If you want to make an impression in a crowded online world, try print marketing to promote your brand and grow your business. A recent Temple University study revealed that print marketing carries more emotional weight than digital ads.
Of course, “print marketing” is a vague term, and it can feel overwhelming. What are the best print marketing products for small business owners to use when they’re just getting started?
The following are four must-have print marketing products you should use to promote your business, service or event. Plus, a few tips on how to use these tried-and-true marketing staples and how they fit into your branding strategy, and our indispensable infographic detailing the ABC’s of print marketing.
Savvy marketers know business cards are more than just a printed vehicle for your contact information. Business cards are miniature sales assistants, working for you to persuade potential customers to take the next step in the purchasing process. Your business cards say a lot about you and your business, so make sure they are saying good things.
Make your business card worth keeping
Discount coupons, freebies, VIP passes and other special incentives printed on the back of your business cards can motivate customers to take the next step in the purchasing process. For example, your business card can double as a loyalty card: Each of your customers’ purchases gets them one step closer to a free offer. Even if customers don’t need your services right now, adding value encourages them to hold on to your business card until they are ready to make a purchase.
Business cards with benefits
Customers ask themselves, “What’s in it for me?” Your business card is a perfect opportunity to answer that question. Demonstrate why a customer should do business with you instead of another company by highlighting a unique selling point on your business card. Do you have the lowest prices? A customer satisfaction guarantee? Do you have 24/7 customer support? Do you have dozens of five-star reviews on Yelp? All of these benefits make you stand out from the competition.
Take your business cards out
Bring your business cards with you everywhere you go. Your business card can’t work for you if people don’t see it. Trade shows, seminars, conferences and other business events are obvious occasions to hand out your business card. However, you could run into a potential client at a baseball game or the grocery store. Have your business cards on hand and ready to go at all times.
Here’s a tip
If you want to include your photo on your card, skip the mugshot. A photo is a great opportunity to showcase your personality. An action shot of you helping a customer is a good idea.
Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, a retailer or a service provider, a B2B or B2C company, marketing with postcards pays off. Postcard marketing works for brick and mortar, catalog and online businesses, and has been shown to be one of the most cost-effective means by which you can attract interested customers to your website or retail location.
Try direct-mail postcards
Social media ads are here one second and then gone the next, but a direct-mail postcard makes a professional, lasting impression that will help you land new customers and boost sales. It is a direct way to get your messaging right into your target audiences’ hands. You can design your postcard, create and upload your own mailing list, or you can purchase a mailing list for specific geographic locations. The printing and mailing are done for you! Just don’t forget to include a clear call to action on your postcard, so your prospects know what to do next.
Print postcards — and don’t send them
Of course, not all postcards need to be mailed. Print postcards to be included in a brochure or shopping bag, or keep them stacked next to your register to let customers know about upcoming sales. Hand them out at special events, trade shows and more.
Another way to get your postcards into prospects’ hands is to partner with another nearby, but noncompeting business. They can keep your postcards at their cash register to hand out, and you can do the same for them. Everybody wins!
The easiest way to guarantee that your postcards command attention is to print oversized postcards. It’s almost impossible to ignore the biggest postcard in the mailbox, so instead of printing traditional 4-inch by 6-inch postcards like your competitors, try printing huge 6-inch by 11-inch postcards. This doesn’t mean you should add more information to your postcard; all you have to do is make your design bigger and bolder than your competition. This simple technique will translate into more attention and, if you have a good mailing list and offer, more sales.
Here’s a tip
Try EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) postcards. EDDM postcards allow you to promote your business in a targeted neighborhood — perfect for small businesses that thrive on local sales.
Stickers are a great way to promote your business, product or event. They are not just for packaging: Stickers can be affixed almost anywhere. Plus, there are a variety to choose from — vinyl stickers, roll stickers, window decals and more — so you’re sure to find a sticker that works for your business marketing strategy.
You can put stickers in places like windows, walls, restroom stalls, and anywhere else your potential customer is likely to visit. But if you really want to get noticed, try catching them off-guard. Think of a creative location for your stickers that is relevant to your customers. A great example is when a mouthwash company placed stickers on the ceilings above dentist chairs with a message that read, “Want to stop coming back here?”
You can add a little bit of flair while branding your business by using stickers on your letterhead and envelopes. It’s important to understand how envelope seals fit into your brand strategy. A standard envelope is white with a recipient’s address, a return address and a stamp, all on one side. You could place your logo and tagline in your return address area, but the limited space makes it difficult to read or stand out. An envelope sealer placed on the back of your envelope, on the other hand, is large enough to get noticed.
The original mobile ad! For almost as long as there have been cars, there have been bumper stickers, and for good reason. They’re a cost-effective way to promote your business, since their reach could be enormous depending on how much you (or customers that place your stickers on their cars) drive. If you have a lot of bumper-to-bumper traffic in your area, you might even have a captive audience.
Here’s a tip
If you really want to make an impact with your stickers, print die-cut stickers. These unusually shaped stickers can take the form of your logo, or they can be any shape you desire. Going the extra step can make your sticker unique, which means customers will be more likely to hang on to it and display it.
You get an incredible return on investment with magnet marketing, since magnet printing is so affordable, and because customers are likely to keep them posted for years — even decades — in their homes and workplaces.
Business card magnets
Business card magnets are one of the most popular promotional items on the market. It makes sense: Once business card magnets are secured to refrigerators, filing cabinets and other surfaces, they tend to remain there a very long time. All the while, you’re influencing friends, family members and co-workers, and ultimately earning a great deal of exposure for a minimal investment.
Car door magnets
Large-format vehicle wraps and custom car painting are expensive, but printing car door magnets is inexpensive and easy. Car door magnets are rolling advertisements, and you can switch the magnets from car to car as needed. Plus, they’re big enough to include your logo, tagline and contact information, and make the same impression as wraps and costly paint jobs.
If you’re looking for a little extra promotion, print car door magnets for family and friends to place on their cars as well, and earn extra exposure.
If you own a restaurant, you can print magnet menus that list all your mouthwatering options. Don’t forget to include a discount code, your location and your phone number to entice customers to call you. What could be a better marketing tool than menu magnets for a restaurant? Every time your customers go to the fridge to find something to eat, they’ll see your menu, which increases their chances of cooking their own meal and opting to let you do it instead.
Here’s a tip
Turn your magnets into mini-calendars, and you can promote different sales every month, week or day of the year.
No matter what you are printing, your print marketing materials must project an image of confidence and professionalism. Your print marketing materials should create a need, solve a problem, include features and benefits, grab attention and make your point in a clear and concise manner.
The primer on print marketing
Getting to know print marketing is as easy as learning your ABC’s: