How an Object Can Travel the World That Cost You Ten Cents

Read More: Advertising

How an Object Can Travel the World That Cost You Ten Cents

In today’s age there are websites and companies that are going online daily.  Many of these websites that are going live are new entrepreneurs that have the idea of owning their own online business.  As more and more of these entrepreneurs get online they are in need of the same thing as everyone else…traffic!  Just like a traditional business needs foot traffic or customers walking through them, an online business needs traffic as well.  While I have been an online entrepreneur and do much marketing online that we are all familiar with like article marketing, video marketing, and PPC.  This is not one of those types of marketing strategies; this is one outside the internet arena.

People Steal These All the Time

What I consider one of the most powerful marketing tools you could invest in is one that people get stolen all the time.  It is something that you always need many times a day and most people have hundreds of them around the office or home.  It is a pen!  A pen is an item that many people borrow but never give back, and it could potentially travel the world within a week or two.  I really think that would be an interesting documentary.  What if a tracking device was installed in a pen to see where it went?  Think of the last time you lent a pen out and never got it back.  Think if that pen had advertising on it for you business, how powerful could that be and how far could it go?

Where Could it End Up?

Now if you have the mindset like I do and also many other entrepreneurs, we think BIG.  You have always got to think BIG or otherwise you will get left behind.  Okay, follow me here….

You buy one hundred ball point pens for ten dollars, and you find a way to leave two in public reach for about 45 days.  You have now got 90 traveling silent advertiser for you business, and what did you have to do….not much.  Your pen has the potential to be in hundreds of different people’s hands by the end of the month.  This will leave you with about 10 extra pens to do other things with.

Can You Follow the Pen?

Where does it go?  Ok, say you are taking your spouse out to dinner at Applebee’s in Kansas City, MO.  At the end of the dinner your waitress brings you the bill and a pen.  You could accidently switch her pen with one of your business pens or her leave her both.  You then leave after signing the bill of course and then the rest of the night other patron’s are using your pen.  Let’s say one patron is a school teacher that takes the pen and then it takes it to work with her the next day.  Then she accidently leaves it in the teachers’ lounge.  The pen is then used by a few other teachers and one picks it up with all their papers and takes it to their night class.  They just so happen so happen to sit next to someone who forgot their pen, and it is passed off as a “favor.”

This is Where it Gets Fun…

The fellow student that borrowed the pen as a “favor” takes it home and lays it on the counter at night.  The next morning the fellow student’s spouse takes it to work at their car rental business.  The spouse rents a car to a traveling business man from Hawaii.  This business man “borrows” the pen only to slide it into his pocket; never to be returned.  He gets back to his hotel for the night and looks at the pen, and then goes to your website.  After being on the run for 14 hours he is tired and throws your pen in his briefcase.  The next day he hops back on a plane to Hawaii to meet up with one of his business partners in Maui.  It just so happens that his businesses partner is originally from Japan and travels home once every two months to see his mother.  During the quick 30 minute meeting at the airport, his business partner “borrows” the pen and is off to Japan.

So What Did It Cost You?

Following the pen through about ten different people, the pen cost you ten cents and ten people wrote with it.  If you know human nature like I do, they read the writing- we are all very inquisitive.  Ok, I agree it cost you a dinner with your spouse, but you needed to do that anyways.  So breaking this equation down into getting your business in front of people could be as low as one cent a person.

What Am I Doing?

I am reaching out to a great friend of mine, Ronni Sherman, which owns Creative Images or actually Cre8iveimages.  I will tell you first of all, Ronni is a high class lady that considers customer service her top priority and goes the extra ten miles for every client.  With Ronni’s business she not only offers pens but also:

  • Bags
  • Breath mints
  • Adhesive notes
  • Caps
  • Calendars
  • Golf balls
  • Badges
  • Buttons
  • Water bottles
  • And so much more!!!


So what I am trying to tell you is quite simple.  A great way to get your company name out in the world at a low cost is promotional products.

Wishing you everlasting success,

Your friend and mentor,

Robert David Strong

If you are truly tired of the mundane 70+ hour work week, lost time with the family and feel there has to be a better way – I’m here to tell you there is !

Head to============> My Blog to learn more about different ways to have a online business.

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About the Author: Robert Strong

Member Since: 01/11/2010

Industry: Consulting

Primary Web Site:



Robert this is a great idea and how true it is! The pens that are available now for marketing purposes are so much classier (and way better quality)than the old plastic ones used to be. I'll check out your friend's site and will definitely use this idea.

I'd also like to recommend Vista Print as another great resource for these kinds of items. Their quality is excellent and they're almost always running amazing specials. I got a bunch of free sticky note pads with one of my recent orders - complete with my logo and all my info.

Patti Mays

PATTI MAYS — Wed, 07/14/2010 - 9:10am

That's cr8tive

Hey, that was really cool, because we tend to forget offline advertising. That was fun article and well written for a visual mind trip. I just may use this sly tactic.

Keep up the great work.

Paul Camarinha — Wed, 07/14/2010 - 9:18am

Business opportunity of a lifetime, check it out.

Dave Cousins — Wed, 07/14/2010 - 9:31am

Revolutionary Network Marketing Busines ONE24

Please take a look at this once in a lifetime opportunity. you are interested please get back with me at [email protected] or call me at 321-945-1262.

Dave Cousins — Wed, 07/14/2010 - 10:25am

Have you got some numbers we can go check out?

Hi Robert - the idea of using branding eyecandy has always intrigued me from the perspective of getting eyeballs on pages....

Is it any better than the 0.1% "click through" we get on non-targeted advertising, or better?

If no better, then in a way, it's a question of where you want to spend your advertising dollars.

I always consider branding eyecandy stuff as the luxurious long tail that you can afford to invest in once you're brand has achieved a certain level of recognition in the common consciousness.

If you're wanting to get the best leverage on the time & cashflow that you have as an entrepreneur, I would always argue that becoming an expert in video (can easily be non-face videos too) is by far the easiest way to leverage your time & money.

...but then, I *am* totally biased on this front.

I don't think the world needs more pens, caps or cups, but it does need to know more of who Robert Strong is, what makes him tick, what his "big why" is, and so on.

Like nothing else, video enables people to literally *see* into that space.

Maybe the next marketing innovation will be pens that have built-in micro projectors with a pre-recorded 5 minute message.

That's the time I'll start spending my advertising revenue on 'em :)


Dez Futak — Wed, 07/14/2010 - 10:26am

Never had much luck with

Never had much luck with business from pens myself

Sensei J. Richa... — Wed, 07/14/2010 - 10:33am

Thanks, Robert!

I think that we, as internet marketers, sometimes forget to incorporate some simple off line strategies such as this one. I know I forget! Thanks for the post.

Steve Hawk

Steve Hawk — Wed, 07/14/2010 - 11:03am

Thumbs Up, Robert

Great idea, Robert - love your creativity and very nice of you to help out Ronni as well!

Ana Hoffman
How Do I Join YourNetBiz

Ana Hoffman — Wed, 07/14/2010 - 11:12am

Cool idea, Robert!

Way to think outside the box! It's a great way to separate yourself from what other marketers are doing. Thanks for sharing it with our community.

Dr. Bob Clarke — Wed, 07/14/2010 - 11:30am

I really wanted to create a story....

I see so many different articles and I have added many myself that talk about internet marketing, a home business, building a downline; while these are all important , there is more to it. I like everyone else have learned tons from everyone in this community and make sure that it is part of my morning rituals of masterminding with like minded individuals.

I just wanted to add a little twist last night and also have the ability to help someone else out, that I have come to know while networking.

Thank you everyone for the great comments.

Robert Strong — Wed, 07/14/2010 - 11:31am

that is a great idea,one I

that is a great idea,one I have uses is to set up a drope card system
I got this fake one million dollor bill that I put my bussiness card on .Then I write on the back of my card .Turn your cell phone into a money machine .I get a lot of leads this way .Now I think I will try it with a pen

fred st.john — Wed, 07/14/2010 - 12:19pm

I think that's a pretty

I think that's a pretty clever "gimmick" but in reality who looks at a pen and takes action on what it says?

I know I never have...

Most pens have a logo and maybe a website/phone number. I could see the value of a big brand doing this, but unless there is some powerful pitch on this pen I don't think you would get even 1 cold visitor. But honestly I would love to see some stats that prove me wrong, and even better if you could track the visitors geographically to see just how far your pen is traveling.

-Matt Goettsche

Matt Goettsche — Wed, 07/14/2010 - 12:40pm

That's Thinking Outside the Box!

You never know who is going to pick up a pen. Some guy that just was humiliated by the boss just might go to a website if the information on the pen is worded correctly. Hey, how about a line line like this>>>> Hi, I'm Heather come visit me!

Tony Jackson — Wed, 07/14/2010 - 2:48pm

Or Maybe a Comment like...

There are hundreds of different emotional pulling "lines" you could put on a pen.

"The Boss Make You Feel As Small As This Pen" ......

"Office Politics Are Vicious"......

"Do I Hear The Monday Morning Blues".......

While these are very generic, they can definitly hit a nerve with someone, or at least peak an interest to check out your website. We all know that most people react on emotion, and then later justify it with reason.

Just a thought to consider.....

Robert Strong — Wed, 07/14/2010 - 3:07pm

Cool Idea!

Why didn't I think of that? ;-)

Very creative, and how many times a day do we actually have pens in our hands with advertising on it?

Thanks for sharing the "obvious" with us, Robert!

Ilka Flood — Wed, 07/14/2010 - 3:13pm

Note worthy advice! ;)

As I was sitting at my desk reading this article, I looked up at my pen holder and noticed about 25 pens, half of which had different and unique advertizing on them. I never stopped to think why this could not work for me. Thanks again for some killer content!

Jay Couture — Wed, 07/14/2010 - 4:12pm

back to the basic

Interesting piece. I am a gift and premium manufacturer and then I realize the magic of MLM. And yes, it's a great idea especially for me, it's like back to when I begin. Why not give a try when I can make them myself. The key is what to put on the pen so people notice it, get attracted to the message, and take action. Rather the just let it sitting in the pen holder forever (which, for what I know, happen to most pens I sold..:)

Bing Ha — Wed, 07/14/2010 - 7:27pm


Hi Robert,

That is such a simple idea to implement. Thanks for the great idea.

There is good marketing and better marketing, this is simple and good.

All the best,


Alan Eames — Wed, 07/14/2010 - 10:34pm


I am gonna go and "lose" a heap of them all over the airport and other public places......

Ian Brown — Thu, 07/15/2010 - 1:01am

Here are a few more places to "lose" your.....

Here are a few more ideas for you to "lose" your pens:

The Gas Station
The Coffee House
The Grocery Store
The Gym
The Post Office
Cold Stone Ice Cream Store
Baskin Robbins
Sheridans Ice Cream
Maggie Moo's

Oh sorry it is 8:52 am and I already have I cream on the mind.....but seriously there are tons of places you could "lose" these things.

Be creative!

Robert Strong — Thu, 07/15/2010 - 7:50am

That's a great idea!

Everyone needs pens and you never know who will pick one up from where.

I like the idea of putting emotional lines on them to grab someone's attention.

Stacy Claflin — Thu, 07/15/2010 - 9:01am

Solution On How To Track Results

I noticed from that many of the comments had the same message of "great idea but does it work?", so I thought I'd share a simple way to determine your ROI with something like this.

- Put a strong headline that's going to get someone's attention, preferably with a call to action. You should be doing this with ALL of your reaching out methods.

- Set up a dedicated opt-in page on your website and track the traffic that page receives in Google Analytics.

For example, you set-up pen (space intentional as to not make it an active link to nowhere :D) or something that's relevant to your marketing message on the pen/flyer/billboard/etc. If you prefer putting your phone number instead, get in the habit of asking people how they got your info when they call.

Hope it helps!


Brian Rakowski — Thu, 07/15/2010 - 10:33am

I loved this...

What a great idea Robert.

It's always great to hear how others are thinking outside the box when it comes to promoting. This is something every single business owner should be doing.

Jerome Ratliff

Jerome Ratliff — Thu, 07/15/2010 - 1:27pm

Quirky idea that just might work.

Robert, an interesting concept, and as I'm sure most online entrepreneurs are focused on what they can do online to market themselves, it never hurts to be open-minded about additional ways. Might work - might not. But then isn't taking chances what being an entrepreneur is all about.

Jack Koetting — Thu, 07/15/2010 - 5:16pm

Hey Jack,

I totally agree seems we are focusing on PPC, Article Marketing, Networking and the sorts..... Sometimes a little different approach is the way to go, it is like focusing on a niche. Something like playing on a playground with a few other kids, you have the ability to enjoy yourself more, you are not standing in a line 500 kids deep to go get on the merry - go - round.

Robert Strong — Thu, 07/15/2010 - 6:09pm

Nice Strategy

Now this is a very clever strategy. It's so simple to do and you can get a tremendous amount of exposure to your business. This is a great way to get more leads. Thanks for sharing!!!


Sherman Smith — Thu, 07/15/2010 - 6:56pm

Creativity and Strong Strategy are KEYS!!

I agree to have a great strategy and knowing what you want is key to a great success.


Joe Perez-Ribas — Fri, 07/16/2010 - 2:32pm

Very interesting idea.

Robert, the pen idea is great. There is nothing like trying always to find ways to spread our business. I will consider it.

Thanks a lot and as always, God Bless you all.

Jose Joe Lasa

Jose Lasa — Sat, 07/17/2010 - 5:50pm

Hey Robert

Everyone is so keen on internet marketing they forget about the great techniques that have simply worked before the internet came around.

Here I am at my desk using my insurance agent's pen looking at my schedule next week marked on the desktop calender he gave me.

Thanks Robert for reminding us these techniques still work.

Peter Fuller — Sun, 07/18/2010 - 10:39am

Common Sense

This is really great common sense. As Peter says, Im looking at a notepad the dentist gave me, I know I use a stick on little calendar on my dash that the feed store gave me, and magnetized biz cards are everywhere! Great job of bringing these ideas back!

Leslie Watson Leake — Mon, 07/19/2010 - 8:09am

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