The importance of paper in a digital world.
I often get asked what my single most effective marketing tool is and as the technical lead at a company that specialises in website design and digital marketing people are often surprised when my answer is “my business card”.
There are a stack of reasons why business cards are still so important in a digital world and here are my top five.
Handing over your business card is all part of the meet and greet ritual, and we all know first impressions count. A nicely designed card with eye catching design will capture the attention of your prospective new client. It also gives them something to refer to in those critical initial minutes, suddenly they know where you work, what your role is and have your name right in front of them as a prompt, just in case they are a little forgetful.
People do business with people, more specifically people they trust, respect and like. Following that all important first meeting a business card acts as a visual and tactile reminder of you and helps keep you and your business top of the mind.
What other marketing tool do you have that costs literally cents to produce? Being low cost means you can hand them out freely and widely to anyone and everyone who might need your services now and in the future.
Small and portable
I have a small stacks of business cards everywhere, not just on my desk and in my card holder but also in my car, in all my suit jacket pockets, in my partners car, in my sports gear bag, everywhere. I always have a card ready to hand out. Most recently I started chatting to a gentleman in line at the supermarket after he read my GFM branded shirt and asked about sticker design and printing, you can be sure he got my card.
Because they are small and pocket sized, business cards tend to hang around for a while, in wallets, address books, folios, diaries and desk tops. They are the marketing tool that just keeps on giving.
What makes a good business card?
Hopefully by this point you are starting to see the value of a business card, but don’t go reaching for that home printer just yet. Keep in mind that you want to leave an excellent impression that reflects your business and personal image and that lasts.
A well-designed business card will resonate with your target market and quickly place you as the expert in your industry. The message will be clear, concise and uncluttered. Business card design might seem to be very simple but it requires a good eye for white space and a solid understanding of balance. When you are working with such a small item, a millimetre can make all the difference.
A good card might start with the design but it ends with the print job, make sure to choose a quality stock, 350gsm card is my first choice and all cards should be either matt or gloss laminated to finish them off. Not only does the laminate make the card feel more luxurious it makes it considerably stronger and more robust, no dirty dogeared cards here thanks. Our GFM cards have a matt laminate over the whole card with an additional spot gloss laminate in key areas to give that extra wow factor. See the video below.
Beyond the business card
Ok you’ve got your professionally designed and printed business card, where to next? This will depend largely on your industry and how you interact with your clients or customers but one thing remains true, your brand message needs to be consistent, you need to be able to profoundly put any of your printed material on the table.
For retail stores you’ll want to be thinking about dl flyers that you pop into shopping bags with every purchase outlining new products and upcoming specials, or your loyalty rewards scheme.
If you are in the service industry then chances are you are leave some kind of checklist or record of work complete with the client, make sure it’s branded with your company colours, logo and contact details. Not only does this make you look like the professional you are, it makes it easier for the customer to recommend you to their friends.
Tourism and accommodation
Information centres are a first port of call for many travellers new to an area so make sure you have a good supply of eye-catching material ready to inform and enthral. Better yet why not partner up with other operators in the area and display each other’s brochures and rack cards.
Regardless of your industry other printed material to consider is; concession/loyalty cards, gift vouchers, flyers for mail drops, compliment slips, letterheads and the list goes on. Just remeber to make it look and feel great!
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