While recently helping a client put together some merchandising, we wound up on the subject of CD singles versus download cards. He’d heard of download cards and wondered if they might be more cost effective. So I looked over some of the options out there and realized that unless you buy obscene amounts of download cards, they’re not really all that cost effective. Sure, maybe if you’re selling an entire CD download. But for a single song? In quantities of 100, the per unit price was 59 cents each. Even with bulk discounts, by the time got to 1,000, the price was still around 26 cents each. That seemed sort of stupid to me, to spend that kind of money per unit when there were other viable alternatives.
What I wound up doing was creating business cards for this client that can be used for download cards. They wound up getting 1,000 cards, printed front and back, for around 4 cents each. If they sell a card for $1, they’ve made 96 cents profit. That’s not a bad margin at all.
There were two ways to go with this.
1) The cards could be configured to represent only one song or album, with a pre-configured code on the back that could be used for the actual download.
2) We could leave blank spaces where codes could be written in by hand, with the aim of having a more flexible way to use the cards.
We decided to go with the latter option, though I can certainly see the former being viable for other artists. The latter just worked better for this client. Let’s say the come up with a new song a few months from now and want to promote it at one of their gigs. They can just create a code for that song on their web site (which Windhaven Network hosts) and start selling it immediately, just by writing that new code on the cards that they’ll sell or give away at the gig.
This just makes sense. Most of us don’t have the resources to drop a lot of money on merchandising. At least not starting out. It makes so much sense that I’m going to add it to our services list here at Windhaven Network. While we’re still working out how many cards we can offer and how much the service should cost, this example cost the client around $60, which breaks down to $40 for 1,000 download cards and a one-time set-up fee of $20. From now on, whenever they need new cards, I’ll re-order them for free. All the client has to do is pay for the cards.
I look forward to adding this to our services. Sometimes you just come across things that make sense!