by Cathy Stucker
You can turn your vehicle into a rolling advertisement. Costs start at just a few dollars, and you can put your business name, slogan, phone number and web site URL in front of thousands of potential customers while you are driving along the freeway, stuck in traffic or even while you are parked. Here are some of the best ways to use your vehicle as a marketing tool.
Bumper stickers are so inexpensive that you may want to print enough for employees, friends, family members, customers and others. Publisher Susan Sabo of Small Dogs Press made bumper stickers saying, "I do bad things for love," along with the Small Dogs web site URL. The line is from one of their books, and everyone who sees the bumper sticker wants one. Sabo sells them at her web site, and gives them away at book fairs. Of course, she has one on her car, and says she has given them to all of her friends, too.
License plate frames are a favorite of car dealers and auto repair shops, but they can work for any business. You can have them custom made with your business name or slogan, along with a phone number or URL.
Magnetic signs are an easy and low-cost way to put a lot of information on your car. Put them on both sides of the car, and make sure the lettering is large enough to read, even from a distance and when the vehicle is in motion. Personal chef Sue Gaughenbaugh added an effective twist to this idea. She bought a supply of magnetic business cards and placed them around the sign on her truck. When customers see her truck in a parking lot, they can pick up a card to take with them. Gaughenbaugh started getting calls from new customers within days of putting the take-away magnetic cards on her truck.
Vinyl decals and window stickers are a highly visible way to promote your web site. Put the URL in large letters across the width of your rear windshield. After all, you never know who might be behind you in traffic. This is most effective if you have a catchy and descriptive domain name. Custom stickers are available at prices starting under $20.
You can order many of these items from local printers and sign shops. Or, do an online search for companies that can create bumper stickers, magnetic signs, decals and other promotional items.
And when you are ready to go all-out, consider a vehicle wrap. These vinyl decals look like a custom paint job and cover your entire vehicle with bright, high-quality graphics. This is not a do-it-yourself project, but you can hire companies such as www.coloredink.com to design and install the graphics. At an estimated cost of $3,500, this option is much more expensive than the others described here, but it will certainly make an impression on the other drivers you encounter.
When your car is a traveling billboard, the time you spend in traffic will become more productive.