Don’t You Hate Running Out of Milk? | Travel Research Online

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Don’t You Hate Running Out of Milk?

In my mind, there is nothing worse than running out of milk in the refrigerator. It is a staple for so many dishes and let’s be honest, nothing quenches that 3:00 am thirst quite like a swig from the carton of milk. Am I right?  But in the business world, there is an equivalency. In my mind, there is nothing worse than running out of this business staple. No, not toner. Not staples. Not cell phone battery life. Much more important.

The business card!

And last week, as I reached into my pocket to grab the stack, I saw the telltale warning a fluorescent card toward the bottom of the stack letting me know I was almost out.  A quick call to my local graphic designer (because I truly believe in supporting local businesses) and another batch of 5,000 were ordered and expected to arrive early this week. Cost? $74.75. Do that math, for heavy card stock, four color printing on both sides, it works out to $0.015 per card. Yes, one and one-half cents per card!

So why all up in arms for a silly business card?

I believe that the business card is the cheapest marketing program that delivers the highest ROI.

Consider 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 your friends.
  • All your existing clients. Send them cards (plural) with a note reminding them that you exist (hat tip to Mike Marchev)

These are all very warm prospects for you and you should make sure they are given at least a dime’s worth of business cards!

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 payments, 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 guy doesn’t still remember Keith to this day!

Keith always has a card or two on hand. I do not have the fancy cases, but I have a rubber-banded stack of them for my pocket,  in the glove boxes of my cars, in my desk drawer, in my nightstand drawer (don’t ask…not sure), in my bike bag, in my camera case, in my backpack, and the computer case I pack up my laptop and iPad.  Rarely am I far from a card, because frequently I will need one.

I specialize in single-parent travel. We single parents like to hang together, like any other affinity group. 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 in a post-COVID world, we are all watching those marketing dollars. I suggest this is one of the wisest choices!

And one final thing. There are companies out there that will give you free cards. Avoid them. They will usually brand themselves on the card and what message does that send to your customer?

Now, go order 2500 cards! It’ll be the best $40 you ever spent!

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