Saturday, November 3, 2012

Working Smarter: Make Your Business Cards Work


desert wave enterprises business card robin henry
What's the cheapest, most under-used marketing tool you have?

The answer's no secret ... it's your business cards.

By the time you have read this article, you'll know several ways in which you can increase your profits by making better use of the advertising power of business cards.

You do use business cards in your firm don't you?

Business card content
  • Everyone knows what a business card contains, so I'll keep this brief and focus on what some people don't have on their cards. 
  • Every possible way to contact you. Don't just give your address and telephone number - give it all; fax, phone, mobile, email, street address, postal address and if you're keen, an after hours contact
  • Your Internet site URL. If you have one, put it on EVERYTHING
  • In Australia your Australian Business Number or Australian Company Number. People may not deal with you if they think you are not equipped to handle Goods and Services Tax or are too small to have an ABN or ACN
  • Use the back to advertise. This can change each time you print or you can summarise - in dot point, the services you offer which are not always obvious from your name.
  • A byline. If you don't want to advertise on the back, think of using a byline, a short statement about what you do, 'Producers of the best hamburgers in Australia'
  • Colour and professional design. People like colour. They like attractive design. Make sure your cards have both 

Cost effective advertising

The last supply of business cards I bought cost me 0.07 cents Australian per card; the last classified advertisement I lodged cost me $72. While the newspaper advertisement will get much more coverage, I have no control over who reads it. Among those who do, thousands will have no personal interest in my offer and still others might never get to the classified advertisements pages. Many will throw out the paper in a day or so and my three line ad will be gone forever from their houses and minds.

With my business cards, however, I can target where and when I leave them or to which individuals I hand them in order to get the greatest advantage. Of course, there is never a guarantee that where I leave them will result in sales. The idea is to increase probability ... the probability that the recipient will want my goods or services. Here's an example.

Target marketing

Recently I attended a workshop about Email Marketing which was also attended by about 50 others. As my product range includes two high capacity email management software systems, this was an opportunity I couldn't miss. I left a card at every place mat on every table.

If the target audience was interested in email marketing, wasn't there a probability they might also be interested in email software? Sure enough, I received 11 enquiries within a few days of the workshop and sold five copies of the software.

Had the workshop been about 'The Metallurgical Use of Sodium Cyanide' how successful do you think I would have been?

When you use target marketing, you may have to offer a financial incentive for someone to distribute - or allow you to distribute - your card. If someone asks for a commission to distribute my business card, I'm happy to oblige, but I also expect to be allowed to leave a brochure. The incentive I offer is this: If you agree for me to leave my sales brochure, I'll use a code within the brochure that lets me identify a sale as coming from your workshop, shop, seminar or whatever. For every sale I'll give you a percentage commission
.
If you do this often, you can set up an affiliate program through Clickbank, Sharesale or someone else who provides affiliate management programs. But I don't create affiliates for short-term ventures that may last only a few weeks, it's too much work.

Depending on the goods or services you sell, you can leave your business cards at business offices. For example, when I visit a real estate office I see business cards for insurance brokers. When I go to the insurance brokers, I see cards from real estate businesses. This can be a mutually beneficial arrangement that costs nobody. If you do it though, you must ensure you don't neglect your business card holder ... keep it stocked.
When you get a chance, identify those businesses whose customers may also want your complementary products or services. Talk with the owners/proprietors and see if you can arrange to leave your cards there. Remember, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

At the end of the day, you need to use every conceivable method you have to keep your firm's name in front of as many people as possible. After all, if they don't know you exist, why will they call you when next they want a new batch of widgets? 

The cheap, humble business card can be a very effective marketing tool if you use it wisely.

Robin

4 comments:

  1. Such a nice post with great info. Where i can find the best Plastic cards printing machine?

    ReplyDelete
  2. The plastic cards look interesting. I've seen some around, but buy mine from Vistaprint.com.au.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your business representative is business cards so it should be looks different from others then these cards make you competitive. Thanks for sharing the business card content...
    Business Cards

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice idea to promote business "first impression is last" so always keep you business cards clean and nice decorated so everyone can understand the message and contact details also always use proper Ink and Cartridge for nice and clean printing sometimes small dots appears during printing which defines the cheap printing and low quality printings.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting. Comments with inappropriate content or spam will not be approved.