VISTAPRINT — SMALL ORDERS MEAN BIG BUSINESS
And without a sales force in need of compensation, VistaPrint has even more dollars to divert into marketing campaigns. According to Janet Holian, chief marketing officer, all of VistaPrint’s revenues are generated via direct marketing. The company relies on extensive testing data to help guide its pricing and product offerings, aimed at deepening existing relationships and scaring up new business.
VistaPrint spends more than $20 million per year on advertising. Online outlets include e-mail, text and banner ads, as well as search engines. However, the company has also relied on the tried and true method of viral advertising courtesy of its “business cards are free at VistaPrint.com” tagline, which it places on the reverse side of free customer business cards.
Customers can get 250 free business cards that carry the advertising tagline, or pay $9.99 to remove the verbiage. Most, how-ever, are unconcerned about touting VistaPrint’s virtues and elect not to pay to have the tagline removed.
“We have more than two billion business cards being passed out with our tagline on the back of them,” Holian says. “That generates a lot of word of mouth and free advertising for us, which is great.”
VistaPrint tested a catalog last year that did well, and the company is on its fourth such release. It sends direct mail both inside and outside its client base. The company has done some print advertising, Valpak-type coupon bundles and sometimes piggybacks other product packages, including Amazon.com. Participation at trade shows, such as those for the Direct Marketing Association and the National Restaurant Association, provide the rare opportunity to press the flesh with new and existing customers. And VistaPrint is even testing three radio markets.
The ability to add new products, Holian notes, has been a catalyst for growth. “We’re focused on understanding our customer base,” she says. “One great thing about having a large client base is that you can send out surveys and, very quickly, get back statistically significant results.”