Drop cards marketing is a popular and inexpensive marketing technique used by just about every online, direct sales or brick-and-mortar business with service personnel or sales agents in the field.
The concept is simple. You print your marketing message on a standard size 2”x 3.5” card and literally “drop” them anywhere. They can be planted or dropped in retail store check out lanes, store shelves, phone booth coin slots, ATM machines, gasoline dispensers or on car windows in parking lots, to name just a few.
It’s an impulse thing
An effective drop card arouses curiosity in a prospect to keep the card and call or go to a website as soon as possible. With today’s smart cell phone technology, calls or visits to your website can happened now depending upon your message’s appeal.
While the now response is what we want, more likely a prospect will keep the card, intending to follow up later.
Don’t sell your card, sell your message
Drop card designs vary from simple to complex. Simple designs have just 1-3 lines of sales copy with an 800# or web site address printed at the bottom. Complex designs offer full color images of the sales staffer complete with background and business logo, with sales copy mixed in for a product or service.
Elaborate designs sometimes backfire, because they’re so busy the message is lost resulting in a lower response rate. It’s like a billboard on the freeway that has so much copy you can’t read it all before you go whizzing by. Don’t sell the card, sell your message.
The key is use quality card stock. Never use flimsy stuff that’s way too thin, or those awful-looking computer-generated cards printed on your printer. Their perforated edges are a dead-giveaway that screams Cheap! Avoid!
Cards printed on bright day-glo stock with bold, black block lettering are OK.
Let your copy do all the work
Keep your card’s copy simple, short and to the point. You’re using the cards to get a response, a call or visit to your web site. Too much copy kills the curiosity impulse.
Folks quickly respond to short message bursts in our fast-paced lifestyles. You just never know who’s out there looking for a ways to make additional income or buy products that fit a need.
On a small drop card, you’re limited to what you can say. Anyone who picks up your card will quickly scan your message. It the copy is good, the prospect will slip it into a pocket to act on later. Keep in mind that folks quickly forget, so your card may become temporarily buried. A lot of time can pass before your prospect, or someone else finds your card and acts. Patience Grasshopper!
Never print a local phone number on a drop card. If a retail store manager gets ahold of one, you can bet that you’ll be getting a nasty cease and desist call. An 800 number prevents this, providing a layer of anonymity between you, your prospect, or undesirables.
800 numbers allow prospects to call now
An 800 number guarantees a higher response rate compared to a residence or generic business telephone number. That’s ‘cause business 800 numbers are the norm today and enhances your direct sales business image, even when most of us work from home. Who’s to know?
Another plus is the services provided by an 800 number vendor allows for cal filtering by setting up a que. Printing your business phone number on your card may result in all sorts of nasty callbacks, from the definitely uninterested and bored, to crazed, heavily accented Eastern European criminals threatening that your computer is infected by their viruses and malware and you must buy their solution. Don’t laugh. This has happened to me more than once and to several folks I know. Filtering allows for a quick delete.
The impact of Smart Phone technology
With smart phones, prospects can call or visit your website imm4ediately to access your message. Make sure your homepage is geared to providing needed information. If a prospect doesn’t see or hear what interests them, they can bounce out just as quick. If you’re packin’ a smart phone, call ‘em back pronto!
Don’t ignore the computer challenged
Some folks are technologically unskilled and don’t have a computer. Others who do remain clueless about how to turn it on, much less use it. The older generation fits this category, folks who don’t know a byte from a bite. But they’ll respond to an 800 number to call and chat with someone live.
Where to place drop cards
Here’s good how-to video that shows examples of how to place drop cards within a retail outlet. The techniques that Jeff provides can easily be translated to any retail store, outlet, or your local Mega Mart.
Just be sure that as you scout locations in the store to place your cards, do so cool and casually. Don’t arouse suspicion by acting like your casing the joint. Or the PoPo might stop you and say hello.
Where to place drop cards
Credit Card point of sale machines
Bookstores 1-2 in each book
Bulletin boards in coin-op: laundries
Retail variety stores
Mom & pop shops
Big box retailers
Hotel rooms & lobbies
Shopping mall dressing rooms
Newspaper stands and racks
Parking lots on vehicle side windows
Pay phone coin slots
Post Office tables
Medical Waiting Rooms
These are just a few online sources. But if you plan to test your marketing messages before advancing to a larger print order, you can find any number of local printers right in your home town.
Vista Print 1000 $23.24
OvernightPrints 1,000 $9.49