Here are some tips from Direct2Print on how to stand out from your competitors and show you how to show that you offer a personal service.
The High Street card shops seem to have out-lasted the print and copy shops. They always seem to be busy – so some people still must like buying and sending cards.
And we get many artists, writers and individuals who use our digital printing service for small quantities of cards based upon their own designs or images.
Sending a card remains the most common reason most people go to the post-box.
The market is said to be worth about £1.6bn per annum and employ something in the region of 100,000 people.
However, recent research by Ofcom shows that high postage costs, texting and social media have all contributed to a reduction in the volume of people sending cards.
But with fewer cards this should represent an opportunity for businesses to stand out from their competitors.
Greetings cards offer a way to build a relationship with your clients in order to develop a sense of customer loyalty.
There is something special about receiving a greetings card.
They are tangible and can be printed on many different forms and textures of cards – so they appeal to more senses than most other forms of business communication.
Even if you send them out with a Statement or other correspondence – they can add a nice personal touch.
And with online print the whole order process is relatively simple.
Here are just five possible areas which should be seen as opportunity for a small business:-
The 5 Top Business Applications for printed cards
1. Christmas Cards
Every year we print fewer Christmas Cards, mainly due to lower demand.
But Christmas cards are a very effective form of direct mail.
You can send Christmas Greetings as an e-card for a fraction of the cost of a card – but how memorable are they?
Many recipients fear they carry a computer virus and send them to the “Trash” folder without even opening them!
Yet you know a Christmas card made from a child’s painting would always take pride of place on the mantelpiece of a friend or relative.
In the same way a Christmas card is on a client’s desk for a few weeks of the year – and each year there are fewer others around that compete for the same attention!
Christmas is the one occasion in the year to say “Thank you for the business” and it can do wonders for your PR because no strong sales message is needed.
2. New Year’s Cards
The period after the Christmas break is a tough time for most businesses.
In order to build up some form of sales momentum it is the traditional time for a “Sale” or to move unwanted stocks.
A New Year’s card arriving when your client gets back to work when activity is quiet is sure to be noticed.
Then - when you make that first sales call in the New Year the greeting is sure to be warmer and more genuine!
3. Thank You Cards
We have a large number of customers who send a simple Thank You card after a transaction has been made.
They are even more important for high value transactions.
We have house builders who send a “Welcome to Your New Home” card and exclusive car dealers who send an “Enjoy Your New Vehicle” card as a way of saying thanks.
They are also popular after a funeral or a wedding when the family wish to extend thanks to all the people who have helped with making arrangements or have supported them.
One wedding photographer supplies them free of charge to the bride and groom. They are printed with their own logo, website and contact details on the back. And have been proven to be a good source of obtaining business by recommendation from the guests who attended.
4. Reminder Cards
When you provide a service that requires regular check-ups or visits then a Reminder Card is a perfect way of communication.
Dentists, chiropodists, opticians and medical establishments send cards because appointments have been made some time ago and not everyone has a good diary system.
Just like you, clients get busy and mentally put things off.
Dropping them a card might get them thinking about you again.
Rather than just a bland black and white postcard – why not add a colourful image with a special incentive to encourage your recipient to take action?
Motor dealers who provide vehicle servicing and annual testing could send cards to try and get a repeat sale with photos of some of their stock vehicles in case they fancied a “trade-in”.
One particularly effective application is for a Central Heating contractor who sends out Reminder cards for a boiler service during the summer months when they would normally be quiet – to offer a special incentive to service before the cold weather begins.
With digital printing you can be creative with the possible applications.
5. Special Date Cards
Unlike the other applications for cards there are some opportunities to send a card as a gesture that will be really appreciated.
They can be to commemorate any specific dates like birthdays or anniversaries. Or they can be dates based upon your own marketing plans – for example, advanced notification of a Flash Sale or a Special Promotion.
With a good database you can even be very creative with variable data and merge text and images so each recipient gets an individually personalised message.
So there are many other possibilities and applications. Some we do not even understand ourselves – including this regular order below for cards with a horse’s face on the front - sent out by a Racing Tipster with a lime green envelope.
But our online digital printing service can present any business with a real opportunity to stand out from the crowd.
When ordering greeting cards at www.direct2print.co you simply upload your own design and personalise it in the best way possible.
So the next time you consider sending greetings by email – think which you would prefer – a message to your inbox or a card through your post-box!
And if you happen to know the birthday of your main contact at a client’s company, be sure to put it in your diary – it could come in handy one day!