This is one in a series of marketing articles that will explain
e-marketing in layman’s terms. This
information is provided to help you modify your online presence to get
your practice noticed.
Marketing Tip: Should You Still Be Using Printed Collateral ?
Prior to the mid 1990s when public
access to the internet came into being, marketing was accomplished using
printed materials. These included business cards, brochures, ads in
industry specific publications, and more. As we've illustrated over
the past year, the internet has created many efficient, effective
marketing opportunities that allow you to reach substantially more people.
Does that mean print collateral is dead ? No, just the opposite -
print advertising now has to be better than ever !
Before you start printing collateral however let's make sure you have all
the other elements in place:
designed that will work well in all formats
running and optimized for search
designed ( see -
Now that you have the basics in place
let's consider what printed materials are really necessary and which you
can cost justify:
A. Business Cards
Regardless of the nature of your practice you MUST have business cards
that are specific to your mediation / arbitration practice. They
should include color and your logo - cards that are white or cream with
cursive text will end up in the bottom of the pile. However if you
create a card with strong color and a great logo your card will stand out
in the pile and may be just enough to remind someone to pull it out.
Your business card needs to include just the basic contact info - name,
phone, website, and email address. As you probably mediate in a
variety of locations your address isn't going to be important anymore.
You would hate to have someone decide not to use you for a lucrative
mediation just based on the fact that you were geographically undesirable
! One quick note about your email address - while many of you like
to use gmail, hotmail, yahoo and other mail services....don't do it on
your business cards ! Using a free email service makes you look
unprofessional at best and often will make professionals who are sending
you private documents uncomfortable. The hosting provider for your
website will normally offer you free mailboxes that mirror your URL -
please use one of these !
Now that we rely so much on e-mail and phone it is important to give
people an easy way to ensure that they don't make a mistake when entering
your contact info into their database. The best way to to this is to
create a GR code and put it on the back of your business card. There
are apps out there where you can create this for free - for more detailed
information about GR codes and how to build them please read our prior
article on the topic (
We are often asked about brochures and whether or not they are of
value. The answer is yes, if designed and used correctly.
Assuming you are a small practice ( 1-4 professionals) a traditional 3
part foldover brochure is more than sufficient. On the other hand,
if you are a substantially larger group (8+) then a book style brochure is
probably going to be required. The downside of the book style
brochure is that they are expensive and tend to make the reader feel that
your services are going to be too expensive for them to use. On the
other hand, a well designed 3 panel brochure that includes basic details
on your mediators and services along with all your contact info should be
more than enough to pique the reader's interest. As you already have
a well designed website up and running...and you've listed it on the
brochure...then the rest of the information they need to know about your
practice will be found there.
Just starting out as a sole practitioner ? Well for you the single
panel piece (often called a rack card) that is the size of a business
envelope may be just the right tool for you. Both the three panel
and the single panel piece can easily fit in a standard business envelope
with your ONE PAGE letter of introduction. As you'll be mailing to a
lot of folks costs will be an issue and these two options are the least
C. Pens, calculators, golf balls, etc
Some people believe that if you really want a prospective client to
remember you that the best way to do it is to give them a tangible item
that they will use daily on which you can imprint your logo and / or
contact info. The problem with these printed promotional items
is that they get expensive very quickly and unless you are very careful
you might be spending a lot of money for something that goes into the
recipient's desk draw never to surface again.
The good news in the era of digital printing is that doing any of
the items we've suggested here can be done very cost effectively.
Large volume printers like VistaPrint and PrintPlace will inundate you
will offers as soon as they realize you are in business. Printing
500 business cards can even be free in some instances ! On the front
end you'll want to order manageable quantities of your printed materials
(remember if you mail to 5,000 people you're going to get a lot of
calls...and if you can't manage them all the caller isn't going to try
again). Digital printers can turn your order in as little as 3 days
so order what you'll need to start and then once you see what works, tweak
that brochure or card so that it will work as well as possible.
Questions about your own printed materials ? We'll be happy to
arrange a consultation for you so you look your best !
Michele Gibson is a Georgia-registered neutral and a certified
emerging media consultant. She is the president of Digital Smart
Tool, LLC – an e-marketing firm offering website design, SEO,
electronic newsletters, social media coaching, and marketing training
Phone: 404-592-3367 E-mail: