Alternative Uses of Business Cards - Creative Business Cards

By: Sophie Charalambous

You all know what a business card is, and what its uses are. If not, read the next article for creative networking ideas. But if you think outside the box, you will realize that a business card is nothing more than a 3 x 2.5 cards that can serve a greatest purpose than just simply presenting your company's information.

Business card size cards can be a flexible and inexpensive way to introduce a promotion, a contest or a raffle around your store or during a trade show. At the same time they can be great tools for your branding efforts. Spread the word on hangers, gift boxes, tags, key chains, pocket calendars and more. Custom hangers, gift cards, and tags can cost a fortune but business cards can service the same purpose with a fraction of the cost and the flexibility to replace them frequently, making them an ideal promotional piece for upcoming events or sales.

Here are some ideas that might help you get started.

Promotions: Announce upcoming sales or specials. Drop them around town, staple them on receipts and include them inside shopping bags. Be generous. Your customers will share them with friends and will spread the word of mouth for you.

Contest: Include simple and fun questions and invite clients or traffic passing by your store to answer them on the back side. Give out simple gifts. It will create lots of excitement and grow your mailing list.

Raffle: Create your own customer raffle tickets and invite customers who meet certain criteria to fill it out with their information. Raffle drums attract traffic, so have one in hand and in a visible spot.

Hangers/Tags: If clothing is your business, you can use business cards to give a custom look to your price tags. Customers will walk home with them and have your number handy.

Gift cards: Spice up your gift packaging by offering customers free gift cards with every order. The second side it could be yours to brand your company.

Pocket size billboards: Your message can be easily passed to by passers or visitors in a trade show. The more creative and informative, the more the chances it will end up in your prospects pocket for reference instead of be thrown away.

Referral cards: Create special referral cards and leave space so that your customers could write their information before passing the cards on. It is ideal if you are running a multilevel marketing team, an affiliate program, or have an incentive rewards program for referrals.

Appointment cards: Doctors, hair salons, mechanics, all use appointment cards to assure that their clients will be back. Find innovative ways to hand everyone an appointment card if your company service/product permits.

Coupons: Issue your own coupons and see sales skyrocket. It is a great way of tracking response of your promotional efforts if customers return a coupon in return for a discount. Create unique coupons for each campaign and do not forget to include "coupon code" if your company has the ability to sell online or over the phone.

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