Using a piece of paper to market manufactured housing online?

The Louisville Manufactured Housing Show was a rousing success. Exhibitors and attendees alike were in an upbeat mood and pretty much every exhibitor I talked to was happy with the results. This kind os show can put the industry on a positive footing as we head into 2011.

Trade shows are one of those places where one picks up a lot of business cards. I was there with the MHMSM.com crew – Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, Business Development Manager Jeff Templeton and Reporter Matthew Silver. We received cards from most of the exhibitors and many of the attendees.

One thing about those cards struck me as rather odd here in 2011. Many had no email address and many more had no website URL. Did they not have a website? Or were they doing the “penny-wise, pound-foolish” thing of using up older cards years after having a website?

Doing some quick calculation, I found that fully 61% of business cards collected at the show had no website address. That’s astonishing. If 61% of exhibitors and attendees have no website, I have little doubt that could be a major contributing factor in the falling sales figures for the past few years.

Email addresses on business cards were better, but not perfect. 10% had no email address.

Your business card is your personal-sized billboard. Using every part of it is in your best interest. Website URL and email are essential pieces of information these days.

Here is what my MHMSM business card looks like:

Bob Stovall's MHMSM Business Card front
Bob Stovall's MHMSM Business Card back

Notice how we used both the front and back of the card to convey our message. Of the cards we collected, only 5% utilized the back of the card for more information.

Business cards were and are part of your offline Social Networking system. You give away both sides when you hand out your business card – use them.

When I began to write this, I was thinking to myself that it was an awfully basic thing to post about. Then I thought about those 61% of business cards that had no email address and the 90% that didn’t use the real estate on the back of the card.

If your cards fit one of these descriptions, think about an immediate update. That little piece of card stock is one of the most important parts of your online marketing strategy.

Adapted from the article Business cards are an online marketing tool at OrangeCat.com

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