Scratch some Success
Put scratch pads to work on your next promotion...
Many, many times I've reported the successful use of scratch pads. You know it's true.
This one came in from Richmond Engraving, a company we use from time to time, and this smart sales rep just sent it along to me as a friendly reminder of their services. How nice. What made this a stand-out was Kathy attached her business card to the pad with a nice hand-written note "hope to see you in Richmond soon!" You can bet the card goes right into my card-dex for future use, and that I'll be sure to call Kathy the very next time I need high quality engravings.
Several years ago I shared my plywood plans for making your own padding press. Many readers wrote to let me know they had put it to good use. Guess what they sent! Sure -- scratch pads.
This is a super promotion for both existing clients, as a reminder, and new clients as a door-opener. The most effective scratch pads are the ones with the low key promotion copy, and the coolest graphics. Think about what you'd like to have decorating your scratch pads. Take a visit to the local Hallmark shop and soak in the very effective ideas. I'm sure you'll come up with ideas that fit your target market, and product offerings to a tee.
Promote Yourself with a little padding
At the recent Multicom I picked up a number of really well produced pads. The printing industry of course, likes pads because they're inexpensive to product, and usually takes care of piles of trim-off paper. What a great way to use scraps.
Mobility Inc, a lithographer in Richmond VA gave a nice 5.5 x 8.5 pad with a simple color bar across the bottom, and their contact info set at a slant. There is actually a very light ghost pattern of their logo in the background which, unfortunately, could not be picked up by the scanner. It's a nice, highly usable pad printed on offset paper.
Make it fit the client: What better way to promote the Triangle Printing Company, than a triangular scratch pad! These were very innovative, and quite a few attendees commented on the design. These too were printed in process color on a 60 lb. offset paper.
While the shape is unique -- super reinforcement of the company's name, I felt they went a little overboard with decoration. Three unrelated visual images seem to all compete for the theme; a little wizard, Santa like character, the rainbow triangle at the top and a ghosted stop watch. As you can see the ghost did scan, probably a clue that it's too dark for comfortable scratch pad use. I try to avoid putting image where the user would be writing their notes. Interesting to note: Triangle did not use an address, so now I have no idea where they are. (Pop Up a close-up of this pad.)
S&S Graphics from Baltimore used bold type, "memo" and a rainbow bar to decorate their pads, which I suspect will be a highly popular pad. While I don't usually recommend lines on a pad, theirs are gray and spaced as more of a graphic element than lines to actually write on. The color gray is nearly too dark for writing over. Theirs was very thick with nearly 100 pages.
There were lots and lots of other pads at the show ranging from very small Post-It note pads, in all kinds of shapes and colors to full size 8.5 x 11 pads for serious note-taking. Many of the samples simply weren't really intended to be used which is a real shame. One company printed their pads on coated enamel stock. Impossible to write on even if it does show off color printing well. Another had their pad so full of advertising that it seemed like a pad of ads. Probably intended for file thirteen.
Tips for effective scratch pads:
- Always use a 'writable' paper, NOT coated or high tooth colors.
- Keep advertising to a minimum. Make contact info very small
- Keep the major portion of the surface open for writing. Don't cluster it up.
- Bright color stock always stands out and people are more inclined to use it
- Make sure the pads stay together. Several we got broke off the chip backing before we got them back to the office.
- If you can afford it, Post-it Notes make the best giveaways. But they're expensive.
The most important thing to remember is to design the pad giving the user a reason or a strong desire to use it! Forget what you want to put on the pad and concentrate on what you think the target market will most likely want to use. You'll find they'll use the pad and spread it around. This gives you good exposure, and a good reference.
Our scratch pad templates will give you some ideas, and some usable designs. By all means, folks. When you launch a promotion, put me on the list. I love to see what's going on out there in the field -- especially from readers.
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