Business cards can be one of the most effective and least expensive marketing tools you can use. But in order for them to do the job, they’ve got to be well designed and you’ve got to get them out there into people’s hands. They won’t do any good in the box or in a case on the shelf. So, here are seven things to try with your business cards.
1. Give them to your personal contacts. Do all of your family and friends know about your business? They should. Your neighbors, family, friends, your hairstylist, and even the parents of your children’s friends should all know what you do and have two or three of your cards. You never know who knows someone who might need your business – help them find and refer you.
2. Include a busiess card with your outgoing mail and bill payments. Doesn’t most of the mail you receive include some type of advertising filler? You can use the same method with the mail you send.
3. Make your card (and your business) memorable. You can include a catchy slogan or a humorous title or tagline. Cards that include a picture, bold colors and cards printed vertically are also easier to remember. You can also give yourself a fun or bold title like “Vanessa – The Website Wonder Woman” to help people remember you.
4. Use your business card as a coupon. I have two versions of mine, both of which use the same basic design and slogan. One tells about the services I provide. The other has all of my contact information and I use it to make special offers that I print on the card – just like a coupon. For example, if you have a retail store you could give a small free sample to customers who bring in the card. Or you could give the card with purchase for a discount on the next purchase. The customer can then use it themself to buy again (encouraging repeat business) or pass the card and discount along to someone else.
5. Post your card on every public forum you see. Grocery stores, community centers, local businesses, laundromats and many other places often have a bulletin board where people can post cards and fliers. Always have a few of your cards ready for whenever you see one of these.
6. Make sure all of your suppliers and service providers know what you do and have your card. This applies to both the business and personal services you use.
7. Give your business cards another useful purpose that will encourage prospects to keep it and refer to it often. Health care providers often use their cards as appointment reminders. One lawyer I know has printed on the back of his card a statement clients can use if they are ever stopped by the police. Insurance agents and bankers often put a calendar or rate table on theirs. A secondhand bookshop owner uses a bookmark as her business card. Be creative and think of something connected with your business or industry that will make your card multi-task for you.
The goal of marketing with business cards is two-fold. First you want prospects to have your information easily available to them. Second, you want them to remember and come to you when they need your products and services.
Vanessa Shelton is a web designer, marketing consultant and copywriter with over 20 years experience. She uses “The Right Words – The Right Way” to bring your ideas and vision to the world. With newsletters, article marketing, the website refresh, and more in her arsenal, Vanessa is ready to help small business owners and independent professionals get attention, and get results. Visit http://vanessasdesk.com to see how Vanessa can help you.