Marketing Basics: Your business card and what you SHOULD be doing with it!

business-cardWhen starting a business one of the first things everyone says they need is a business card.  But how many of us actually think about why we need one?

What do you really use your business card for?  Well, you can give it to people who you think might be interested in your business so that they can keep in touch with you.

But did you think that you can use your business card to actually encourage those people (or prospects) to “make that call”? (Or send you an email….?)

Yes your business card is a compact delivery method of your key company and contact info, but it is also a marketing tool.  You can use your business card to deliver one of your key marketing messages; to get people to visit your site and sign up to your mailing list; to purchase and/or download a (free) report from you; to refer you to other people they know or to come back to your business again for a discount.

Yes your little 95mm x 50mm piece of card (with TWO sides) can do all that!  Well, in that space it can certainly do one of the above as well as conveying your key company and contact information.

But first things first…..

When was the last time you updated your business card?

old-business-cardWas it when you started your business?  Was it when you moved house or office?  Was it more than a year ago? If so, have a think about getting your card redesigned and reprinted.  The design, if you have a logo in place, doesn’t have to take a huge amount of time and you should be able to get a redesign done in approximately 2 hours or so.

So you can see it doesn’t have to cost a fortune and it will be the ideal opportunity to refresh your business look as well as make your business card more effective.

Your card as marketing collateral

Have a think about what you could do, discount or give away to encourage people to call you, email, sign up to your list or refer you to others. Just be careful not to use anything time restricted or stock limited.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Discounts: Offer a discount on their next visit to your shop on production of the card or a discount on your website if they quote a reference on the card.
  • Referrals: Design your card so the recipient can put their name on it and their friend’s name on it, so they can claim their referral reward from you.
  • Giveaways: Promote your free report or ebook on your card along with a reference number they need to quote when claiming it from your website.

Note: using reference numbers on your promotional marketing collateral means that you can track where the lead or customer came from and specifically which piece of collateral, from which specific marketing activity, brought them to you.

Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up…

follow-upNow that you have thought of your marketing strategy for your business card, had it designed and printed and have started giving it away to all and sundry!  What do you do next?

What most people DON’T do when they give someone their business card is follow up.  In fact, most people who do any marketing for their business don’t follow up at all.  Following up is key and it is really simple.

When you meet someone at an event, a meeting, a networking gathering etc, and they ASK for your business card (key point: don’t force your card onto people – they won’t use it and you will have wasted another small portion of your marketing budget) all you have to do is:

FOLLOW UP!

It’s not hard.  When they ask and receive your card – ask for theirs back.  Make a little note on the card to follow up (and any other info that might be useful) and then all you have to do is either send them an email the next day or give them a quick call a couple of days later.

What do you say?

Just that it was nice to meet them, if you can be of any further help etc etc.  But the key thing?  Reiterate whatever it is your business card asks them to (sign up/refer and get a discount etc) and leave it there.

They will either get back to you or they won’t.  If they don’t you can choose to pursue them (I wouldn’t do this too much though) or you can call it a day.  I would suggest that an additional follow up by email with a reminder to sign up to your mailing list or whatever it is you want them to do is sufficient.  If you don’t hear anymore then fair enough.

But the point is that your business card is now working harder for you and your business.  You are using it properly as a marketing tool and it will contribute towards your overall lead generation.

If you want to talk about how to make changes to your business card or want some ideas on what you could do with it then feel free to get in touch.  You can email me on alex@justtoobusy.co.uk or you can call on 01932 219069 and ask for me.  I would be delighted to hear from you and to help if I can (and don’t worry – I don’t bite!).  🙂