Business Reply Cards
Sending out form cards to business contacts for various reasons is the equivalent of thank you notes outside the business world. It is easy to see it as a formality with very little value except to be polite. But reply cards and cards you use before or after an event have a lot of marketing value if you are just looking for them.
Reply and reminder cards do something that you otherwise would not be able to do in regards to your customers. They give you a legitimate opportunity to address them when you might not have had that open door otherwise. A good example is business birthday reply cards. You took the time to collect birthdays of your customers at some point when you first did business with them. Now use that wealth of information to activate your reply card system to send out birthday congratulations with a cheerful and colorful card. If you can personally write a message on the card and even include a small "gift" such as a generous discount coupon, that could bring a customer back to you that you had not seen for a while.
The key is to make your reply or response cards items that inspire action by the customer or business contact that is getting the card. Reply cards are often used for thank you notes or notification of some change in the business profile. And when you are sending out hundreds or more of such cards, you may not want to encourage each recipient to call for an appointment.
But let's look at this as marketing people. Do you ever see 100% response to any marketing effort? People that create marketing campaigns know how to calculate the expected response. But if you knew from marketing studies and experience that utilizing a business contact card in combination with a marketing initiative would result in a 30% or 40% increase in customer interest, that is no reason not to do it. If anything, that is good reason to see reply cards as possibly the most powerful form of marketing you can do and look for more ways to interact with customers in this way.
This may be a new concept to view courtesy mailings and cards with a marketing angle. But let's face it, in this modern world EVERYTHING has a marketing angle. By working with your marketing team to create a subtle but effective marketing slant to a friendly greeting, a birthday or holiday greeting or an announcement to your customers, you take existing relationships and active them for future business. There really is no better marketing approach than tapping your known customer base for more business. If you bring in referrals into the contact, you really have a powerful marketing idea. And to think this idea was laying quietly in your business reply system that until now was nothing more than a courtesy system. This is a far better use of that postage to be sure.