The Marketing Materials Every Business Needs Year Round
The marketing materials you choose to use can make a big difference in how your brand is perceived or how successful they are at driving business. In our digital world, many businesses use online tools to advertise their services, like a website, blog, and social media—but don’t discount the value of informative, professionally-designed print marketing materials.
A 2018 FedEx survey found that 85 percent of consumers said they’re more likely to shop with a small business that has professionally, custom printed materials, including business cards, flyers, or banners. What’s more, nine in 10 consumers agree that the quality of printed materials is an indication of the quality of service offered by the business.
Learn more about the print marketing materials you need and when you should begin prepping them for big holidays like Christmas and Easter.
Print Marketing Materials You Need
If you’re not sure where to start, be sure you have these five marketing materials added to your annual budget. Most businesses, from local restaurants to nationwide retailers, will need them throughout the year for events, promotion, branding and more.
Professional Business Cards
Business cards pack a huge punch in a small package. How many times have you been talking about your business at a networking event or in line at the grocery store, and someone said, “Great, do you have a card?”
Don’t let the answer be no and miss another business opportunity. Business cards are easy to design, portable, and inexpensive, so your answer to this question should always be “Yes.”
When designing your card, it should have a few key elements:
- Your company logo
- Your title
- Contact information, like your website and phone number
- Brand colors
- Brand font
- Something memorable, whether that’s the design or a catchy tagline
You can always keep a stack in your wallet or purse, so you’ll be prepared whenever you meet new people in need of your services. If you’re thinking, well, I’m online, I don’t need business cards, think again. Jonathan Long, Entrepreneur contributor explains:
“Email marketing, search engine optimization and paid media all do a great job of attracting leads and prospects, but they still aren’t as effective as an in-person meeting sealed with a handshake along with a business card exchange. You can encounter a potential lead or contact at any time—trade shows, industry conferences, happy hour, airport lounges—and arming yourself with business cards at all times will ensure that you never miss an opportunity to make a valuable business connection.”
If you don’t have business cards yet, or yours need an update, check out our business card templates and start designing today.
While business cards make it easy to communicate the essentials of your business, like your name and contact info, brochures allow you to get more granular and educate prospective customers.
Because brochures are also small and portable, you can get important information in front of people in an easy-to-digest format. Plus, brochures are an absolute must if you attend trade shows or conferences. They’re easily exchanged in person, giving you the opportunity to leave a lasting first impression for prospective clients or customers.
Make sure your brochure is eye-catching but not too distracting or cluttered. Include your company logo, critical details about your services, pricing, and contact info in a neat, professional design. If you’re not sure where to start, get some design ideas in our blog post, 13 Unique Brochure Designs for Creative Inspiration.
We’ve learned that business cards and brochures are important tools for in-person networking. Flyers, on the other hand, can help you spread the word about your business when you aren’t there physically. Flyers are used to promote new products, seasonal discounts, or events, and can be hung nearly anywhere your customers frequent.
For example, you can print a batch of flyers and post them up on local community boards. You may also be able to leave flyers with other local businesses who are willing to help promote your business, along with coffee shops, the local library—any place your ideal customer frequents. If you really want to incentivize people, include a coupon or pull-tab with a discount.
When you’re ready to design your flyer, get design tips and ideas in our blog post, How to Make a Great Flyer. Better yet, check out our flyer templates—just add your logo and brand font and you’ll be good to go.
You probably love getting postcards in the mail from friends, and that’s why they’re also a great way for you to get your business in front of community members. Not only do you avoid competing with online ads, but snail mail is a lost art—and if you do it well, you can make an impact. That’s probably why 58 percent of B2B marketers say print and offline promotion is the third critical to their overall marketing strategy.
Not to mention, direct mail has a higher response rate than digital, ranging from 5 to 9 times higher than email, paid search, or social media, according to the ANA/DMA 2018 Response Rate Report.
Like with flyers, including a discount or coupon is a great way to incentivize new customers to try your brand. It’s also a good way to track conversions—when customers present their coupon in person or use the code online, you’ll know your marketing strategy is working.
If you’re new to sending postcards, consider using Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM), offered through the USPS. This service allows you to improve targeting and can also help you save on shipping costs. Check out our guide to understanding EDDM and don’t miss our EDDM postcard templates.
Branded Envelopes and Letterheads
While postcards and flyers are effective for brand awareness, envelopes and letterheads lend themselves to an overall professional look for your business. It’s these little details that can influence whether a customer uses your business over a competitor. Plus, personalized stationery makes a great first impression and lets a prospective client know that you’re an established business.
When designing envelopes and letterhead, use a less-is-more approach. Include your company logo, and if it fits without looking cluttered, your contact information.
Design your first batch of branded stationary with our envelope templates & letterhead templates that range from sleek and simple to memorable and fun with a little pop of color. Then use your new custom envelopes to package information for customers or send invoices.
Start Prepping Your Print Materials Early
Don’t put your print marketing prep off to the last minute. Give yourself time to design and print for big holidays. We found that most small businesses start designing their Christmas print marketing material 7 to 8 weeks prior to Christmas and Easter marketing material 4 to 5 weeks ahead of Easter. The bigger the holiday, the earlier you need to start planning, designing and prepping—so build this into your marketing strategy well ahead of time.
A good rule of thumb is to start the design and print process 7 to 8 weeks ahead of time. This leaves plenty of time to approve the design, order prints, review it and reorder materials if a mistake is made.
Get Your Print Marketing Materials in Order
You don’t need to be a graphic designer to create marketing materials that make an impact. Once you have a professionally designed logo and brand guidelines, you can use MyCreativeShop’s templates to create everything from brochures to postcards. Remember to track effectiveness when you can, using print performance metrics. Optimize your strategy as you figure out what drives sales, what brings your brand to life and what falls flat to get the most out of your print marketing materials.