Archive for the ‘marketing’ Tag

What Every Business Can Learn from Vistaprint

Vistaprint rocks. They have a great selection of quality products, they give those products away for free, and someday they will own the world.

I’m not alone in thinking that this business model may be the wave of the future. Wired Magazine editor Chris Anderson’s most recent book, “FREE: The Future of a Radical Price,” describes this business model as “free-mium.” He thinks it has legs.

What’s at the heart of this successful enterprise is no mystery. Every communication from VistaPrint offers the potential customer a high-quality product for free, so strings attached. Once they have your attention, the real selling starts. Want some free business cards? No problem, just pay shipping and handling. Want your picture or company logo on them? No problem – there’s just a small upcharge. How about putting your company slogan or a promotional offer or an appointment reminder on the back of the card? No problem – for another small charge. Each step of the sales process is designed to do two things: keep the conversation going, and offer a new benefit that adds value to the transaction.

But it doesn’t stop there. When the sale is over, the customer relationship has just begun. Need matching stationery? How about point-of-purchase signs? Magnets? Calendars? Maybe a web site? The list of complementary products and features is seemingly endless. Once a customer has ordered, he can count on an email Vistaprint on a regular basis.

So, what makes the Vistaprint business model tick?

1. Add value.
2. Offer choices.
3. Make it easy to do business.
4. Stay in contact with customers.

These actions are easily adapted to any business – but how many do you know that do it? Does your business?