When you first start a business, or even as you consider starting a business, one of the elements that excites you is creating a business card and the business logo you need for that card. Having a little card with your business name and contact details, as well as your logo, is exciting but it also embodies your plans for the business; giving the business a tangibility. These cards make it all seem real for the first time. You’ll start handing out cards as you meet prospective customers, partners, and vendors, even family and friends to show you’re serious about the business. But, there are lots of other ways to use your business cards to gain traction for your nascent business.
Use your business cards to propel your business
But, while ordering cards from the Best Local Print Shops you can afford is a good idea. Don’t be afraid to spend a little money and effort creating a great card design and a logo. You’ll use your brand name and design elements for years to come, hopefully, so give thought to these critical elements of your brand. It’s very hard to change either brand name or elements of design such as your logo, color scheme, or font later and these elements impact your brand image more than you might think possible.
For instance, recall the media storm created when Starbucks got rid of their brand name on its logo, going with just their logo [source]. and it’s great to get that little confidence boost every time you look at them, they’re only as effective as you make them. Or the green in John Deere’s logo that’s so essential to the brand that it’s patented [source].
When used effectively, business cards help build a brand, increase leads and customers, bring people to your business, website and social media channels, and increase the likelihood of repeat customers.
Business cards are a valuable tool when it comes to marketing your business. Leaving them gathering dust in a box or handing them out without thought to anyone who’ll take them doesn’t do your brand much good, however. For instance, businesses with no understanding of how to use their business cards effectively, straw them about without regard to their target market, or spam everyone they meet at conferences and events by focusing on sharing cards rather than making connections.
Plus, there are lots of other ways to use your business cards to propel your business. Just don’t think of them as limited to cards, per se, and you’re on your way to maximizing the impact of your cards.
Use your business cards as appointment cards
Sure, many businesses moved their appointment scheduling online, but businesses like hairdressers, medical professionals, and many others still make appointments after finishing the current service. If your business does this or uses face-to-face contact, don’t underestimate the value of a good old appointment card. Your business cards are the perfect size for appointment cards. They’re small and easy to carry, but have plenty of room to add a time and date, as well as other relevant information.
Appointment/business cards also reduce cancelations or missed appointments We remember things more efficiently if we’ve seen something physical, rather than just being told a date and time.
And business/appointment cards are a nice touch that are retained by customers/ patients but are often displayed in a way visible to others. Visible business/appointment cards act as an enforcement for the business.
It’s not the most creative way to use your business card, but simply putting one in a shopper’s bag with their purchase and receipt increases return business and word of mouth marketing. Placing them in a customer’s hand is also useful, although there’s an increased risk that customers will put the card straight into the first bin that they come across.
Success really depends on your customers, and you should try different ways to send shoppers away with a card. For instance, printing a discount, a contest code, or a QR code for related information/ offers on the card before stuffing it in the customer’s bag increases the chance they’ll keep the card.
Compete with other local businesses
If your business is based in a small town or neighborhood and you have friendly ties with other local businesses and entrepreneurs, why not get competitive with your cards? Why not have a design competition to see who has the most appealing cards or the one that best represents the brand. Or devise a tournament to see how many cards you can get back into the store by using them as discount vouchers or special offer invitations.
Too competitive, why not help each other as, oftentimes, local businesses support each other and the more customers you bring to the area, the better every business performs. So, display each other’s cards in an artful way.
Use your business cards as photo props
In 2020, getting your business onto social media is vital. Since your probably already using Instagram and Instagram stories to communicate with your audience, building relationships and brand recognition use business cards as a photo prop on the platform. Or hold a contest with followers to see who can create the most attractive image that incorporated your business card with the winner receiving a free product or a gift card. Start including your business cards in some of the photos you share on Instagram, making your card bright and obvious.
Conversely, maybe you do a “where’s Waldo” hunt for your business card among images of products, customers, and locations. Invite your customers and Instagram fans to challenge their friends to see who can find the most hidden business cards in these images.
Adding social media information to your business cards is a great way to increase engagement and boost relationships. Better still, use a QR code, yes, the practice is popular again as young people use them to pay for products at trendy popup stores and farmer’s markets.
Supply a business hashtag, and leave a call to action on your cards. Something simple, like “share your pics with…” can work well.
Business cards make great loyalty cards
Customers love loyalty cards. They like to feel appreciated, as though they are getting something for free. Loyalty cards, just as the name implies, bring customers back to your business by making them feel part of an exclusive (or at least a selective club). Every time they clear out excess baggage from their wallet or purse, they come across your loyalty card, which reminds them to visit your business again. Sometimes, there’s even a little motivation to visit more frequently to fill up all the punches on the card.
But, customers hate having to carry too many cards around. So, double up and add a loyalty card to the back of your business card for a win-win.
Make Them Tags or Backing Cards
If you sell clothes or other textiles, using your business card as a tag is a wonderful way to get them out into the world. Simply make the card of sturdy stock, then attach it to your products. You can even make a cool backing card for jewelry and other accessories, where space is pretty limited.
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