The humble calendar is often overlooked these days
However, we should remember that a calendar is always around. Whether it is on your desk, on the office wall or hanging at home, it is an ever-present reminder of your organisation.
Remember that a calendar is far more than a set of pretty pictures with your name somewhere on the page. Used creatively, calendars can make your audience value you in ways that you may not have thought of before. Here are four ways in which you can use a calendar to bring value to your organisation and build engagement with your audience, whether you are selling, marketing, fundraising or community building.
1. As a silent salesperson
It is important to stay front of mind with your customers at all times. How often have you missed out on business simply because a competitor was talking with your client more recently than you were?
A calendar on the wall means that you can never be far from someone’s thoughts. In addition, it is a great way to advertise your products and services. You may be able to take artistic shots of what you offer. If your line of business is a little more mundane, think about using multiple pictures on each page so that viewers have a beautiful picture as well as some illustrations that are more relevant to your business.
2. As a fundraiser
Consider producing a limited edition calendar that you can sell for fundraising purposes. Many people are happy to support a good cause in this way. Make sure you offer a small discount for multiple purchases. This will encourage people to buy them as presents. This spreads the word as well as raising more funds.
Some people are happy to spend more than a calendar would normally cost. Consider creating a premium version. This might be printed on a better paper. And people may receive a signed print of one of the pictures. This can justify a substantial increase in price.
3. To build your community
Involve your community in a calendar. Encourage people to send in pictures related to your organisation. The winners are featured in the calendar. This is a great way of making some of your audience feel really special. Remember, in order to maximise the number of people who will feel special, you can feature several photographs for each month.
This strategy can be useful to build up interest in a fundraising calendar. But it is also a great way to make your customer community more engaged as well. Just make sure you are very clear about who has what rights to an image that is submitted.
4. As a thank you or celebration
Calendars are not expensive to produce. You can print your bespoke calendars for less than £3 each. So they are a great way to mark an event. Consider printing a calendar with all the events that your organisation is promoting over the year. The calendar could also feature key dates in a countdown to a major launch or a wedding.
Alternatively, send calendars out to key contacts and customers as a thank you. This might be at Christmas. However, it could simply be a thank you after a nice order or a way of standing out to a key prospect at any time of the year. Consider personalising your calendar with the recipient’s name on the cover or even each page to make them feel even more special.
Remember, calendars are not just for Christmas
You can create or give away a calendar at any time of the year. In fact, it can be a real advantage to do this. If you run a calendar from, for instance, July to June the lifespan of your calendar marketing is likely to run for much longer. This is because at Christmas there is often plenty of competition for wall space as people may receive several calendars. At the beginning of July, your replacement calendar is likely to be the only choice!
If you do plan to send a calendar at Christmas, here is an important piece of advice
Start making the calendar happen now. Many organisations leave calendars until far too late. This means there is a lack of proper planning time for the content. It also means that many suppliers become fully booked and it can be a struggle to find production space for a calendar. It is far better to be organised and have your calendar printed soon.
Just to help you with early planning, Where The Trade Buys has a special offer in October. If you order your calendar and upload artwork before the end of October we'll apply a 10% discount to your calendar order. So start planning now and order soon! To take advantage of this offer, simply enter discount code: CAL10 at checkout.