Making Smart Use of Your Business Cards and Fax Covers

“You have to recognize when the right place and the right time fuse and take advantage of that opportunity. There are plenty of opportunities out there. You can’t sit back and wait.” – Ellen Metcalf

You routinely hand out business cards and send faxes — so why not take advantage of this opportunity to include a line or two of what copywriters call “teaser copy” to sell yourself or your product/service? There’s a good chance the recipient is going to read your fax cover sheet. And though he may only glance at your business card, if he files it in his Rolodex, he’ll see your mini-ad every time he flips through his contact list.

Students of AWAI’s copywriting course learn that by putting good teaser copy on the outside of an envelope, you can make your prospect want to rip it open immediately and read your sales pitch. You can do a similar thing by putting teaser copy on your business cards, fax covers, e-mail signature, and even the bottom of your company letterhead. Simply add a website address to lead your reader to a promotion selling your product/service, to tell him about new products/services you’re offering, to give him updates, or notify him of special events.

Teaser copy can do four things:

* Make a promise.

* Draw a picture.

* State a fact.

* Ask a question.

Like headlines and bullets, the best teasers score high on the “4 U’s” test. They are:

1. URGENT. They give the reader a reason to desire the benefit of your product/service sooner rather than later.

2. UNIQUE. They make the reader feel that there is one particular thing about your product/service that is different, in at least one small way, from every other product/service of that type. Uniqueness also suggests that you are talking about something real and concrete.

3. ULTRA-SPECIFIC. They are as precise as possible, stating facts and figures.

4. USEFUL. They promise the reader something that has value for him.

Here are some examples of effective teaser copy we’ve seen on envelopes in the past:

This one — from an ad for a book on men’s health — paints a picture … “10 female flirting signals that secretly say, ‘I want you!'”  (This could be adapted for use on business cards, fax covers, etc. by adding something like: Visit for more details.)

This one — from an ad for a financial newsletter — makes a promise that’s practically irresistible to investors … “How to MAKE MONEY if the stock market goes up … and MAKE A LOT OF MONEY if it goes down!”  (This could be adapted for use on business cards, fax covers, etc. by adding something like: Visit for more details.)

This next one states some interesting facts … “Astute business owners pay $3,000.00 an hour (with a 2-hour minimum) to learn these secrets self-made millionaires practice. Now they’re yours FREE.” (This could be adapted for use on business cards, fax covers, etc. by adding something like: Visit

And this one from an ad for Poets & Writers magazine asks questions that are on the minds of most fledgling writers … “Wondering how to get your work published? Find a literary agent? Get a grant? Join a workshop? One in four of our subscribers has found publication through POETS & WRITERS MAGAZINE. “Now it’s your turn!”  (This one is too long to put on a business card, but it could be adapted for use on fax covers by adding something like: Visit to receive A FREE file card listing 14 vital contacts you need for your writing career.)

Throughout the AWAI copywriting course, you’ll find secrets and techniques like this — secrets that can be applied to many aspects of just about any business.