Save The Dates
Low-tech. Boring. Unsexy. Woefully utilitarian. As promotional items, calendars might seem about as interesting as a 6th-grade play on the metric system (about two hours too long and as exciting as repeatedly listening to a small, affectless human dully counting to 30). Repeated countings to 30 aside, thankfully the boring reputation of calendars is more myth than fact.
Like any other promotional item, it's not what the item is, but what you're able to do with it creatively. Calendars may lack the innate trendiness of high-fashion tees or the intoxicating, brain-snaring pull of the latest tech gadget, but that doesn't mean they're at all a weaker product (in fact quite the opposite is true). There are any number of clever angles and creative hooks to weave into a calendar promotion. While by no means a complete list, below are 14 tips to help you make the most of calendars.
1. You Don't Have to Start with January or December.
"One surprising trend is starting calendars with a month other than January," said Amberlea Barnes, CEO for Drummond Printing Inc., Stuttgart, Ark. "We recently completed an order for a horseback riding camp," she said. "Their season starts in May, so they chose a May 2011-April 2012 wall calendar and listed their locations and events on each date block. We were able to create a truly custom calendar that is useful and commemorates the year for participants."
2. Use as a Greeting Card.
"Instead of sending the customer a greeting card that has eight seconds of exposure, send the customer a calendar," said Phil Martin, MAS, national sales manager for Warwick Publishing Company, St. Charles, Ill.
3. Get Sponsorships.
"One great promotional idea for helping generate calendar sales is to include sponsorship and ad pages to allow the organization to raise money to pay for or offset the cost of the planner by selling ads," said Tim O'Boyle, general manager for JournalBooks/Timeplanner Calendars, Charlotte, N.C.