has anyone ever put business cards in books

by Ainna Manapat 25 replies
Hi there,

So I've been reading a lot online lately about a "great," "unique," "targeted" place to leave your business cards, which also happens to be a bit sketchy. In books relating to your field at the local bookstore or library.

This does strike me as great, targeted marketing if you don't get caught or offend someone.

Has anyone ever done this, and if so...did you get sued, or did some other horrible thing happen?

Does anyone perhaps have suggestions on just as good an idea (for free, targeted marketing) that is less sketchy?
#offline marketing #books #business #cards #put
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    Have not put; did find books with cards in them. Was not interested. Because it came across as a lame marketing technique I had the feeling the person behind the card was lame at whatever it was doing.

    That said, someone interested in how to hire a mortgage broker is, indeed, interested in mortgage brokers.

    That said, there's a lot more to segmenting than just knowing that someone expressed an interest in a particular business... You're way ahead if you also know why and why then, for instance. And if they can afford whatever it is you're selling.

    I looked at books the most amazing yachts in the world when I did not have bus fare.

    That said, I assume that if you leave enough of them, you'll make a sale or two. The question you have to answer: is it worth it for you?

    That said, (Yes, I was a parrot in a former life.), I'd like to know the results people who did do this get.

    So, people, what are you waiting for?

    Originally Posted by Ainna Manapat View Post

    Hi there,

    So I've been reading a lot online lately about a "great," "unique," "targeted" place to leave your business cards, which also happens to be a bit sketchy. In books relating to your field at the local bookstore or library.

    This does strike me as great, targeted marketing if you don't get caught or offend someone.

    Has anyone ever done this, and if so...did you get sued, or did some other horrible thing happen?

    Does anyone perhaps have suggestions on just as good an idea (for free, targeted marketing) that is less sketchy?
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    • Profile picture of the author Ainna Manapat
      Thanks, this was helpful. I'm actually new to targeted marketing; I'd love to have the information you mentioned (income level, etc.). Working on it uber-slowly.
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      • Profile picture of the author DABK
        When you have that info, you might as well do some direct marketing or place ads on platforms where you can segment who sees your ads or that are used by the people you're targeting mostly.

        Originally Posted by Ainna Manapat View Post

        Thanks, this was helpful. I'm actually new to targeted marketing; I'd love to have the information you mentioned (income level, etc.). Working on it uber-slowly.
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert Bridgen
    I have not used that technique but I have put my business card on Supermarket boards before with some success Robert
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  • Profile picture of the author jdpierce21
    I have never tried with books. But, I have tried with receipts where you'd tipped (so you know they'd look at it when you left.) I had zero success.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ainna Manapat
      Originally Posted by jdpierce21 View Post

      I have never tried with books. But, I have tried with receipts where you'd tipped (so you know they'd look at it when you left.) I had zero success.
      I suppose it depends on the service or product, but I also read a lot on the Internet about how you should put your business card on restaurant checks when paying them, and this seems pointless to me. Waiters are not rich people, so unless you're selling M&Ms or something that everyone - EVERYONE - buys, or something related to waiting tables/the restaurant industry, it doesn't seem useful.
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  • Profile picture of the author LukaB
    Banned
    This seems pointless... The chance of finding anyone who is interested in you must be 1 in a 1000.

    You should give cards to people you have met, not just dump them in random places.
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    • Profile picture of the author wmrwl
      Originally Posted by LukaB View Post

      This seems pointless... The chance of finding anyone who is interested in you must be 1 in a 1000.

      You should give cards to people you have met, not just dump them in random places.
      I could be wrong, but I think the OP is referring to "sticking" business cards only inside of books that are relevant and targeted to the service you're marketing. I never thought about this idea, but I'd be real curious if it works....and if people actually go to libraries anymore
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      • Profile picture of the author Ainna Manapat
        Originally Posted by wmrwl View Post

        I could be wrong, but I think the OP is referring to "sticking" business cards only inside of books that are relevant and targeted to the service you're marketing. I never thought about this idea, but I'd be real curious if it works....and if people actually go to libraries anymore
        Yes, that is what I was referring to of course, and if I do this I plan to go to the library only as a last resort. Otherwise bookstores are best - and perhaps also more "dangerous," in terms of getting caught. Surprised libraries still exist. But people who use them probably don't buy books, which are cheap. So....
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        • Profile picture of the author wmrwl
          Originally Posted by Ainna Manapat View Post

          Yes, that is what I was referring to of course, and if I do this I plan to go to the library only as a last resort. Otherwise bookstores are best - and perhaps also more "dangerous," in terms of getting caught. Surprised libraries still exist. But people who use them probably don't buy books, which are cheap. So....
          I don't think there are any "laws" or "statutes" prohibiting this practice so I don't think you'll get in trouble, but I'm NOT a lawyer so...

          I am curious if it works though. Please keep us up to date on your progress.
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      • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
        Originally Posted by wmrwl View Post

        I could be wrong, but I think the OP is referring to "sticking" business cards only inside of books that are relevant and targeted to the service you're marketing. I never thought about this idea, but I'd be real curious if it works....and if people actually go to libraries anymore
        Yes, it works. And the message, the design, is as important as the placement.

        It brought me business I would not have secured any other way, with very little effort. I am lazy.

        You are in the U.S.? Check out the parking lot of your local library some evening or on the weekends. You might just be surprised.

        Ron
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  • It's not that the idea doesn't work, it's that it's so incredibly inefficient.

    Do you know how many people will see your card in a library book? One.

    And these people didn't spend any money on the book. Possibly the least qualified lead you can get...and there is no way to find them, they have to find you.

    Pay Per Click online advertising, having a website (with proper promotion), writing a book on the subject, buying a targeted mailing list of buyers..and mailing to them...you know, tried and true real ways of marketing...maybe you should give one of them a try.


    This "leaving your card in library books" idea has been passed around for decades. Someone reads it in a book, and thinks it sounds nifty, and they write it in their book. And online, people mention it to make it sound like they have some marketing knowledge.

    One thing I have never heard anyone say ever;
    "I found this guy because I found his card in a library book".

    My guess is that you could buy 10,000 cards, put them in 10,000 books (in your niche)...and either get one call, or none.

    But the idea sounds "creative", and so it gets passed around.
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  • Profile picture of the author heterpack
    I have been thinking about this too. I think I would like do in theme with my web page. may be some experts from favour reviews.
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  • Profile picture of the author James Foster
    Think about this from the prospects point of view. How pathetic does a "consultant" look if they need to try to get business by sticking their business card in a bookstore book....

    If nothing else, the prospect would realize the book store doesn't want people putting their ads in their books and think "If he'll do this to bookstores, what will he pull on me?"
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  • Profile picture of the author Shreya Gupta
    The manner you place business cards in books is far important in my opinion. It works great to make clients.
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    • Originally Posted by Shreya Gupta View Post

      The manner you place business cards in books is far important in my opinion. It works great to make clients.
      I use my thumb and index finger. Am I doing it right?
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      • Profile picture of the author dave147
        Originally Posted by Shreya Gupta View Post

        The manner you place business cards in books is far important in my opinion. It works great to make clients.
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        I use my thumb and index finger. Am I doing it right?
        That's the old way of doing it...today's method is having a bunch of cards up your sleeve suspended on elastic bands and when you flick your wrist a card shoots out and into the book if the book is held at the correct angle. It takes many months of practice to get it right but certainly worth it...
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        • Profile picture of the author DABK
          You're all missing the most important element! Your pinky has to be half-bent, otherwise, the card will know you're a lowly marketer begging for business and will impart that knowledge to whoever is looking at it.

          On a serious note, if it's just a card, like the dozens of cards I see around here each year, it won't work. For the method to have a chance, you have to have a sales letter on a business card. I've seen 2 such cards in the last 5 years, out of the more than 2000 cards I've seen.


          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          I use my thumb and index finger. Am I doing it right?
          Originally Posted by dave147 View Post

          That's the old way of doing it...today's method is having a bunch of cards up your sleeve suspended on elastic bands and when you flick your wrist a card shoots out and into the book if the book is held at the correct angle. It takes many months of practice to get it right but certainly worth it...
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  • Profile picture of the author animal44
    I just JV with the publisher who prints the cards in the book... :-)
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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
      Originally Posted by animal44 View Post

      I just JV with the publisher who prints the cards in the book... :-)
      Ahhhhhh, ya didn't do your testing, didja??

      The card has to be REMOVABLE.

      That's part of the secret. Shhhhhhhhh!

      Ya gotta test, test, test. That's Abraham 101.

      Best get back to the barn, and reread those materials again.
      You could hurt yourself, with what You don't know...

      And, better luck next time, eh.

      Ron
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  • Profile picture of the author animal44
    I had to keep back some secrets for the WSO...

    But I'll share them just with you...

    Perforations.

    Our patented perforations only allow one card at a time or a big hand comes out and slaps you. And if that's not enough, and you persist, Mr T pops up and says "one card per person, fool" and gives you another slap and runs you over with his mobility scooter...

    Testing indicates 4.8 cards per book is optimum. Unfortunately, the last 0.2 of the last card has the important contact details. The lab's still working on that one.

    (last nights kiwi sauvignon is still having an effect. Imagine what I'll be like when I start on the 400 year old Cognac! )
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  • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
    You could do like Mr Kennedy did with countless numbers of Mr Whitacres which was to print a chapter in a book which was really a business card spread over a few pages and then charge the countless numbers of Mr Whitacres the going rate for inclusion.

    Kennedys win win win.

    Whitacres also win by maybe attracting suckers rather than selling suckers if you know what I mean.

    Animal. . .is that technically JV ing or is it something else?

    Best regards,

    Ozi
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    • Originally Posted by Oziboomer View Post

      You could do like Mr Kennedy did with countless numbers of Mr Whitacres which was to print a chapter in a book which was really a business card spread over a few pages and then charge the countless numbers of Mr Whitacres the going rate for inclusion.

      Kennedys win win win.
      The fascinating part of that, is that Kennedy got dozens of others to pay him for the privilege of writing part of his books. I was asked by the publisher if I would contribute a chapter. They didn't pay me, but I didn't pay them either.

      I think I'm in three of his books. There are a few of his loyalists that are in every book.

      But the idea, writing a chapter, quote, foreward, blurb, or review on the cover...is all advertising.
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      • Profile picture of the author eccj
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        The fascinating part of that, is that Kennedy got dozens of others to pay him for the privilege of writing part of his books. I was asked by the publisher if I would contribute a chapter. They didn't pay me, but I didn't pay them either.

        I think I'm in three of his books. There are a few of his loyalists that are in every book.

        But the idea, writing a chapter, quote, foreward, blurb, or review on the cover...is all advertising.
        Which books if I might ask?
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        • Originally Posted by eccj View Post

          Which books if I might ask?
          No offense, but I don't care enough to look it up. I think one was about information marketing. If you Google my name, they should pop up in a few pages.

          For a few years (maybe 10 years ago), I was very active selling information products I created, courses, seminars...that sort of thing. Kennedy and Glazer knew what I was doing, and I think Robert Skrob (President of the Information Marketing Association, part of Glazer Kennedy) was the guy that I interviewed for my monthly newsletter, and he called a few times and asked if I wanted to contribute a chapter to one of Kennedy's new books. I just remember it was three books. The books were being updated, and they needed a certain percentage of new content. I was one of maybe a dozen guys that contributed. But again, a few of his inner circle, just get in every one of his books.

          Contrary to popular belief, most book authors are begging for content. If you offer to contribute a chapter, for a byline and contact information...many will just say yes.
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