Imagine going into a prospect or customer’s office and taping your business card to their wall or perhaps the corner of their desk? Chances are you’d find yourself being escorted out of their office by security with a firm invitation not to come back…ever!
Now imagine your customer voluntarily putting your contact information on their wall and referring to it on a daily basis. Sound far-fetched? If your contact information is printed on a calendar; be it a wall, desk, pocket or magnetic calendar, chances are your customer will find a place to give it a home The reality is that even though we use the electronic calendars on our computers and phones, the paper calendar is still one of the most cost-effective promotional products you can purchase.
Here are a few statistics that may surprise you:
- 98% of all homes and virtually 100% of all businesses have at least one calendar.
- The typical person has 2.5 calendars in their working area and/or home (not sure why they would put up half a calendar!!).
- 87% of householders and 94% of business recipients recall the advertising message displayed on their calendar.
- Recipients say if they weren’t given a calendar they would purchase one from a retail outlet.
- You can choose from hundreds of stock calendars with themes and pictures such as food, sports cars, big rigs, medical, Americana, lighthouses, airplanes, homes, beaches, Norman Rockwell, Native Americans, motorcycles, wildlife and the list goes on and on. Stock calendars have several areas you can customize with your company’s information.
Better yet, for reasonable minimum quantities, you can create a custom calendar using your own look and design, photographs you choose and copy throughout to tell your company’s story. Use your imagination and think of a custom calendar as a blank slate. Here are a few ways to make your calendar more useful depending on who your audience is:
- Add 12 coupons that can be used, one per month, over the course of the year. These give customers, be they retail or corporate, a reason to do business with you each month. 10% off on their next purchase, buy one get one free or discounts on seasonal items. Chick fil-A, a national restaurant chain puts out an amazing calendar each year, charges $5 for it and includes coupons worth 10 times that much in discounts and free food items.
- People will rarely throw something out with their name on it and with variable printing, you can now literally personalize each page of a custom calendar with a client’s name. Create a mailing to your data base with personalized calendars or have the account executives deliver them personally to their customers. How cool is that?
- If this is being given to workers or customers where safety is important, add relevant safety tips each month. Workplace safety is a huge concern given insurance and medical costs and reinforcing safety with monthly or even daily safety reminders is smart.
- Use the calendar as a way to get employees involved. Have a contest for the best recipes, most creative photography or best suggestions to improve their areas and include those on each month’s page.
- Pick a format that fits the people you’ll be giving them to. For those who sit in cubicles, pick a functional desk calendar that doesn’t take up a lot of space. For warehouses or home use a wall calendar might be your best choice. There are calendar cards, one-sheet 12 month calendars, desk calendars, magnetic calendars and pocket calendars. Work with your calendar professional to choose the right format for your business.
If you’re looking for inspiration go to your local book store and browse through the rows of retail calendars and see what’s selling. Also notice the retail price on those calendars; from $10 to $25. Keep in mind if you produce 5,000 custom calendars for your company chances are you’ll be able to get them for less than $5.00. Let’s say your client refers to that calendar you give them once a day every day for the next year (most likely they’ll look at it multiple times each day), your cost per exposure is a little more than a penny per view. Not to mention the long-term exposure your message gets which tends to build trust with your customer in a non-invasive way.
Calendars are a wonderful way to advertise your message in places you couldn’t pay for no matter how deep your pockets. Even in this world of technology they continue to be a great advertising investment and now is the best time to start working on your 2015 calendar. There are typically discounts given if you order before the end of April and most companies will hold the calendars you purchase now until the fall when you are ready to hand them out.
I’m not sure anyone will let you tape your business card to their wall, but most people will gladly put a calendar up with your advertising, especially if it is creative and informative. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, or in this case keep your name in front of those important to you.