most companies only sell in bulk and insist on minimum order quantities. 100 pens is a fairly standard minimum order size.
So your base cost for 100 pens will run around $44 for plastic and $122 for metal ones. At close to three times the cost, metal loses this battle. That's assuming that price is the only concern.
Plastic makes sense if a business owner just wants something her employees can write with that has the business name on it. Shelling out three times the cost doesn't make any sense.
When cost isn't the primary concern, metal often makes more sense because the pens offer better durability. Say you're throwing a retirement party. Then you might opt for metal so your colleagues will have a keepsake to remember you by.
The intended purpose of the pens also plays a role in the plastic vs metal pen decisions.
For example, pens make a good promotional object to send out in mailers. They're small, light and fit in most size envelopes. You can put your logo, business name and website address on it.
If you plan to send out 50-100 mailers to affluent leads, it's practical to pay the extra for economical metal pen. It creates a subliminal connection between your business and quality without putting a hurt on your wallet.
If you plan to send out 5000 mailers to promote a sale at a retail outlet, plastic pens are far more practical. There's no need to create the subliminal connection. Retail products are commodity products, so there's no prestige issue.
Using the per pen cost from above, metal would run you $6100 to plastic's $2200. Saving close to four grand on a retail sales promotion is the smart move.
A different scenario is if you're buying pens for your personal use. Most people develop preferences for particular styles and materials in their pens.
Some people prefer the heft of a fountain pen or a good metal one. Other people like cheap plastic ones they can lose without feeling bad. In those cases, comfort should drive your choice.