Making your business card an effective marketing tool

Corporate cards tend to get given out like sweeties. No company would consider running without one but few are utilising them to their full potential as marketing tools. Corporate cards are the simplest way to convey your business philosophy, so make the most of their marketing potential.

1. Make your card stand out
Apart from the essential communication information usually conveyed on a corporate card, an eye catching design will make your card a conversation piece. Recipients will remember your business card above others and it will receive more attention than blander, less interesting cards. You may have a clear idea how you want your card to look but it never hurts to enlist the skills of an experienced designer or, even easier, take advantage of the design service offered by your card supplier.

2. Get their attention
Along with a memorable design, you can use information on your business card to challenge people and grab their attention. Fun facts and figures can not only spark their interest but can be targeted to make them relevant to your company’s area of operation. This technique works particularly well on a seasonal basis, with electronic business holiday cards not only conveying a greeting but also an engaging and amusing message to make people respond warmly. Seasonal trivia or cute graphics can trigger a smile and the desire to know more.

3. Measure response
Include information such as an alphanumerical code on different batches of cards and consider adding incentives in the form of discounts or special offers. The quantity of responses will help you judge the best way to use your card as you will have a reliable method of measuring how people respond to it. If certain groups respond to a call to action, you will know how to market to that demographic. Where response is not very encouraging you can take the opportunity to change the card design or the incentive used until you hit a formula that’s a hit with all marketing targets.

4. Use references
Customer testimonials make very good use of the most effective marketing tool in the world: word of mouth. Include a quote or link to a more complete testimonial somewhere on your corporate card that might otherwise go unused.

5. Create a social impact
Businesses these days win hearts and minds by supporting causes. Make sure people know that your firm not only has a social conscience but is using it to make a difference by including a logo, link or message to display your pride in your charitable endeavours and to encourage others to follow your example.

6. Let them see you
Adding your photo to your card can help people to remember you long after meeting or help strangers achieve a feeling of familiarity in advance. That recognition can help you to stand out from the competition and foster an amiable working relationship.

However you choose to use your corporate card, make it count and generate response rather than treating it as a necessary but ultimately throwaway tool.

Gareth Hall writes regularly on marketing and publicity matters for a range of corporate websites and blogs. Online firms offer the widest choice of electronic business holiday cards and other services tailored to modern methods of marketing.

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