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What replaces the matchbook?

Matchbooks are word of mouth gold. We grab them in a restaurant, we share them with our friends, we save them for years, and they get passed around.

Most important, matchbooks help with one of the biggest rules of word of mouth:

Never let someone leave your business without something to share.

With the decline in smoking, you need to find something else. A coupon, a sticker, a flyer, a snack. Or maybe a custom tissue pack (a great idea in a flu-frightened world):

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What will your customers hand to the next person they see? What will be in their hand to start a conversation about you?

(Thanks for the tip @danentin.)

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  1. Andy Sernovitz November 16, 2009 at 8:12 am #

    Here’s a great story from the NY Times about the rising popularity of matchbooks. Yay!

  2. GingerTPLC November 16, 2009 at 8:17 am #

    How about little .5oz size hand sanitizer? It’s enough to share, but small enough to fit in your pocket/purse.

  3. Matt Heinz November 16, 2009 at 8:33 am #

    And if you’re really good, that giveaway becomes a collectible – maybe even part of a series people keep coming back for again and again.

  4. Deb Kolaras November 16, 2009 at 2:05 pm #

    Thanks for writing this; I was just thinking about this the other day; in the “junk drawer” was a book of matches my husband got at a restaurant in WV on a recent trip- we don’t smoke and we live in Boulder, so that matchbook seems like something of ancient artifact. If they’re making a comeback, I’m happy!

    I think simple, clever give aways are always a smart idea. They don’t need to be expensive, but just cause a person to remember your business with fondness, then recommend and return there!

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