Why plastic key tags are our unsung heroes

Branded key tagsMeet our superhero, ‘Mr Adaptable’

They’re dinky. Handy. Always visible. Incredibly adaptable. And very cost-effective.

In our view, plastic key tags are mini super heroes, just minus the capes.

Branded key tags are one of the few plastic cards that can be used for multiple purposes: promotion, loyalty, labelling, information, discount offers, reference: the list goes on.

They’re also highly visible, rather than being hidden in a wallet. They happily dangle off a key ring, reminding the owner of their presence.

And at just £110 + VAT for 250 branded key tags printed in full colour on both sides, they super cost-effective.

Packing a mighty powerful punch for one so small

Branded key tags make great:

  1. Mini loyalty cardsBranded key tag

Add a barcode that works with your loyalty system and make sure your customer never loses out at the point of purchase. Tesco seem to have made it work quite successfully.

  1. Mini membership cards

Forgotten your main membership card? Just show your key tag instead, or save the budget and do away with main membership cards altogether.

  1. Promotional cards

    De Vere membership key tag
    Print key tags to go with your membership cards, or just do away with the cards altogether

Think of your key tags as mini billboards, there to advertise your next promotion or brand message. Use them to advertise your happy hours or special weekly theme nights, or remind customers of a regular monthly event. Or just use it as a branding opportunity.

  1. Discount cards

Remind customers that they can get a discount off their next purchase, on presentation of the key tag.

  1. Staff reference cards

Get key employee information on show, not hidden away in a handbook. Key tags make great reference cards because they’re always visible. Use them to remind staff of key health and safety information, employee standards or processes and procedures.

  1. Helpline reminders

Plastic key tags are easy ‘go to’ reference points for important numbers. If given to key holders for example, you could include telephone details of the alarm company. Or for lone workers, telephone numbers of head office support.

  1. Accommodation Key Holders

    Branded key tags holiday parks
    Leaving blank areas on the design gives you the flexibility to add your own names, numbers or details

We get a lot of orders from accommodation providers, particularly caravan parks and holiday lodge parks, because they’re a great way to add a brand or promo message to sets of keys that are given out to guests. Or leave a blank space to add individual accommodation numbers.

8. Key labels

If you store sets of keys in your office, like estate agents or property maintenance companies do, why not label them with your own branded key tags? They’ll convey a more professional image to your customers, and you can leave a space blank for handwriting your own details on.

One other thing – The Card Network offers free design and artwork on branded key tags.


How to improve your membership sign-up

Clubs and organisations are always looking for ways to increase their membership. We’ll share a few ideas for boosting membership numbers in this post.

But before we do, we recommend you start at home first – with your existing members.

Opinion countsBegin by asking your current members what they think

What’s the best thing about your club? What could be better? We often hear Organisers say ‘our members don’t like that’, or ‘our members prefer this’, but have you ever actually asked them?

It’s easy to think that one person’s view is representative of the entire membership, when often it isn’t.

So start with a member survey and ask for your member’s opinions and ideas. As well as being a good way of retaining your existing members by making them feel important, it will flag up any problem areas and tell you which benefits are seen as most valuable (and therefore which you should prioritise in promotion).

If you make changes in light of the feedback, be sure to pass this back to the existing members. This is a positive message that you’re a responsive club that cares about your members’ opinions, and they’re much more likely to recommend you to friends as a result.

Use your current members as referrers

Your existing members are your best promotional tools – as long as they’re feeling happy and valued (see point one above).

Word-of-mouth is more valuable than anything, but you have to give them a reason to spread it.

So provide them with opportunities to talk you up.

If you haven’t set up a ‘Refer-a-Friend’ scheme, do so now. Think about what benefit or incentive would mean the most to both the referrer and the referee.

Is offering a discount off their first year of membership fees the strongest message? What benefit will you give the existing member? Ask them for their opinion in the member survey – this will tell you what they would respond best to.

Set up opportunities to personally interact with potential new members

The worst thing you can do is set up a refer-a-friend scheme and expect your existing members to proactively put it into practice. Don’t rely on email either – you need physical touch points.

Taster Days or Community Events are a good way to get new people through the door. Ask each of your members to invite along a friend, lay on some refreshments and set up some entertainment or activity that’s relevant to your club or organisation.

This doesn’t need to be about slick marketing, it’s about getting people to experience your friendly atmosphere for themselves. Your existing members will do the promotion naturally for you.

Do make sure you have a discount offer available at the time. You need to have an incentive on offer to encourage people to join THAT DAY, like a discount on their membership fees, or 14 months for the price of 12.

Another way to get people through the door is to:

Print extra promotional cards with your membership card run

The more cards you print, the cheaper the cost per card is.

So when you send your run of membership cards to print, ask about running-on some generic branded cards at the same time. This is a really cost effective marketing tool. You can use these in various ways:

  • Give one to each existing member with their new membership card to pass on to a friend or family member
  • Advertise a refer-a-friend incentive – e.g. 30% off membership fees for new joiners when you present this card
  • Print a discount card for members to pass on that offers a discount off a meal in your restaurant, or a free session at your club, e.g. a free round of golf, or afternoon using the spa facilities.

You could also use the extra cards to:

Promote an offer locally to your target audience

This relies on you having a strong understanding of where your target audience ‘live’. You could run a series of promotional cards offering a discount in your restaurant or bar for example, and post it out to local postcodes, or to a relevant database.

This will only work though if you know your demographic, and if the potential rewards are worth the cost. For example doing a mass mail out to local households with details of your tennis club will have high wastage, as only a small percentage of them will actually play tennis.

If you’re able to isolate a group of highly desirable potential members, then consider:

  • Pre-loading branded gift cards and posting those out. A card with ‘actual’ money on (say £5 for spending in the bar) is hard to ignore or throw away.
  • Set up an incentive programme with other local businesses
    Partnering with local businesses is a great way to provide your members with valuable benefits, and to encourage participation from different groups. For example, you could come to a deal with a neighbouring hotel or attraction, and make it reciprocal. They offer your members a discount when they visit; you do the same in return.
  • Market your club where your members are likely to be
    Seems a bit obvious this one, but there are still a lot of clubs that expect potential members to come to them. You need to do some research into who your ideal member is, and what their lifestyle is likely to be. By which we mean: what do they read, what social media groups do they follow, what are their interests? How can you reach them?

Go where your members are and you will be able to find new members/leads to mine.

Plastic scratch cards: reveal more about yourself

We’re getting more enquiries in from companies who are interested in having a scratch panel on their plastic cards. It’s not just promotional plastic scratch cards we’re asked about: we’re increasingly including a scratch panel on business cards, discount cards and gift cards too.

Why use plastic scratch cards? 

Scratch panels work for different organisations in different ways: you can use them at point of purchase for instant win promotions, for fund raising, as an incentive for customers to visit your website and even as parking permits.

Use them as part of your promotion toolkit

We’re often asked to print promotional cards for retailers who are running a big promotion. Scratching off the panel reveals a special PIN or code that is then entered onto the retailer’s website to win prizes. Ask participants to enter their details and you’ve also turned it into an effective means of data capture.

Others use it as a means of ‘instant win’ at point of sale – which allows the reward or prize to be redeemed immediately in store.

Include a discount message your plastic scratch cards or promotional message and you’ll ensure that the card is then kept in your customers’ wallets after the panel has been scratched off.

Make it work for your event

If you’re planning a large party or event, a plastic card party invite is always going to stand out. Turn them into plastic scratch cards and the party goer can reveal their own ‘freebie’ to cash in at the event – a drink at the bar, food, a token for the casino, etc.

Plastic scratch cards are also used by charities for fundraising, and for organisations that need to have a temporary security feature, for example on a gift card or for pre-pay services. 

Make customers engage with your brand

No matter what you use it for, including a scratch panel means that your customers actively interact with your brand. Rather than passively slipping a card into their wallet, they have to make a small effort and actually engage – which makes the reward all the more rewarding.

We can include a scratch panel on most of our plastic cards for a small extra cost. So whether you want your customers to be scratching away at your discount cards, promotional cards or plastic business cards – get in touch.

Printed plastic cards: check your proof!

If you’re about to order hundreds or even thousands of printed plastic cards, like membership cards or promotional cards, it always pays to see an actual example of the card first, before you hit ‘print’.

Except that you shouldn’t … pay any extra to see one, that is.

Peace of mind that you’re getting what you think you are

The last thing you want is to order 3,000 colour club cards only to find that they’re not as thick as you thought they’d be, or the print isn’t as bright as you wanted. The only way to check the end product is to actually see an example of one of the final printed plastic cards. And we mean your final card, with your design elements and information.

Many plastic card suppliers will send you an example of ‘one they made earlier’ for someone else, in order to avoid the expense of creating a press proof*. Whilst that’s great in terms of showing the thickness, it won’t show you how this card will look with your information on it. Insist on them printing one of your cards for you to approve, and they’ll often hit you with a one-off press charge – often up to £50.

It’s also fairly standard practice to send you a pdf proof to approve on email – just a pdf sheet showing the artwork on paper. This is far from fool proof – how can you sign it off when you have no idea how the final card will look?

We’ll provide a sample of your final card – for no extra cost

We want you to be 100% happy with the printed plastic cards you order. The only way we can do that is to provide you with a sample of exactly how your card will look before we print them.

So if you order membership cards, promotional cards, discount cards, loyalty cards, key tags, hotel key cards, custom printed cloakroom tags, plastic business cards or any other bespoke printed plastic cards – we’ll send you a press proof to approve. Which allows you to sign off the order in confidence, because you know exactly how the final product will look.

To us, it’s just sensible. Which is why we don’t charge any extra for the service.

Some cynics out there say we hide it in the cost of the printed plastic cards. But we don’t – our prices remain some of the lowest on the web.

Search our printed plastic cards.


*Just what is a press proof anyway?

A press proof is a card that’s generated right off the printer press. Or in other words, a sample card that’s printed with all of your information on it, so you can see what the finished article will look like.

Now in stock! Fluorescent plastic cards

We’ve just added a new range of fluorescent plastic cards onto our shelves (and we certainly can’t miss them…) made by Fotodek, known for the quality and durability of their plastic cards.

Fluorescent plastic cards
Brighten up your next promotion with fluorescent cards

Time to brighten up your next promotion?
If you print your own plastic cards and really want your next promotion to stand out, these fluorescent plastic cards will do it for you.

They’re perfect for Freshers week for example – if you want to attract new students at the start of term, producing fluorescent promotional cards will definitely grab their attention. They won’t exactly be missed in their wallet when Fresher’s Fair is over, either!

Draw attention to health and safety information

Some of our clients are using the fluorescent plastic cards to print important company or health and safety information to give to their workers, particularly those who work between different plants or use manual machinery.

Immediately spot children when you’re out on a trip

If you’re organising a weekend summer camp or a holiday club day out for a group of children, using the fluorescent cards as ID cards means they’ll be easier to spot and gather together.

All the fluorescent plastic cards are standard credit card thickness. And because they’re made by Fotodek, you can be sure you’re getting a high quality product.

They’re available in fluorescent green, yellow, pink and orange – with a gloss shine, starting from £24 for a pack of 100. Search our range of blank cards here

Mum’s the word – but not on your promotion

It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday 10thMarch. The one day of the year that mums everywhere are taken out for lunch. So your restaurant or eatery should be fully booked. But with families everywhere feeling the pinch, more and more people are looking to create a special occasion at home. So how are you going to tempt them out the door and into your establishment?

Mothers day gift
Give each table a special gift for mum as part of your promotion

Get your offer right
Look around to see what’s available nearby – what is the competition offering? How can you differentiate yours? Create a special menu or introduce a ‘kids eat free’ perk. Or think about what you can provide as an added incentive to book that doesn’t cost much but has a high-perceived value, like a small gift or a special cupcake for each mum. If young families are your market, think about hiring a child’s entertainer, or laying on some kind of activity. If you can keep the kids entertained, mum gets a rare opportunity to eat her lunch in peace.

Promote it now
Get your offers front-of-mind now. Start with your regular customer base and make them aware of what’s on offer. It’s always easier to create more custom from those that already ‘love’ you than to attract new friends.

Send an email or a text. Get your deals out on Twitter, Facebook and any other social media channels you use. Also hand something out with a customer’s bill, or send them something through the post. Plastic promotional cards and discount cards are the perfect way to get noticed, they won’t be ignored like an ad in the paper or on a website. Ensure the promotional cards have longevity by promoting a discount for every future booking – or reminding them of your regular lunch offer. Plastic promotional cards aren’t thrown away like paper vouchers are, they’ll be a reminder in your customers’ wallets for months to come.

Don’t forget about local websites and online directories too. And if you have lots of seats to fill, consider promoting your offer on a discount site like Living Social or Groupon. As is the case with any marketing promotion, utilising multiple channels will always deliver greater response than relying on any one medium.

We can provide 250 full colour, branded promotional cards for just £98.25. We’ll even do the design and artwork for you at no extra cost.

Love your promotional cards this Valentine’s

Valentine's day
Spread the love to customers through promotional cards

Love might be in the air, but are your Valentine’s offers front of mind? Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day are the two days of the year that any restaurant or hotel should be fully booked. But the reality of our current economic climate means it’s no longer a given – establishments are having to go further to attract customers through special Valentine’s offers, promoted in new and different ways.

Build a beautiful relationship with your customers

Advertising your offer on the back of your hotel key cards is a great way to entice guests back – with their other halves – for a Valentine’s stay or meal. Or you could print some promotional cards that are mailed out to your database, and given to diners with their bill or visitors to your spa. Printing bespoke plastic cards is an inexpensive way to impress your audience, especially when you compare the cost to taking out an advert in the local paper or local website. For example, we can print 500 full colour, double sided promotional cards from just £129.

Longer shelf life

A plastic card has a higher perceived value than a paper leaflet, and is much less likely to be thrown away. It isn’t a ‘one hit wonder’ like an advert. Even if it doesn’t get used for Valentine’s Day, the promotional card will sit in your customer’s wallet as a reminder for the next time they’re considering a meal or a night away.

Make them part of an integrated campaign

The best way to achieve success for any promotion is not to rely on one marketing channel. So as well as printing some promotional cards, look at other ways to reach your audience. Send an email out to your database. Get your offers all over your social media. Look for local websites and online directories you can advertise in at low cost. Seek local PR coverage. If you’ve got lots of seats or rooms to fill and time is running out, consider offering a discount on a site like Groupon or Living Social. Spreading the ‘love’ over multiple channels is far more likely to result in a full restaurant or hotel, and a healthy balance sheet.

Why offer Christmas gift cards?

Christmas gift card graphic
Offer Christmas themed gift cards to increase sales

If you’re a retailer, you’ll be gearing up for the busiest time of the year. Christmas isn’t far away and the organised shoppers amongst us are already beginning to work through the present list. Have you got your Christmas gift cards printed and ready?

All major retailers offer plastic gift cards in a choice of designs, but you don’t have to be a national high street store to provide plastic gift cards to your customers. All shops and establishments, no matter how small, can boost sales during the Christmas period by providing high quality gift cards to customers.

The benefits

As well as increasing sales in the run up to Christmas, gift cards also ensure you have visiting customers during the New Year – many of whom will spend more than the value of their gift card. They also introduce new customers into your store and encourage repeat visits from your existing ones. For a small initial investment, a gift card can give much more in return.

Which type of gift card?

It’s time to get rid of those paper vouchers. We can provide 250 gift cards custom printed to your own designs from just £111.75. These are the same thickness as a standard credit card. You can have cards printed in £5, £10 and £25 quantities, or provide ‘blank value’ cards of different designs that are then pre-loaded. For the latter, you’ll also need the technology to manage card balances in-store. This could work with your existing loyalty card scheme. If you have any questions, please get in touch with one of our friendly team, they’ll be more than happy to help.

Plastic gift cards are easily stored, issued and tracked, unlike paper certificates. Then of course there’s the fact that your card is a constant advertisement in people’s pockets.

So the only question left is what designs will you choose? A traditional Santa or a winter wonderland scene? Design and artwork are included in our prices, so why not let us have a look for you.


Use plastic promotional cards for your Christmas offers

Christmas gift offers
Get customers Christmas shopping early with promotional cards

Have you thought about how you’ll promote your Christmas offers this year? It’s a tough economic climate out there at the moment, as retailers and businesses gear up to their most competitive time of the year: capturing the Christmas market. One way you can ensure that customers choose to spend their Christmas money with you rather than your competitors is to provide them with plastic promotional cards.

Handing out quality plastic promotional cards creates a great impression: they have a higher perceived value than paper vouchers and are far more likely to be kept in your customers’ wallets.

What will you be promoting this year? How about a time based offer that runs throughout November to incentivise your customers into starting their Christmas shopping early? You could offer a discount on specific ranges, or run a 3 for 2 offer on Christmas themed goods. Some retailers use plastic promotional cards to offer extra loyalty points and also to run a competition that pushes people to their website. They are also an excellent way to get back in touch with customers who haven’t visited you for a while, if you hold their details on file.

Having some plastic promotional cards printed is a highly cost-effective way to generate extra sales for you in the run up to Christmas.

Our double sided promotional cards are custom printed to your own design and start from just £98.25 for 250. Design and artwork are included in the price. At these prices you could run weekly offers in the run up to Christmas, and promote your January sale. Search our range.