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Business Cards: Your mini marketing tool and Lead magnet

 

We have our comprehensive marketing plans but do they include your business card? The humble business card is the most underutilized of marketing tools. This little 2x3 Ĺ inch gem with its seven square inches can become your portable billboard, bringing you more leads, more clients and eventually impact your bottom line as much as your bigger efforts. Here are some ways to leverage the full power of your business card.

Why they make a great marketing tool

What else can you carry around in your pocket or purse that allows you to promote yourself easily and that keeps on reminding people of your products or services?

Rethink the function of your business card. Itís not just a parking place for your name and address. It should be like an elegant invitation to a fantastic event youíre having. You want lots of people to come and enjoy the fun. 

Unlike other marketing materials, you can put together a wow card and have it printed quickly. 
Even better, people EXPECT you to hand out your business card. That's why a savvy businessperson creates business cards that contain more than just contact details. Think about it, how many times are you INVITED to market to someone? 

A few tips on what can you do with them that will keep you top of mind with potential prospects 

Leave them on the table in a restaurant. You never know who the waitress knows, or if the next person who sits down before the table is cleaned could use your service or product.

Insert a business card when mailing bill payments. Bills contain advertisements so why not advertise your skills or services the same way? You may feel that a person in South Dakota who opens your bill payment cannot help you. Never underestimate the power of networking!

Be sure to put them out on a table at networking events. They are cheaper ďtoss awaysĒ than an expensive brochure!

Use them when advertising in publications instead of paying for a larger space. A well designed card that quickly tells the world what your business does will get more bang for your buck.

Going to a seminar, conference or trade show? No place to leave cards? Think creatively! Come early to a seminar room for a topic relevant to your business and place one on each seat. Leave them on tables in eating areas. 

Approach a local business you frequent often and where you believe your type of client shops, and ask the owner if you could put a few out on the counter (in a nice little holder of course!)

Use them to maximize every "per chance" meeting. Donít be pushy but hand them out in non-business functions as a way of letting people keep in touch. You never know when you might meet someone who can help you. 

Anytime you mail a letter include two, even if the correspondence isnít related to your business. Cards are easier to reference for information than a letter, and the extra one can also be passed on.

Write a note on the back of your card before you hand it over. This personalizes the ďinvitationĒ and helps people remember you so you will stand out from all the business cards they already have stuffed in their pockets.

And try this: Add psychological impact when handing out your card by presenting it with both hands, as if it were priceless!

How to give your card pizzazz and staying power.

More than 90% of business cards are THROWN AWAY the day they're received. Since you don't want YOUR card to wind up in someone's trash can, designing a card that people will KEEP is critical. 

1. Put an irresistible offer on your business card.
Use the back of your business card to present an irresistible offer and a call to action. This gives the recipient a reason to go to your website or contact you again. Offer something free that would be of interest to your target market. The number one purpose of your business card should be to make it easy for them to take this next step. 

2. Make your business card easy to read.
Your card needs to be visually appealing. Donít cram it with useless information or graphics. However, donít keep it plain with only text. The look and feel of your card should motivate your prospect to take the call to action you indicate. Your business card is only step one of many Ė itís the invitation. 

3. Let them know who you are.
Your company name, a phone number (including area code!), and your e-mail address must appear on the front of the card and be in a font and size thatís easy to read. Next in size should be e-mail address and your website URL. 
Tell them what you do by including a sentence that either describes your service or your business products or brand yourself with a catchy slogan that intrigues people to find out more about you. 

4. Keep it simple.
Donít put too much information on your card. Your business card isnít there to sell peopleÖitís there to motivate them to take one step, which is your call to action. And donít confuse people by giving them more than one website to visit. 
Definitely add color to your card but avoid blue, orange, and brown since they donít photocopy or fax well. And stay away from unusual sizes, they donít fit easily into peopleís storage systems.

5. Put your photo on your business card.
Make it easy for people to remember you! Be sure to use a professional photo and make it large enough to see your features. Your face will help the recipient remember you, once agan making your card stand out from all the others.

6. Make it easy to write on your business card.
You can make the front of your card glossy and/or embossed for a luxurious effect but always keep the back flat. People like to make notes on cards but shiny surfaces are almost impossible to write on. That goes for any other unique/unusual paper. Test it out before committing to a printing.

7. Never let your card get out of date. 
Whenever there are changes to your information, it is better to have a whole new set printed rather than crossing out and handwriting text. That gives a cheap look, and usually is hard to read no matter how good your handwriting.

Last but most important piece of advice: Follow-up!
Now that you have given out all these tiny marketing gems, should you just sit back and hope to be contacted? You wouldnít do that with any of your other marketing materials and a business card given is no good if you donít follow up, whenever possible. If you used it as copy for an ad, then track who calls/e-mails you as a response so you can determine if its message is working in that medium. 

Never leave home without them. They canít work for you sitting in a desk drawer! 

Need help writing your tagline? Canít come up with a great call to action? Beyond Words Communications can help you get that message out!  For help with all your writing needs, e-mail me at Beyond-Words@worldnet.att.net
                                                                  © 2008 Leona M Seufert