Guest Post by Thomas Sullivan
One of the most powerful – and least expensive – weapons in your advertising arsenal is your business card. Compared to the cost of a classified ad, a display ad, a billboard, or a television commercial, the economical business card packs a lot of punch.
Today, effective advertising is imperative. It can be the tipping point between success and failure, and the image that a company projects is an important element in sustaining ongoing success.
Business cards are an important tool for making a positive first impression, not only by the person handing out the cards, but also by highlighting the services that a company provides.
I learned about “first impressions” from my Dad. When I was a kid, during my summer vacations from school, my Dad always had me sweep the parking lot of his business before he ever opened the doors. On a hot summer day, that parking lot looked like a football field in the eyes of a ten year-old, but it was even bigger to my Dad.
One day I asked him why I had to sweep the parking lot and he said, “Our parking lot is the first thing that our customers see. They form an opinion of us and our business when they see the condition of our property. If our parking lot is dirty, or littered with trash, they may decide to go somewhere else. A clean parking is our advertisement that the inside of our business is also clean.”
Business cards are the “parking lot” that potential clients see, before ever stepping foot into the company’s building, or clicking on the link to their web site. These little cards make a statement in the business world, and as a result, their potential market value is high.
And be aware that the amount and type of information that can now be included on business cards has expanded, increasing the potential market value even higher.
Many people believe that it is important to put a picture on your business card. It could be your picture, a picture of your product, or a combination of both. Studies have shown that picture cards get attention, and that people are more likely to hold on to a business card with a photo on it.
The use of taglines, one-sentence benefit statements that can enhance business image and help sell business services, is a popular feature.
One of the things that I’ve always done with my business cards is include a hand written, special offer on the back. Be creative with this idea. One of my most effective offers is a 25% discount on the next purchase with the referral of a new client. People love to believe that they’re getting something for nothing.
The look of your business card is a critical part of your overall marketing scheme. You don’t take unnecessary risks with your bottom line, so why endanger it with a poorly designed business card? Enlist the help of a design professional to make sure that your first impression is sterling, and use your time doing what you do best – selling your product or service. A poorly designed business card is a sure sign to potential customers that your business is second-rate.
About the Author: Tom Sullivan is a freelance copywriter and Internet Research Specialist. He has authored multiple landing pages for web sites, along with blog posts for several on-line and traditional businesses. Learn more about Tom on LinkedIn and Facebook.