How to get your membership cards printed for free

Want someone else to pay for your membership cards printing this year?

The fact is, if you’re a club, organisation or attraction, a professionally printed membership card is expected by your members, and it’s a necessity for you too.

But it’s more than that: a branded and personalised card gives a feeling of belonging, and a sense of being part of something special.

However the cost of membership card printing can be prohibitive.

So here’s how to get someone else to pay for it.


Use the back of your membership cards as a sponsorship opportunity

Most plastic membership cards are printed double sided, in full colour, so the reverse is a prime advertising space. Offer it up to the right sponsor, and you can easily cover the costs of the cards – and enhance your own brand image at the same time.

Here are a few routes to consider:

  1. Linked local suppliers
    If you’re a tennis club, and there’s a sports shop in town that sells the right kit, they’re the ideal partner. They’ll be advertising their wares to a captive audience that will be exposed to their brand on a regular basis, for less than the price of a newspaper ad.
2. Linked online suppliers
If there’s an online supplier that a lot of your members go to for equipment or gear, or specialist insurance, get in touch. You’re unlikely to be successful with the Amazon’s of this world, but it might be right up a smaller online retailer’s street (for example a specialist cycling insurance provider).


3. Linked big brands
Don’t think that you can’t approach the big brands, even if you only have a few hundred members. For example, if you’re a golf club, approaching brands like TaylorMade or FootJoy could deliver dividends. A few hundred pounds is nothing out of their marketing budget, and your membership demographic might be exactly what they’re looking to target.

members cafe
Look for local establishments, or within your own

4. Complimentary local services or suppliers
Your membership demographic should determine who you approach for sponsorship in your local area. What type of people are they? What stage of life are they at? Whose ideal customer are they likely to be? If your membership is predominately 20/30 somethings with time on their hands, then think about local bars or nightclubs. If they’re older professionals with disposable incomes, a prestige car showroom might be more relevant.

5. Look internally for brands that may want extra promotion
If you have a bar, restaurant or café on site, look at the brands you’re selling. Breweries are a good starting place: they may have a particular drink that they want to sell more of over the following year. Or if you’re a gym selling a particular range of energy bars or drinks, think about approaching them. This route has benefits for you too in terms of increased sales.

Whoa there Nelly! A word of caution before you start

Before you pick up the phone and start ringing round, make sure you don’t damage your own brand by choosing the wrong sponsor. If you’ve spent years building up an exclusive membership of professionals, don’t blow it by advertising Carl’s Cheeky Chicken on the back of your plastic membership cards.

Associating yourself with a well-known brand, or an aspirational brand, will do wonders for your own organisation. It’s a great message to existing members that they’ve made the right choice, and it’s even stronger in terms of attraction. Because if a famous brand has chosen to be affiliated with your club, why wouldn’t they?