Business Cards can be an important marketing tool – if done and used right. Put them to use wherever you can. A business card can be a very effective marketing tool when doing offline marketing. But there some “Do’s” and “Don’t’s” to keep in mind when working with business cards to promote your business.
Design: White business cards with just black printing on it, are completely out. They look boring and are not a good tool to have somebody really look at it. When you design your business cards, make sure that there is something on it that will have the person you give it to look at the card. Exciting scenerys/landscapes or something related to your business or industry are options for use on the background of a business card. You could also have your own photo printed onto the business card. It’ll be different from what most people have seen in the past and therefore might stick to their mind = remembering you and your business. Only when people look at the card, you eventually get the message delivered.
Content: Do not overload the business card with information. The business card needs to have your basic business information and some sort of hint of what your business has to offer. If you’re a web host, you can have your business name printed on the card + “Web Hosting” or “Web Hosting Provider”. The business card should also show your company slogan/marketing message printed on it – if you have one. If you have a good 1-line slogan/marketing message that is sticky and worth to remember – put it on your business card. The same is true for your logo. If your business logo catches attention – put it on your business card. If it is not sticky or you don’t have one – use something else that catches the attention. A great, exciting looking background on a business card is an effective way to catch the attention of the person you give it to.
Add value to a business card, so that people keep them in their wallet or somewhere else where they will take it into their hands quite often. If your town or city has a well-liked sports-team – get the game schedule printed onto the business card back-side. Fans will keep them handy and therefore your business name will be around and visible. Another option is to print a coupon onto the backside of your business card. People who are interested in your services or products, will keep them around until they decide to use the coupon. Make sure the coupon is not limited in time to use it – imagine you still have 500 business cards left – with an expired coupon printed on the backside.
When to use business cards? Give them to customers whenever you can. If you send out letters, invoices or estimates – attach your business card to the letter. Give them out at church, seminars, meetings. Post them at bulletin boards at supermarkets or community related places. Leave 2 or 3 in the locker room at the gym everytime you go there.
Keep them handy so that you can give them out at any time. Keep a stack of business cards in your car or truck, your briefcase, your wallet, in your planner, at home, anywhere you can think of and where you eventually have a chance to hand one to somebody. Another good thing you can do with your business card is not only carry it around with you, but have other people (friends, family) carry it around and pass them around for you. If you have employees, don’t be cheap – get business cards for them, too. In most cases employees will get more self-esteem of having business cards (makes them feel valuable and accepted) and they will use them. This will get your business name out to even more people. If you attend seminars, or tradeshows, make sure to drop your card in a “fish bowl” or card collection box. The same is true for restaurants who offer a free lunch for one of their customers from the pool of business cards dropped into a bowl. When you put your card into the bowl – place it manually on the outside – eventually visible for other folks.
If you print them yourself – make sure they do look professional. If they make the impression that they are home-made and cheap – don’t do it. Having them printed at a professional printshop, will give you the piece of mind that they will look good and professional. In most cases it will be cheaper, too. Make sure the quality is good – no matter if you print them yourself or have them printed. A non-durable business card will make a bad impression. Make sure the readability of the business card is given. If it is too hard to read your card because of small font size, nobody will really read it.
The old myth of “Place some on the table when you leave a restaurant. ” is a waste of your resources. First of all – in every restaurant the tables will be cleaned before the next guest will be seated. The person who usually cleans the table is probably not your target group at all. Those are low wage jobs and these poor souls have different concerns. Rather check with the restaurant manager to see if you can leave a couple near the cash register.