The best promotional materials are materials that will be exposed to potential customers for long periods of time and that will not cost the company a significant amount of money. Try to choose promotional materials that are in some way connected to your product or services, but if this is not possible, choose products that are likely to get a lot of use from potential customers. The more often the product is used, the more exposure your brand's logo is likely to get toward potential customers. Choose high-quality products only; you do not want your company associated with cheap, disposable products, because this will reflect on your company's image.
Most companies will draw up part of the budget for use as promotional materials. Try to find products that can be labeled with your company's logo, and that are within your promotions budget. Do not, however, choose items that are cheap and easily breakable, and avoid products that cannot be used regularly or repeatedly. Food items, for example, do not have a long exposure period before they are eaten, so the return on investment will not be especially high. Coffee mugs, conversely, are promotional materials that are likely to be used regularly by a wide variety of people within your target audience.
Try to tailor your promotional materials to people who are likely to buy your product or service. A computer company might, for example, choose to have the company's logo placed on USB thumb drives. These drives are relatively inexpensive to produce or purchase, and they are valuable giveaways that people interested in computers will want and will use on a daily basis. A sporting goods company might consider putting the company's logo on water bottles, tennis balls, or golf towels to ensure athletes have a use for the product and will use it regularly.
It is, of course, important to choose items that are not cheaply built, but you will also want to avoid items that are overly expensive or elaborate. You will not be likely to recoup these costs, so spending too much on promotional items may not make sense. T-shirts, for example, give your company plenty of brand recognition, but depending on the size of your company, the cost of printed t-shirts can be quite high. Try to choose items that are inexpensive, compact enough to carry around, and useful. Keychain flashlights, for example, are functional, inexpensive, and easily branded with your company's logo in many cases.