Sep 20, 2000
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How do you capture the attention of a small businessperson? Offer something for free (forever) and make certain the word gets out everywhere. Thatís just the strategy taken by VistaPrint.com, a printer specializing in short-run, full-color printing. VistaPrint.com offers to print 250 free full color business cards. Whatís the hitch? The business card has a line on the back indicating that the cards were printed free at VistaPrint (if you donít want the ad on the back, the cards cost $9.99). And you can order the free biz cards forever. Itís not a one-time offer.
To promote the free offer, VistaPrint utilized BeFree.com as well as creating affiliate relationships with 4,000 targeted sites such as Geocities. The sites carry VistaPrint banner ads or links in exchange for a $1 commission per order. VistaPrint also used viral marketing in chat rooms that allow product placement. The Company has tested banner ads but found them too expensive. Soon VistaPrint will be launching a newsletter on small business topics with inc.com and Headhunter.net providing some content. Results so far? According to Janet Holian, VP Product Marketing, over 70,000 people have registered at the site and 30,000 have taken the free biz cards. In fact the campaignís been so successful that VistaPrint will be expanding to Europe by the beginning of the year.