What are USB Web Keys?

USB Web Key

USB web keys look just like a regular USB flash drive – they have a USB connector on the end and they come in the same range of body styles and shapes that USB flash drives are available in. They can also be personalised (engraved or printed), just like a USB stick.

So what’s the difference between the two? The primary difference is a USB flash drive has an internal flash memory that you can read/write data to and from, whereas a USB web key has no internal memory so you cannot store files/data on it at all.

So what’s the point of them? Although Web Keys have no accessible memory they can store a single website address. So, when you connect the Web Key to your PC or Mac it will automatically start the default browser used on the PC and load up the webpage that is stored on the web key. The web page it starts could be a company website home page, a competition page, a Facebook page or it could deep link to a particular product page on a web site. In times when everyone seems to be encouraging customers (and prospective customers) to “Like” their pages or to actively participate and endorse their on-line presence, getting people to your website and social media pages is of critical importance.

As an example, if a company was launching a new product then they could distribute USB web keys in the shape of the product or printed up with details of the product and embed a web link to a landing page – this landing page could then supply details of the product, links to media files, links to pricing and tech sheets, links to Twitter and Facebook to allow the customer to follow further updates on the product and so on.

Price Competitive Alternative to USB Sticks
The lack of any onboard memory means USB keys are relatively cheap, and they are an ideal solution for supporting new product launches, conducting surveys, running competitions and gathering market research information. If you choose a small, thin design then they can be posted out using standard “Letter Post” rates rather than the much more expensive “Packet Post”.

Reuse Value
Of course, the downside to using USB keys for marketing is that they do not have a compelling reason for your audience to keep them and reuse on a regular basis. However, with the lower cost and option for more targeted marketing in mind, they are a great way to capture that initial visit from both regular and prospective customers alike.

If you’ve been given a web key, curiosity is likely to mean you are going to use it and visit the web site pre-loaded onto it. As long as you have web tracking and/or Analytics in place, it’s also pretty easy to track the click through rate from a web key and work out the effectiveness of any campaign that utilises these devices.

So, if you are looking for a USB promotional giveaway that will help to drive and develop your brand and will encourage customers to visit your website(s), then USB keys might be a better, more cost effective solution for you.

A few possible uses for USB web keys
•    New product launches/updates
•    Online market research
•    Online catalogues
•    Student application forms
•    Online competitions and promotions
•    Online slide presentations or flash presentations
•    Online training programs

Why use a USB web key:
•    They look great
•    Similar form factor (they look just like a flash drive)
•    Everyone instinctively knows how to use them
•    Relatively inexpensive
•    They’re a novel way to drive website traffic
•    They offer excellent marketing opportunities.
•    You can drive customers deep into your web site(s) without having to post “signposts” all over your website.
•    Reach new customers
•    They make an ideal and inexpensive corporate gift

All of the designs and styles supplied by USB2U can be sold as Web Keys. If you’re interested in getting prices for USB keys just give our team a call. If you’ve got some artwork already then that’s a bonus; just email that over to us and we’ll get our in-house design team to work up some examples of how your USB web key might look.


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