Rack Cards: Creative Marketing and Design Tips
Just about a week ago, one customer came into my office telling me that they wanted to turn some of their marketing effort to traditional marketing such as rack cards. Without thinking, I looked at her for about a few seconds and that one phrase just stuck into my mind. Traditional marketing? So rack cards or anything printed are now considered as something like an old school material? Something like a thing of the past?
Maybe because I’m in the business of helping people with their marketing strategies, I never realized how fast the digital media has overturned something that I believe is still working effectively - at least to the mind of other people. While I can’t deny the power of the Internet, print marketing has its own territory that online marketing cannot take place. Like rack cards. Cheap rack cards.
I have to mention cheap because really – how much will it cost you? Five, eight, or even 25 cents? A few centavos that can drive people to your business can also be called power.
There was a study done by a neuroscientist Millward Brown about the difference of print and digital media. They examined the brain of the subjects using functional magnetic resonance imaging and they found out that there’s more emotional process going on when someone is interacting with physical material than virtual. Because the physical experience generates more emotion, it is more capable of being part of someone’s memory, which in turn helps in the development of brand association. The study also mentioned that the “real” experience that the physical media provides has more personal effect and therefore aids in motivation.
I believe that in order to succeed in this competitive business world, we have to use both media. Choosing one over the other is like selling your product on this side of the road only and not be bothered with the opportunity available on the other side.
Advertising with rack card is one of the most effective tools in marketing. There’s a thousand ways business owners are using it to promote awareness. You can see them in the banks, hotels, front desks, information booths, waiting area, convenience stores, travel centers, and practically any place with a lot of foot traffic.
The Many Ways That You Can Use Rack Cards
• Product awareness
Add an image with attractive headline and you will have people learning about your product. You can add a short description with features and benefits and a call to action if you want.
• Event Programs
Not only businesses capitalize on the use of rack cards. Because of its effectiveness, even those who organize events or programs use it to announce something.
• Services Offered
Doctors, dentists, salon owners, or any person who offers different kinds of services use rack cards by detailing each of the services with short explanation.
Restaurants with a short list of menu also use rack cards. The big ones use it to promote the latest or the slow moving items on their menu.
• Added Service
Some businesses use rack cards to add extra mileage to their business by printing down some of their simple tips or guide with their contact information along with it.
To make sure that their brand and contact information stays in front of their customers, they print a calendar for their customers to use on their desk.
If your product or service is about food, give out rack cards with measurement conversion chart or list of ingredients substitute. Whatever it is, do not forget your contact information.
Rack cards are perfect for travel agencies and hotels. They print maps of other places that they promote so that their guest will carry them home and bring them anywhere they go.
Rack Card Design Tips According to Purpose
Rack Cards for Movies and Theaters
People in the business of entertainment use rack cards to promote their upcomingfilm or show. What they do is they print glimpses of scenes that will stir emotions to the onlooker with the title in bold text. Some of them even contain testimonials or positive reviews to entice audience to watch it.
Rack Cards for Parties
Businesses that offer party venues use rack cards to promote brand awareness. Aside from other services that they offer, they tickle the reader’s emotion by designing the rack card with pictures that will excite their feelings bringing fun.
Rack Cards for Beauty Salon and Spa
By its name, this kind of business wants to bring beauty and a feeling of tranquility to whoever looks at their rack cards. And because beauty salon and spa caters mostly to women, pictures of women feeling relaxed and good about herself can easily invite an onlooker to spend her time at the salon. Content includes services offered, contact information, opening hours, and name of a famous specialist if they have one.
Rack Cards for Wedding
Not only one business capitalizes on wedding occasions. Photographers, caterers, party venues, wedding planners, and even travel agencies use rack cards to promote their service. And again pictures of loving couple and memorable stuff that symbolizes the union of two people is a great way to attract the couple to get their service.
Rack Cards for Charities
The key to make rack cards appealing to onlookers is to put pictures of people in dire need, but smiling as they pose together with a group of caretakers or missionaries at work. Then, add some text that stirs the emotion and make the reader feel like they can make a difference.
Rack Cards for Food Industry
Some experts believe that colors such as red and yellow makes people feel hungry. Green makes them feel that they are eating something fresh and healthy. So if you are in the food industry, it will be a good idea to use these colors then add pictures of fresh foods or beverage. Some restaurants use rack cards to promote their food items with contact number for delivery.
Rack Cards for Travel Industry
Aside from services and pictures of exciting places to visit, one thing that can make a prospective client pick up a rack card is a map of the place they would want to visit. There you can highlight the business establishments you are tied up with.
Things to Remember when designing your rack card
Rack Card Design Tips:
1. Do not limit yourself with colors and pictures. What I mean is limit the texts and maximize the space with photographs. The key is to make someone passing by look and pick up your rack card first. Then once they have it in their hand, that’s when they begin to read.
2. Make the headlines as bold as possible. Rack cards are usually placed among other print materials. So you want to make sure that that your rack card stands out to make people want to pick it up. Use a simple, but snappy headline in bold color and simple font.
3. Features, benefits, services, product descriptions. Those are information that you want to put on your rack card. The rule is: you have to choose the words that you will use very carefully. You have limited space and limited time for your target customer to read. So make the message short but clear, direct, succinct and compelling.
4. Know your audience. The photograph that you’ll put on the rack card should speak to your target customer. It should stir their emotion to make them want to pick it up and buy what you are selling. An example is a rack card for wedding. A picture of a loving couple in wedding clothes, holding hands and walking by the sunset will certainly attract couples planning to get married.
5. Consider the environment. You have to check where you intend to put the rack cards. It cannot blend in the background or nobody notices it. You have to remember that you only have a few seconds to catch the attention of passers. Choose colors that that are in contrast with the background.
6. Add value. A great way for someone to notice and pick up your rack card is by adding something that people can use. Aside from awareness, you can also put a coupon, a referral, loyalty, points or reward card at the bottom of your rack card to double its purpose. Be sure to track them to help you determine which of them works best.
7. Proofread. Simple as that
Digital marketing tools cannot replace the effectiveness of rack cards. It is a timeless method of conveying your message to the market. If anything, it can be used to bridge the connection between printed marketing and online presence.