12 easy steps to making your business card a successful offline marketing strategy that integrates online marketing
At Smart Insights we focus on digital marketing channels, and how we can help our members plan, manage and optimize their marketing strategies. However, we also look at the effects of offline and online marketing integration to create a holistic strategy which leads to business success. Our lifecycle marketing model shows the integration of offline and online marketing across RACE planning framework.
Do you give much thought on how your business cards are going to impact people before you give them out? You probably just place an order for a standardized one from your local office supplies store. What you may not realize is that you are sitting on potentially the most potent weapon in your marketing arsenal.
Maybe it is time you start thinking of your business cards as marketing tools and not just a way to give out your contact information. Here are 5 ways you can transform your business card into your best marketing tool before sending it out for business card printing.
1. Include testimonials
Potential customers are always interested to know what your previous customers have to say about your products or services through testimonials. Testimonials are included on brand websites to increase credibility and reliability so why not include some on your business card. Including one or two of the best testimonials, you have received on the back of your business card will speak volumes about your brand and receivers don't need to go online to check your credibility.
2. Make your cards multi-functional
The end goal of making your business cards multi-functional is to make the recipients interact with them more times than they would interact with a typical business card. The more the interaction, the more your brand is memorable.
Ideas for a multi-functional business card are designing it as a bookmark, a sticker that they can put in their car or on their desk, a note card where they can write something they need to remember, and so on. Make sure your card can be used in more ways than one, or else you risk them looking at it once and either losing it or throwing it away.
3. Provide links to online marketing
Is your brand present online? Your business card can be the best tool to link your offline marketing efforts to your online initiatives. If you have a website, provide a link. Also important are links to your social media pages. Most people receiving your cards are on social media and social media is arguably the best lead generation tool.
4. Put your face on your card
Can you remember all the faces behind the business cards on your desk? It is difficult to put faces on business cards long after you met them. The same applies to them putting your face on your cards. How about putting a photo of yourself on your cards? Your potential customers will remember you many months after your brief interaction and feel familiar to your brand. This can give you an edge against your competitors who cards are not recognizable.
5. Mention a cause you support
Letting people know about the causes you support can be great for your business. For instance, your brand can have an immediate impact on a potential customer because they are passionate about the very cause you support. It also gives people a glimpse of what drives you and what you and your business stand for. Examples of causes that will resonate with your target audience are charitable causes and environmental conservation causes, especially against climate change.
6. Give recipients a challenge
Everybody likes to test themselves and surprising recipients with something to tease their mind can go a long way. Be creative about it but make it related to your business. It could be a tricky question or a fun fact that will amuse them.
7. Give special offers
Your business card is likely to have a bigger impact when accompanied with a special offer. You could offer a free gift or a coupon for products on your site. Although costly, this will make recipients think highly of you and your brand.
8. Monitor your business card
Track your business card’s conversion rate. You can do this by plastering SKU or QR code on it. And whenever you distribute the cards, promise the recipients some impressive discounts or coupons for heading to your business website. This technique can give you a benchmark to improve things. For example, if the business card doesn’t convert as required, you can use another strategy.
9. Increase your business card’s recall value using beautiful design
Make use of design to curate a business card that beats the competition. You don’t have to pay a web designer to create a beautiful business card design for you. There are free websites out there that offer beautiful templates to create business cards. All you have to do is choose the style, color, and size of font. However, if you don’t want to spend time doing it yourself, you can get a good web design out at a really reasonable price.
10. Keep your business card simple
The primary reason for creating business cards is to get prospects to contact you. That’s why you need to put more emphasis on the information that will enable that. A long time ago, information such as fax number, address and the business name was the main aspects required for a business card.
These days, there is a bit of a shift. Business cards give you the freedom to customize them. So you may include information such as your name, your title, your business name, your email address, your phone number and your website URL on the front of your business card. Prospects can find other information such as fax, landline phone numbers, and address when they check out your URL.
11. Include your social media handles
According to Isentia, Social media is without a doubt, a valuable marketing tool today. So it’s prudent that you include your social media handles such as Twitter and Facebook, so that prospects can follow you there. Prospects can get a lot more information about your business on your social media pages. So together with your business card and your online marketing channels, potential customers can see a much broader look at yourself and your company.
12. Use quality material to make your business card
Although the information you include on your business card is the most important for generating leads and customers, it is also important to think about the physicality of the business card.
Many business people try to cut costs by using low-quality materials to make business cards. That’s only going to ruin your business reputation. A big percentage of mediocre quality business cards end up in the dustbin. Prospects will also judge you by the quality of business cards you give out. They will conclude that your products and services will not be any different if you give out poor quality business cards.
These tips show that making minor changes to a typical business card can transform it into a powerful marketing tool. The key to unlocking this untapped potential is to use your cards to achieve two things. Firstly, foster deeper connections between recipients and your brand. Secondly, make yourself and your brand memorable.