With Spring here, warm weather right around the corner, and everyone itching to get outside, it’s a great time to reinvigorate your business. Now, I don’t personally have a small business, but I do have plenty of experience purchasing from them. Through this, I have come across several great marketing tools used by businesses that have kept me coming back time and time again. Surprisingly, these initiatives are traditional, classic marketing tools – business cards, stamps, and cards. Who would have thought that traditional, old school marketing tactics would be making their way back in 2021? Don’t get me wrong, we are still heavily centered in the digital age, but for small business, tangible and personalized items are becoming the wave of the future.
The following are 3 marketing concepts to personalize, customize, and individualize your business in a budget-friendly way:
A pretty simple thing to have, but business cards really do stand the test of time. With everything going digital, I do still appreciate when I receive something tangible from time to time. With that said, if you don’t have business cards yet – buy some. I don’t mean to be so blunt, but this is one of the easiest and most budget-friendly ways to get your name out there! Speaking from experience, and being a millennial no less, I have saved several business cards of companies that I’ve really liked.
When purchasing from Etsy, I always thought it was a great idea when a seller included a business card in the package. It may just be me, but I have a tendency of forgetting the small businesses I purchase from. Even if I previously received an email from them, with all the emails I receive on a daily basis, this can easily get lost in my inbox. Having a business card ensures that if I really like the item or the business, I know exactly where I can find their information to buy from them again – without scouring through my inbox.
In one of my purchases from Etsy, I received two business cards. Initially I thought this was a mistake, but then it got me thinking… what a great idea! If you really liked what you purchased, you’re going to want to spread the word, and having a second business card is a simple way to get the key information out to potential future customers. I was recently in this situation myself – a friend commented on my recent purchase and I was able to give her my second business card so she could buy something, too. Each business card on its own isn’t a huge expense and including an extra one can improve the chance of your customers spreading the word about your business. A big part of your business is word of mouth, so why not make it that much easier for people to get the word out?
If you have a physical store, business cards are just as important – putting business cards out on the counter (or just adding one to someone’s bag) is a great idea. Customers could be coming in from out of town, so make sure to include your website, if you have one, so they can easily find you online to make future purchases. Even if a customer is local to the area, giving them more information to find you again never hurts. Accessibility can only help your business.
What I’ve discovered in most, if not all, of my purchases from small businesses, is they usually include some sort of company identifier. Majority of the time it’s a two-sided card that is thanking me for my purchases and giving a little detail about the company and/or the item. These touches of originality are great add-ons because they reinforce the important and original information about your company and what you sell/create. If your funds are no longer able to support these types of custom printed marketing pieces, using a customized stamp with your name and logo is a great, cost-effective way to get your name out there. It may not be as fancy as what you are used to sending out, but it still adds a nice, customized touch.
Another great way to differentiate yourself from other small businesses is by showing how important each individual customer is to you. About three years ago I was looking for a local business where I could buy soap (I was living in Chicago at the time). I found a company that looked good, had great reviews and once I received the product, I understood why. There are so many small businesses that make soap, so why have I been buying from them ever since, even now living in Massachusetts? In my first online purchase I received a handwritten note thanking me for my purchase and telling me they hope I enjoy their products. That little touch went a long way. It showed me just how much they care about and believe in their products and want their customers to enjoy them. The more you can customize the note, whether it’s talking about a specific product that the customer purchased or suggesting a like item that goes well with their purchase, makes it that much more appreciated. Yes, this takes a little extra effort and time, but for me, because of this extra effort (and of course enjoying their products) I have become a lifelong customer. A note like this doesn’t have to be long – just 1 to 3 sentences on a small note card will do the trick. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that make the biggest difference.
So, there you have it. Three simple marketing ideas from the past, that have made their way back to the future. Business cards, stamps, and handwritten personalized thank you cards are budget friendly, help keep your current customers, and help gain new ones.