Guest Post by Al Kernan

For an old retired promo guy like me,  the impressive success story of national seller 4imprint offers several takeaways for the industry at large to ponder …

First, credit where credit is due. Obviously, the nationalized 4imprint organization is processing a mother’s load of orders for promo buyers with recently reported annual sales of $600 million.

Consider, if average order size of $1,000, that’s 600,000 orders. Whatever the actual total # of orders is, it’s a true WOW total. Mazel to them and their staff and their supplier partners.

Second, to my point; how are professional national sellers like 4imprint impacting “the traditional industry” at large:

a. To start with another positive…. we know that national sellers ala 4imprint also are generating business for you local-based ‘traditional’ promo distributors too!

We know this because many PPP members have commented here on getting business from their dear clients who saw what they were interested in in a 4imprint email or catalog. Now that’s the sign of a solid trusting relationship. Kudos 🙂

Tip: as you can, “follow” national marketers. Get on their lists if you aren’t yet to know what your dear clients are receiving. And when. Perhaps to do timely touch base emailings at that strategic time. Sometimes timing is everything! 

b. Assumedly an unknown % of tens of thousands of orders national sellers process annually are from ‘virgin’ buyers — who don’t have a prior history purchasing promo products.

Perhaps as many as 10%-20% seems a reasonable guess?

What does the ‘virgin’ factor tell you? Perhaps to more prize making more cold calls or more prospecting e-marketing?

c. Assumedly the largest % (80%?) of orders national sellers generate are from buyers who did order with their trad-local distributors previously. On those orders at least the 4imprint’s of the world were the better/adequate choice for your clients.


Perhaps a basic reminder to be more aggressive in your marketing to your precious client base?  

Or maybe you will want to be more innovative?

Perhaps a ‘survey’ to learn what your base would like to see more of in your marketing?

That’s it. I hope something’s helpful and worth your time to read this windy observation.

Good luck and good selling all!


Guest Post by
Al Kernan
Retired Promo Expert.