A Comanche Marketing Guide to Business Card Marketing: Part 1

51 Common Sense, Unusual, Outrageous, & Off-The-Wall Ways to Boost Your Company’s Marketing Through Common and Not So Common Business Cards.

The root of the today’s business card lay in 17th century France. People used playing cards to write promissory notes and other messages. The cards evolved during the reign of King Louis XIV at Versailles into a social card.

In England, the cards were developed into trade cards, used as advertising and to provide maps to the location of merchants. London had no street numbering system at that time and newspapers were just evolving.

By the early 19th century, trade cards were being produced in color, using beautiful illustrations and art. As the printing press developed, the trade card disappeared and replaced by calling cards and today’s business card.

While the social classes used calling cards, business cards were used by all classes with a business to promote.

Business cards continue to be one of the simplest, lowest cost, and most effective marketing tools for a business. And they continue to evolve.

Here are some possible tips for the next evolution of your business card. Don’t think of these merely as business cards. Think of them as marketing tools.

Senior Citizen Business Card

It started a year ago. I couldn’t see as well as I used to, at least not up close. It got worse. Finally, I broke down and went to an optometrist for the first time in my life.

Am not!

“You need reading glasses,” he said

Quack, I thought.

“You’ll need more powerful ones next year,” he said.

Phooey, I thought.

I’ve got 20/10 vision. The problem is I’ve only got 20/10 vision at a distance that is getting farther and farther away.

I finally broke down and bought a pair of @$#@$%! reading glasses. But I only wear them at the office, when I’m tired. I hate them.

But it has given me a new appreciation for the optically challenged. That’s why the suggestion someone made to me last weekend made so much sense. Five years ago, I would have dismissed it as a stupid idea. Now, it sounds pretty smart.

Print up oversized business cards to give to senior citizens (which I am NOT close to by the way, though my sister is AARP qualified). Make the business cards twice the size of ordinary business cards.

People under 40 can read 6 point type. The rest of us cannot. Use big type. BIG TYPE.

Of course, you should not tell the person they are special business cards because you think they can’t see the paper in front of their face. Just say that your company likes to do things in a big way.

Remember, they can’t call you if they can’t see the phone number.

Use the Business Card Feature On Your Personal Digital Assistant

A few years ago, I was in an alliance board meeting and ran out of business cards. I laughed to cover my embarrassment, held up my personal digital assistant (PDA), and said, “Well, I can beam it if you’ve got a PDA.”

To my surprise, all but one of the contractors whipped out PDAs.

Make sure you have a business card with a promotional message in your handheld computer and know how to beam it to someone else with a handheld.

The root of the today’s business card lay in 17th century France. People used playing cards to write promissory notes and other messages. The cards evolved during the reign of King Louis XIV at Versailles into a social card.

In England, the cards were developed into trade cards, used as advertising and to provide maps to the location of merchants. London had no street numbering system at that time and newspapers were just evolving.

By the early 19th century, trade cards were being produced in color, using beautiful illustrations and art. As the printing press developed, the trade card disappeared and replaced by calling cards and today’s business card. While the social classes used calling cards, business cards were used by all classes with a business to promote.

Business cards continue to be one of the simplest, lowest cost, and most effective marketing tools for a business. And they continue to evolve. Here are some possible tips for the next evolution of your business card. Don’t think of these merely as business cards. Think of them as marketing tools.

Stress Business Cards

Everyone has business cards today. You probably have stacks of them in your office. But how often do you reference the cards you are given? By making your card unique, you will spend more, but stand out. By including a “stress dot” card you will create a card that is not only kept, but shown to others. Use your creativity creating a stress card. Create a promotional message, such as “Don’t Stress Over Plumbing Problems. Call Bubba’s Plumbing.”

Stress cards are available at:

Thermometer Business Card

For a heating and air conditioning contractor, what could stand out more than a business card with a thermometer strip?

The promotional messages here are endless, but one is obvious. It is to stress the “comfort zone” that the temperature strip should show. If the holder of the card is out of the comfort zone, he should call you for help. Temperature cards are available at: http://www.extra-mile.com/color/

Put Useful Information on the Back

A low cost way to increase usage and encourage people to keep your business cards handy is to add useful information to the back. You can create industry specific tips (e.g., wind chill or heat index charts for heating and air conditioning, scald temperatures for plumbing, and so on). You can also use generic information. Samline.com has a variety of ready-to-go formats, such as…

  • Heimlich Maneuver
  • Calendar
  • Split Year Calendar
  • Tipping Chart
  • Holidays, etc...
  • Conversion Tables
  • 101 Ways to Praise a Child
  • Fractions - Decimals - Millimeters
  • Calendar with Holidays
  • Kitchen Conversion Chart
  • Amortization Chart

In the Part 2, which appears in thenext issue of HVACR Hotmail, Matt addresses the idea of creating specialty cards that grab customers’ attention better than standard business cards

Matt Michel spoke at HVAC Comfortech 2004 on marketing This rant was solely the opinion of Matt Michel, CEO of the Service Roundtable (www.ServiceRoundtable.com), an organization dedicated to helping contractors prosper. Matt is also the publisher of Comanche Marketing, a free marketing e-zine. Subscriptions are available at www.ComancheMarketing.com. You can contact him directly at [email protected]. Or send your comments to Contracting Business at [email protected].

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