1. Business Cards
The most obvious promotional material for a small business. If you don't have these yet, you're doing something wrong. Keep in mind that most individuals take a business card then throw it away the same day. Think outside the box and use something that people wont throw away. Think unique shapes, materials (Wood, Metal) or functionality (Business cards that function as a bottle opener).
2. Beach Towels
This works especially well if your business is in a beach community. Let your clients take home a branded beach towel and do your advertising for you at the beach or gym.
3. Coffee Mugs
Look in your cabinet right now and chances are you have a mug or glass with a logo on it. These are the types of products people use on the daily bases and bring into work with them for everyone to see.
4. Fancy Pens
Pens are another item that keep showing up in peoples lives. They take them home or to work and throw them in their desk. Then they use them every time they need to write a note. If not, it usually winds up in the hands of someone else, where your advertising effort continues to function. Make sure you use nice ones as the cheapo's represent your business just that way.
5. Custom Hats or T-Shirts
Let your customers become your walking billboards. Everyone loves a free shirt or hat, and everyone can find someone to wear it, even if it doesn't end up fitting them. I have countless promotional t-shirts and hats that I wear constantly.
6. Branded Power Banks
In this day and age, everyone could use a recharge on their phone. This is a new-age and very useful item now that everyone walks around glued to their smartphones. In fact, a power bank is probably the most useful of this list, and will ensure that your clients keep it for a very long time. Just don't cheap out too hard or you will end up giving away faulty, chinese electronics leaving you in a worst place than you started.
7. Branded Coffee
Everyone loves coffee, and most people are addicted to it. It's expensive and necessary, so offering a free bag with your company logo on it is like a gift from the heavens above. This will be one of the most popular items you give away guaranteed. Just make sure to keep the bags small enough to not break the bank.
8. Branded Earbuds
These are another device that can be very impressive to your audience. Earbuds are typically an expensive purchase, and one that people lose often. Music/ podcast lovers will run to your booth for a pair of free headphones. This is an especially effective strategy if you also have a podcast to promote.
9. Car Decals
This can be hit-or-miss as it can be a challenge to get people to actually put them on your cars. If you do though, you will get hundreds if not thousands of impressions a day as people see your company decal/ logo on your clients car throughout the day. Make sure that they either look very nice, or that you use a very clever/ funny slogan to get attention. We also recommend keeping the size relatively small. Most people wont put a giant, ugly sticker on their car, but make it small and attractive and you can't lose.
10. Grocery Bags
With many states following California's decision to charge or plastic and paper grocery bags, it's becoming very cost effective to bring several tote bags with you when doing weekly shopping. Everyone will want one of your branded tote bags for shopping purposes and as a bonus, they'll be doing advertising for you in the grocery store.