July 13, 2009


This week, we're pausing before the fourth and final part of the build-an-eNewsletter project. Why? To get the email addresses ready. Maybe you've already done this.

I scanned the 291 business cards stacked in three unsightly piles on my desk with my year-old-but-still-amazing Fujitsu ScanSnap S300. This saved space and created fuel for our outdoor firepit. What's more, looking at 291 cards in quick succession uncovered ways make your business card better. Less generic. You'll find some overlap with an earlier post on business card etiquette.

If you work in a large organization, you're probably stuck with your business card. The ideas may help your clients or business partners, though.

How Annoying
Business cards are for ... marketing and communication. Why not give complete information in a pleasing, easy-to-read format? Some cards had these annoyances:
  • hard to contact: no email address
  • hard to read: light colours, small text or illegible fonts
  • (playing) hard to get: "by referral" or other words to imply you're too busy to take on new clients. If you truly were, why hand out cards?
Promoting Others
Using email addresses from services like cogeco, gmail, hotmail, on.aibn.com, rogers, sympatico and yahoo hurts you in three ways:
  1. you're advertising another company (maybe one with a less than stellar reputation)
  2. you're making a switch to another email provider more difficult (why limit your options?)
  3. you're showing that you're minor league
Google will manage your email on your own domain for free with Google Apps Standard Edition. You can get a web address for $10 US or less.

Here's what made business cards stand out:
  • a photo (of the advisor)
  • a title (not just a name)
  • a tagline or slogan
  • expanding the cryptic designations
  • a map on the back
Next Step
With an additional 291 names, I've got oodles of potential recipients for the Marketing Reflections eNewsletter. I'll select advisors who warrant a subscription. Stay tuned.

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