How to Add Value to Your Business Cards

An old marketing adage goes something like this:

“He who has a thing to sell
And goes and whispers in a well
Is not as apt to get the dollars
As he who climbs a tree and hollers.”

Most business cards whisper. If they speak to your prospect at all, they do so quietly. Many don’t say much at all. And because of that, a potential customer never learns about your award-winning service department, or your extended hours, or your playroom area for the kids. Instead, your card is tossed into the wastebasket and your competitor’s card is carefully tucked into a Rolodex.

True, business cards do more than convey the information that’s printed on the card. A card that’s ugly, dirty, printed on perforated paper or full of corrections screams loud and clear that you’re an amateur. No matter how many wonderful services you offer, if your card brands you as unprofessional, you lose business. A clean, creative, professionally printed and visually attractive card, on the other hand, conveys a positive first impression that lingers long after your initial meeting.

Still, a savvy businessperson knows that adding marketing-oriented text to a business card in addition to contact information pays off.

One strategy is to add text that gives specific customer benefits.

For example, your card can tell people how easy you are to do business with by adding a slogan or tagline such as:
Easy to PAY “Credit cards and competitor’s coupons accepted”

Easy to FIND “Located next to ___ in the heart of ___”

Easy to VISIT “Walk-ins welcome. No appointment required.”

Easy to BUY “Express check-in and check-out.”

Easy to get EXPERT ADVICE “Pharmacist on duty around the clock.”
Better yet, turn your business card into a marketing tool that actually asks for your prospect’s business. Asking people via your business card to visit your store or log onto your website is a great idea. But in order for this strategy to be effective, you need to be specific, and you need to give people a reason to do what you request.

Consider the following often overused phrases found on business cards:
Visit today
Stop by and see us!
Customer service is our priority
In business for 25 years
The first two immediately raise the question, “Why?” Why should I visit your store? Your prospect is busy and knows you want her to come into your showroom, fall in love with the latest model, and walk out thousands of dollars poorer. You need to give her a REAL reason to come in.

These calls to action are much more powerful:
“Present this card for a free watch battery” or
“Ask for Fred to receive your first oil change free!” or
“Log onto YourCompany.com for current discount coupons!”
The key here is to evaluate what you are saying. Are you providing enough information for your client to make an informed decision? Make a list of the services you provide and the “perks” that come with it. You may be surprised at how many perks you offer your customers without thinking twice about it.

Consider the following often overlooked perks:
Returning phone calls in a short amount of time.
Providing a late-model loaner car while a client’s car is being serviced.
Jewelry repair that is done on-site by a certified technician.
Offering a complimentary two-year extension to a manufacturer’s warranty.
Including a special upgrade not typically included with your competitor’s product.
Your business cards can be the most portable, affordable and versatile marketing method you use – but not if it’s quiet about your services or shy about your accomplishments.

by Diana Ratliff