Business Cards – It’s more than just your phone number!

We all have them … that big stack of business cards that you’ve collected, just sitting in your desk drawer. How often do you look at them or use them? Did they make an  impression when they were handed to you? If not – why not?

You’ve heard the old saying – You only get one chance to make a first impression. After you’ve “wowed” them with your great handshake and winning personality, your business card is the most tangible way they have to remember you. Keep that great first impression going with a quality, attractive card.

The ultimate goal of your business card is to help you sell your products and services. The longer your prospects keep your card, the more opportunities exist for them to contact you. The best way to get your prospects to hold onto your business card is by adding customer value. The back of your business card is the perfect place to do this. The most important thing when developing a value-added business card is to come up with something that your customers will find useful.

Add customer value to your business cards:

Adding a coupon for a percentage-off discount or buy-one, get-one-free offer is a great way to get both repeat business and new customers in the door. Make sure your offer is good enough to be considered valuable to your prospects, and make sure everyone gets one of your cards!

Offer referral bonuses
Offer free services, gifts, discounts or even cash to existing customers who refer new customers to you. You can use the back of the card to detail the information and include a referral code; or you could have a folded business card perforated so one-half of the card will easily tear off to be given away. Again, make sure the referral bonus is worth your customers’ while.

Punch card
Turn a portion of your business card into a punch card that is stamped or punched each time your customers make a purchase. Once they have all the places punched, they’ll get a free gift, bonus or discount – as well as a new card so they can continue punching.

Special web offer
You can try adding a special website URL for a page that offers a discount or bonus offer for your business card holders. Make the URL a little difficult to remember, and they’ll at least have to take the card home and to their desk to see what the offer is. If your offer is good enough you might generate repeat business immediately.

Useful information
Adding useful information such as conversion charts, tipping fee tables, calendars and athletic and other event schedules are always safe bets for keeping your business cards out of File 13. If you know your target audience well, you should be able to come up with information that they’ll find useful enough to carry around in their wallets, briefcases and purses for several months at a time.

Great tagline
You don’t necessarily have to add value to the card itself. You can add value to your entire company by incorporating motivating taglines in your business card design. A tanning salon could enhance the perceived value of their service by billing themselves as the “Summerless Suntan Specialists,” for instance; or they could add a powerful call to action like “Get 10 percent off your tanning lotion when you schedule your next appointment.”

Adding customer value to your business cards is one of the surest ways to get your branded campaign in front of hot prospects over and over again. Give your prospects something they’ll truly benefit from, emphasize the benefits of buying from your company, and you’ll reap your own benefits from a well-run branded campaign.

Postcard Marketing Campaign

Postcard printing remains one of the most powerful marketing strategies available to small businesses, yet many companies have yet to engage in postcard marketing.  If you’ve been hesitant to try postcard marketing, perhaps for the postage investment, or if postcard marketing hasn’t worked for you in the past, I issue the following challenge:  launch a highly-targeted postcard marketing campaign this month.  The following will walk you through a small-scale campaign so you can not only learn how to market effectively with postcards, but how to turn your investment into predictable and measurable profits.

Step 1:  Identify your best customers
First, make sure you know who your best customers are.  I’m talking about your top one to three customers, those who buy more from you than anyone else.  Now, determine their shared demographics: age, gender, income, employment status, geographic location, established purchasing habits, what they buy from you, how much they spend per purchase and anything else  you know about them.  Write your best customer demographics down.

Step 2:  Develop your offer
Decide what type of deal your best customers are likely to respond to.  How does your product or service relate to what’s going on right now? Consider upcoming holidays or local events, whether or not school is in session, local sporting events, even the weather.

Step 3:  Write your postcard copy
Your copy should incorporate a headline that highlights your special offer, the features and benefits of your sweaters, a time limit and a compelling call to action.  Make sure your customers know what to do to redeem your offer.  I suggest having them bring your postcard in as a coupon, thus making it easy to track your response rate.

Step 4:  Design your postcard
Your postcard design should make your copy even more compelling with large headlines, bulleted benefits and natural flow toward your call to action.

Step 5:  Consider your mailing list
You should always maintain a mailing list of your customers – past and present.  Anytime you consider a mailing campaign, these people should be including in your recipient list, in addition to potential customers. To reach potential customers – there is no “sure-fire” way to hit the perfect group of people … it is all very dependent on your product or service. A home services type of business (maid service, AC, landscaping) may benefit from targeting neighborhoods that fit certain criteria – age of home, value of home, or how long the current residents have lived there. If you have a retail location offering services most people need (such as auto insurance, hair stylist, pet care products), you may benefit from a “blanket” coverage of surrounding homes or businesses.  Highly targeted mailing lists are available for purchase. The cost of these lists depend upon the specificity of your criteria and the number of records returned.

Step 6:  Print and mail your postcards
Have your postcards printed on premium paper stock.  This lends an impression of quality, which is how you want your products to be considered.  You can address, stamp, and mail your postcards yourself; but you’ll save a lot of money, time and energy by having your printing company handle it for you.  Some printing companies are full-service: you can have your postcards written, designed, printed, addressed and mailed under one roof.  Typically, this will save time and money, and make your entire effort more cohesive.

Step 7:  Measure your results
Make sure you track the number of customers who redeem your postcard for your special offer.  Also measure the difference in sweater sales during the promotion; customers will tell their friends, who will also come in to buy.  By measuring your results, you’ll not only know your return on investment, you’ll have a base to test against for future campaigns.


What if your campaign fails?

If your postcard marketing campaign fails, evaluate the process and identify where you went wrong.  Talk to your best customers and ask if they received the promotion, and why they didn’t buy.  You could have misjudged their perceived value of your offer.  Or, your copy might have been lackluster.  Whatever it is, identify what went wrong and correct it, then try again.  After a few postcard marketing campaigns, you’ll master what works and you’ll have a profit-producing marketing strategy that will serve you well for decades to come.

Portions taken from an article by Brian Morris, 2/13/13