Still on the fence about presentation folders? Not sure you can justify the expense for your small business on a shoestring budget. You know lots of companies swear by them but you just don’t see the value for your company. After all, who cares how well folders work for another business, you only care about your company.
If you have shopped for pocket folders on the internet for any amount of time, you are likely tired of reading about how they help make for a great first impression. Or how they help build your brand and image. Or how they keep your business name in front of your prospect even after you are gone. Or how they help keep your materials organized and safe from damage. Or how they are a cost effective marketing tool. Or how the competition is fierce today and you just can’t survive without them. Or how they make your business appear like it cares. Blah, blah, blah.
I am pretty sick and tired myself of reading the same old fluff and drivel that dominates nearly every web site in the commercial printing industry. In fact, I really haven’t found one example of excellent content yet. I realize pocket folders are not nearly as sexy to write about as say the new iPhone 3G, but we can do better, don’t you think?
Would you mind taking your business owner hat off and putting on your consumer hat for a moment? How often have you received a stunning presentation folder that wowed you with the texture of its paper, the contrast of its colors, and the complex lines and curves of its form; yet you tossed it in the trashcan or onto a shelf with a pile of other similar works of art after only a cursory glance? You probably even felt bad about discarding something so fancy because a lot of effort and money probably went into making it. What went wrong? The folder was beyond gorgeous, yet you discarded it like plain old junk mail.
The reason the folder likely failed to achieve the desired result; too much emphasis on artistic quality and visual design but not enough emphasis on function and usefulness. The purpose of your presentation folder is to provide real value and a reason for the prospect to keep the folder within arms reach until they have converted to a paying customer. If all you have is glitz and glamor with no real substance, you basically have an expensive coffee coaster. Or worse yet, boxes and boxes of useless garbage.
Of course you want your custom folders to be professional looking, but don’t get so hung up on folder design to the point you forget about creating a compelling reason to hang onto the folder. Remember, pretty is dime-a-dozen in marketing. Our society, as well as the graphic design community, would like you to believe that flashier and more beautiful always wins but this is simply not true. If it was, then why do ugly websites often have higher conversion rates than artistic masterpieces? Sure, the beauty may catch the user’s eye for a few seconds but without a compelling reason to stay; the back button will be the next action they take. Prospects have questions, concerns, and objections. They want you to address them. They don’t look to your beautiful photos and fancy graphics, they look to your text.
Before you think about purchasing pocket folders, do you have the following?
- Quality Product or Service
- Unique Selling Proposition (USP) or Points of Difference
- Skilled Sales People
- Targeted Audience
- Valuable Information Your Target Audience Wants or Needs
- Opportunity to Present Your Materials to Your Prospects
If you can say yes to all of these, then and only then, will professionally printed presentation folders be a worthy complement to your existing marketing strategy and plan. Notice that I did not say answer to your prayers. The value of your business and your future success does not hinge on paper folders. You know that as well as I do, so I won’t bother blowing any smoke here. The Folder Store blog is here to get you thinking, not tell you how it is.
Presentation folders are simply the vehicle or host that carries the valuable information you have that your prospect wants or needs. Give them what they want and they will hold onto it. If you remember to keep it simple, your folders will be more effective and less costly. A winning combination indeed.
Image Credit: -bast-’