Everything You Need to Know About Rack Card Marketing
When you check in at a hotel, see a musical or a play, you will most likely see a stack of rack cards prominently displayed in the hotel or theatre lobby. These cards have an eye-catching design, colorful graphics, super thick paper stock, and a short but deliberate marketing message. Like business cards, brochures, flyers, banners, and notepads, rack cards are a printed promotional tool used to advertise a brand, service, or product.
No matter which product or service it is that you are offering, you can rely on custom rack cards to deliver your marketing message for you. Let’s say that you are the owner of a charming bed and breakfast. On the reception area of your establishment, you can display a stack of custom rack cards for guests to pick up and maybe distribute to their other friends. If you’re the owner of a small theatre production company, you can print rack cards and display them at the receiving area of the place where one of your shows is being held.
What’s good about this form of print advertising is that the people who will grab one of your rack cards are already targeted audiences. Someone who’s seeing a play is already interested in theatre so he or she will be interested with what’s written in your rack card. A hotel guest will most probably check in again or recommend that a friend check in the same hotel. Custom rack cards are tangible and can be kept for practically a lifetime, so word of mouth spreads and your market message “lives” for a long time.
If you’re still hesitant about using rack cards to advertise your business, here are a few more quick facts about them:
- Business owners and professionals from various industries use rack card printing for advertisement.
Those who will order rack cards online are owners of theatres, hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, restaurants, theme parks, water parks, museums, and similar establishments. Professionals from other industries like medical or engineering may also use rack cards and display them in their clinics or offices.
- Rack cards advertisement is usually done in areas where there is heavy foot traffic.
When you order rack cards online, remember that they are usually displayed in areas where there is heavy foot traffic. This means that you should create content and an overall design that truly stands out. The printed promotional material should be compelling enough for a person to stop in his or her tracks to grab one card. Again, your audience is already targeted – so how can you turn your direct market into an actual sale? By writing compelling content and having an eye-catching design, you can make people want to bring home one of your rack cards.
- When you print rack cards, the available space can more than meet your advertising needs.
Business cards have a standard size of 3.5” x 2” so all you can print on it are your contact details and maybe a short marketing tagline. Brochures and flyers can be folded to create up to eight panels – so there’s plenty of space available. Postcards come in a variety of sizes, while rack cards usually come in 4’ x 9” or 3.5” x 8.5” sizes. Rack cards have more space than business cards or postcards, but less space than brochures. Turn this into an advantage by being creative while writing compelling content that will hold the attention of your readers.
- Rack cards are versatile.
Aside from being used as a display in areas where there’s heavy foot traffic, print rack cards and you can also use them as mailers. If you already have a mailing list for postcards, you can insert a rack card or two in your regular mailers and send them out to customers. Rack cards can also be distributed in trade shows, posted on public bulletin boards, and distributed like flyers while out on the streets.
Types of Rack Cards Available
Next, when you order rack cards, what are the options that you can choose from? Since these cards are mostly used as displays in hotel lobbies, the size of rack cards is pretty much standard:
- 3.5” x 8.5” rack cards with a tear-off business card option
First, you can order go for what rack cards online companies are usually offering: 3.5” x 8.5” rack cards with a tear-off business card option. As the name implies, you can have custom rack cards that have a business card portion which can be torn off. What’s good about this is that you are giving customers the option to remove the business card from the rest of the rack card, and keep it for the contact information. The novelty of the design is also one way to attract your target market.
When going for this option, make sure that the portion which does not contain the business card is designed without overcrowding the space. Limit the text to the benefits that the reader will enjoy upon taking advantage of the products or services that you are offering. Use a writing style that seems as if you’re talking directly to them. Again, the design, colours, font used, and overall look of the rack card should be eye-catching enough for anyone passing by to stop and take notice.
With just a very small size difference from rack cards with a tear-off business card option, these 4” x 9” cards are perhaps the most popular. When going for this type of rack card printing, make sure that the printing company offers full colour high-definition prints. You can’t get the same quality from desktop digital printers, so it’s best to go for the offset printing method.
Aside from these two sizes, you can also get custom rack cards with perhaps a slight variation in length and width of the paper. However, if you want the rack cards to fit the display cases where they are usually put, it’s best to stick with the popular sizes.
A Guideline for when You Order Rack Cards
When you are looking for a rack cards online company, what things should you keep in mind? Just like when taking advantage of any other type of service, it is best to go for companies that specialize in rack card printing. You can always go with digital printing companies that offer their services for a cheap price, but you might get less-than-professional-looking results. Printed promotional materials is something that you want to impress your customers with, so it is best to go for the offset printing method when you print rack cards.
These are other things to consider when looking for the best rack card printing company out there:
- Do a research on the quality of services offered.
Make a comparison of the rack cards online companies available. Again, in terms of quality, it is better to go with rack cards made using the offset printing method. With this, state-of-the-art printing presses are used where the latest in printing technology is applied. These huge machines can handle even the most complex printing jobs. Not only will they deliver professional-looking results, but you can have hundreds or even thousands of rack cards printed out within a very short amount of time.
A task like rack card printing can be quite costly but if you’re dealing with a company that has high-end equipment, a solid customer base, and plenty of printing experience, there should be no reason why you should pay more than you have to. To make sure that you are getting the best deal, make a comparison of the costs quoted by different companies when you order rack cards. Digital printing may cost a bit more but if offset printing is stellar in terms of quality, the extra investment will be well worth it in the end. Remember that print advertising is tangible so customers would know if you scrimped or invested in good quality rack cards.
- Ask about the turnaround time or delivery speed.
You might have thought about rack cards at the very last minute, but the good news is that you can print rack cards within as short a time as 24 hours. This is a rushed printing job where you can get the rack cards shipped within the next 24 hours after you order. Just expect to pay more for the speed of the service.
If you’re in no rush to get a hold of the product when you order rack cards, the most popular – and reasonable – turnaround time is 2 to 3 business days. You can also go for 3 to 4 business days; 5 to 7 business days; or 7 to 10 business days. If you need the printing job to be rushed, take note of the cut-off time of the printing company so that you can give them ample time to prepare everything.
- What other perks does the printing company offer?
If it’s your first time to print rack cards, do you even know how to design one? If you don’t want to hire a professional to do it for you, look for companies that will allow you to use their custom rack cards templates. For instance, if you want to order rack cards which are sized 3.5” x 8.5”, you can view, save, and download a template so that you can design the card for free. It is much better if there is a do-it-yourself online rack card design tool that you can use. This means that you will save on costs because you don’t need to hire a graphic designer to design it for you. Still, the quality will be good because the tools or templates are specifically chosen by the printing company.
- How about a guarantee on the quality of work?
Even if you want to print rack cards with the minimum quantity of, say, 100 pieces – and you need it within the next 24 hours – there should be no sacrificing the quality of work delivered. The printing company should have a quality control department that’s dedicated to ensuring that the paper stock used, the colors, coating application, and overall design of the rack card all pass inspection.
If you want, you can check on the client testimonials which are usually indicated on the website of the printing company. You can also personally ask other people who have had printing jobs done in the past. If the printing company can deliver the goods, word of mouth will spread about their business.
A Final Word about Using Rack Cards for Advertising
When you print rack cards, remember that they should be part of a complete line of printed promotional materials. To make sure that business partners, customers, and suppliers are up-to-date about your contact information, have a batch of high-quality business cards printed out. To develop customer trust and loyalty, regularly send out postcards. When doing a product launch or rebranding, distribute flyers and brochures. For corporate giveaways, have magnets, buttons, notepads, letterheads, envelopes, and other novelty items made. Rack cards should be prominently placed in areas where there is heavy foot traffic. They can also be used as promotional materials where you can include QR codes or discount codes when presented in-store or online. The key is to combine the quality of the printed promotional materials with the benefits that customers will get from them.
More importantly, see to it that your print promotional campaign is working alongside a solid digital campaign. Your social media accounts, website, and online store – if you have one – should all be active and continuously engaging your followers.
By keeping these things in mind, you can harness the full power or rack cards advertising for the advantage of your brand and the continuous growth of your business.