Lean Marketing tips: business card as selling tool

custom business card design from crowdspring for madison

Just about everybody has one.

Your desk has probably is littered with little piles of them.

I would be willing to bet good money, that right now you have a few of your own in your wallet or purse.

In the past year, you have probably handed out and received literally hundreds of these tiny leaflets – an ongoing marketing effort that we don’t often think of as marketing.

Small businesses can spend tens of thousands of dollars with direct marketing efforts that might include mailers, trade show handouts, brochures, door hangers, coupons, product spec sheets, and more.

But what we don’t do is treat that little 2″x3.5″ slip of paper with our name and contact info as what it is: the best opportunity you have to market yourself or your business to a truly targeted and captive audience: the person to whom you hand it.

It is time to think of your business card as not just a handy way to share your email address, but as a selling opportunity.

Approach the design and content of your business card differently – stop right now to consider what other messaging, information, or purpose your card might include.

Now, some business owners worry that the cost of custom business cards can be prohibitively high.

It’s true that many design companies and agencies charge thousands of dollars for their services. But this isn’t universally true (crowdspring’s custom business card design projects start at just $299, including all fees).

Here are seven ways you can leverage business cards to spread the word, stand out from the crowd, and make the most of each and every opportunity to market your company.

1. Multitask

Your business card can serve purposes other than just sharing your info. Creative business people are using theirs to offer discounts, include coupons, serve as event tickets, note cards, or appointment cards.

Clever and fun uses like scratch cards or stickers can be memorable and can encourage the recipient to hold onto that card and jog their memory about you at an opportune moment. Oh, I know – make your card a bookmark so that they will see a reminder of you every time they put down their  Jacqueline Susann!

2. Drill-down

Your card can include your own QR code or SKU  and can encourage the other person to come have a look at your site. This way potential leads can view additional information or even receive discounts or other incentives.

This is also a great way to track the efficacy of the card – you will know that every user who comes to the URL via that code was someone whom you met at a given event. Not a bad way to measure conversions of a very different sort.

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3. Testify

Another great marketing strategy is to show a potential customer how others like them have benefitted by using your product or service.

We do this in other marketing materials, why not use the back of your business card for a short testimonial from a happy customer? Quotes, photos, and links can help to illustrate how others have used your business successfully and can provide the confirmation that a potential customer needs.

4. Educate

Use your card to teach them something. Little facts, statistics, or other information can make your card fun, engaging, and memorable.

Think about how much fun those little Trivial Pursuit cards are and how you can get a bit of that going with yours!

5. Fundraise

Business cards can have a more meaningful life than just sharing your digits. I have seen cards from several folks that promote something more than just their own business, but also provide information about a favored cause or charity.

Good feeling are remembered, and selfless acts admired. Let the person you hand your card to know that you are passionate and caring and they will be more likely to dig out your card when they’re ready to buy.

6. Network

The exchanging of business cards id probably the most effective networking method there is. Your challenge is to make your card sticky and give it the best chance of converting a prospect into a customer.

One effective tactic is to include your photo on your card; this is a great way to help someone remember you as a person. Encourage or even incentivize others to hand out your card for you.

7. Incentivize

What if you gave each person you meet 5 cards, each with a coupon code? Tell the recipient that if all five coupons are redeemed, they too will receive a discount or something else of value. Heck, if they hand out 100 cards for you, give them a television set!

Finally, perhaps it is time for you to be the first on your block to embed a GPS chip in your biz card so you can track how far it travels. Hey if your pet can have one, why not your biz card?

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