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Your Guerrilla Marketing Arsenal: Weapon #4 – Stationery

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Like last week’s post on business cards, stationery is a very inexpensive way to market your business professionally. From letterhead, envelopes, postcards and note cards, there are lots of opportunities to brand your business and ensure you are directing people to your online presence.

In everything that you do, you should always have at least three things on your print pieces: Your company name, your email address and your website. Above and beyond that, your name, address and phone number would also be important to have.

While printing locally is always an option, I always find great deals at sites like VistaPrint.com and UPrinting.com, and doing a quick search for coupons at those sites will typically net you savings of an additional 10-25%. Spend a few minutes of bargain hunting and you can spend next to nothing for some great stationary. And if you need help with design, just let me know. You can view some examples of our stationary designs here.

For my business, I’ve opted not to spend money on things like branded envelopes. Instead, I’ve printed off color address labels and have used those on regular white envelopes. It saves me a few bucks and still looks professional. I also make sure those labels have my website on there. It has nothing to do with the mailing address, but you never know who might see that in route to its destination.

My biggest stationary expensive comes at Christmas time, where I have always hand written holiday cards to my clients (we’ll talk more about that later). That said, a personal note to your best customers during the summer months, on a branded postcard or note card, may be a great reminder that you are thankful for their business, and you won’t be competing for their attention like you would around the holidays.

If you decide to dive into postcards, you may want to look at designing and mailing an oversized card. These are typically 8.5” x 5.5” (versus the standard 5.5” x 4” size). It might cost you a few extra bucks, but it will help you stand out from all the other mail businesses are getting. Remember, like all other print marketing, your messages should be concise and to the point. Avoid lots of wording and make sure to include a call to action.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure that your stationary carries your online brand into the print world. I’ve seen too much stationary that makes no mention of the company’s online presence, and that’s just missing a great opportunity.

Leave a comment and let us know how you are using stationery to promote your business!

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Your Guerrilla Marketing Arsenal: Weapon #3 – Business Cards

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I’ve used business cards since day one. In fact, I had my own cards before I even took on my first web design client. It’s such a simple concept that I think a lot of people undervalue their importance, especially in this digital age. It’s certainly a marketing tool that every small business owner, ministry and organization should be using, but let’s take a few minutes to think about how we’re actually putting those cards to use so they don’t collect dust in that fancy card holder you spouse picked up.

The biggest question you should ask yourself is how your business card is working for you? Beyond some contact information that can easily be entered into a phone or contact list and then discarded as quickly as it was given, does your card hold any other value?

What if the back of your card encouraged people to refer your services? If you sell merchandise online, what if you added a 5% off coupon code on the back? Adding a reminder to subscribe to your newsletter, or visit your blog, would be another great way to add value to your business card, making it work for you.

Any time I mail a contract out to my clients, or cards around the holidays, I make sure to include three of my business cards. As my business grows, more and more of my leads are generated by referrals, and having a few extra cards handy ensures my clients can easily recommend me to others if they wish. I also make sure to have a number in my wallet and a few in each of my cars. I never know when an opportunity will come to talk about my business and I’ve always been disappointed when I can’t execute on the question, “do you have a card?”

Another way to use business cards is to take out the personalization and simply use them as a cheap way to market your business. Think of it as a mini postcard that can easily fit in a pocket or wallet. My wife and I started a coupon site a few years back called shopestores.com and to help promote it, we designed a simple, two color design that included the logo, tagline and a short sentence talking about the site. Over the years, we’ve handed out thousands to friends and family, inserted in bills we’ve paid, left at restaurants with the tip and other miscellaneous places. It’s a great way to talk about your business without having to talk about your business.

Of course, the downside of business cards is that they are pretty hard to track their effectiveness. But thankfully, they are cheap to produce and easy to hand out. I would recommend many of the online printers like VistaPrint.com or UPrinting.com. I recently purchased 2500 cards for under $60 (with shipping). And if you need help with design, just let me know. You can view some more examples of our business card and stationary designs here.

At the end of the day, your business cards should be working for you and doing more than simply sharing your contact information. If not, you are missing out on a wide range of opportunities.

Remember, it’s up to you to keep the conversation going. I’ll be back soon with more weapons for your guerrilla marketing arsenal.

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