The Best Marketing Tool You Can Buy for $50 | Travel Research Online


The Best Marketing Tool You Can Buy for $50

As we gear up to handle the pent-up demand for travel, can I suggest a $50 marketing investment that I guarantee will bring a minimum of $10,000 in sales to your agency? In all industries, sales are driven by being at the top of the customer’s mind when they are thinking of buying. Are you? For that $50 I mentioned, you can definitely find a place toward the top.  Ready for this low-cost piece of high-tech?

It’s the business card!

Like travel agents, they are NOT dead!

We all have an elevator pitch, right? A well-designed card is all that and more. How often in the elevator are you able to get out your name, company, job title, phone numbers, email addresses and website? Never!  But with a business card, you can.

Think of all the opportunities to distribute them.

  • When you meet a new acquaintance. You never know who will become a client.
  • Anyone that engages you professionally. Make sure the florist knows what you do!
  • All of your friends.
  • All of your existing clients. Send them a cards (plural) with a note asking them to not forget about you and include a magnetic backing for the card to put on their refrigerator.

These are all very warm prospects for you. When you meet someone new, usually the conversation circles around to your profession—there’s your chance. All of your friends should know what you do and if comfortable, they should use you for travel—there’s your chance. Why give a card to your existing client? What better advertising than having a client hand out a card with your name? You might think your travel business contacts already know you—your BDMs etc. Well, they have favorites too you know. They are running into a lot of people as well—let them work for you. If they meet someone looking to travel in your hometown, why would they recommend someone from Nowhereville?

A little guerilla marketing can’t hurt either.  Many years ago, I used to purposely put several cards as “bookmarks” in the in-flight magazines on planes and the publications in hotels. Before electronic payment, a business card was included with every check mailed.  And it worked. Business was not rolling in because of this, but I can tell you the ROI on the $200 spent over the years was significant!

Never underestimate where you can distribute a business card either. I absolutely love Keith Powell’s story about when he was in Hawaii, in the Pacific ocean, chatting up a stranger (in the ocean) and the conversation came around to what each of them did for a living. Keith, NEVER without a business card, floated a laminated one over to him right on the spot! Tell me that you don’t think that guy still remembers Keith to this day!

I specialize in single parent travel. We single parents like to hang together. So, you can bet that every client on a trip gets a small stack of cards to give to their friends included with a token thank you gift. I always tell them it would be a great compliment if they could refer me.

I don’t have any study to back it up, but I bet the ROI on a business card is some of the highest you will find for your marketing dollars.  And as we come out of COVID, we all realize that all marketing dollars are precious.

And one final thing. I realize that you can find business cards for very cheap or free* (I’m looking at you Vista Print)….before you decide to go that route, ask yourself if you want your customers to see that. Is this the right impression? If you are cutting corners here, where else will you cut corners?  I say spring for the heavy card stock. Spring for the 4-color cards. Buy them from a local printer and don’t be stingy giving them out!

Now, go order 2500 cards!

* On the freebies. They do have a use. If you are at a trade show (remember actually attending those?) or in a place where you are handing them out en-masse, they are probably ok. Most people will ultimately toss them; and those that don’t will likely scan them into their database and then toss them.


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