It’s 2022. Do you know where your business cards are?
Paperback versus e-reader. Menu versus QR code. It seems like everywhere you look, the battle between print and digital is raging. But what about business cards? Do you still need them in 2022? Or will they go the way of the briefcase?
Let’s see why many experts are saying business cards aren’t just alive and well, but a practical must-have for anyone looking to maximize their business potential.
Business cards really do drive business. Go figure!
In fact, they offer a pretty good bang for your buck. According to statistics from Adobe, you can expect your company sales to increase by around 2.5% for every 2,000 business cards you distribute. If that’s not mind-blowing enough, consider that it can cost tens, hundreds or even thousands of dollars to acquire just one new customer. Compare that to the relatively low cost to print cards — which have other benefits, too — and that 2.5% becomes what you call “low hanging fruit.”
A Cinch in a Pinch.
Here’s an honest question. If you were chatting with a stranger in an elevator, and they asked for your contact info as you were about to reach your floor, would you (a) shout “Find me on Insta!”, (b) dig for your smartphone to initiate an NFC-based data exchange, (c) ask them to visit your website, which is actually super easy to remember or (d) whip out a business card and pass it along with a little flick of the wrist.
If the answer is a, b or c – hey, more power to you. But can you really be sure your data will make it past their mental spam filter later? If you had a business card to give, you could at least leave a tangible reminder of your existence, maximizing your chances for a connection later.
Don’t Just Introduce Yourself. Say Who You Are.
You spent three months nailing your logo. Your website is a work of art. Your product is one of Oprah’s new favorite things. In fact, your brand is so on-point, Coke called for some tips. Yet here you are at your niece’s wedding reception, and you feel like you can barely recite your mission statement to the potential client you just clinked glasses with.
If only there were a way to convey your brand identity, direct a hit to your website and show your professionalism in one fell swoop …
You guessed it. Beyond just a way to share contact info, cards can be a bite-size canvas for painting a detailed picture of you and/or your business. From your brilliant logo, to your color scheme, to the very tone or “vibe” you want to give off, cards offer a way to say a lot in a very small window of time and a convenient, affordable little package.
They are Still the Norm
Is everyone you know tech savvy enough to prefer paperless forms of information exchange? If so, who are you that all your friends are so avant garde, and what about the people you don’t know? Despite the rise of smartphones, there will always be those who prefer the good old-fashioned ease of ink and cardboard – your paperback over ereader crowd, if you will. Or consider that internationally – such as in many Asian countries – cards are an expected form of business etiquette. You don’t leave home without your credit card, so you shouldn’t leave your calling card at home, either.
Don’t Just Coast. Make the Most.
All said, everything you get out of business cards really depends on what you put in. Let’s talk about ways to get the biggest bang for your buck, as well as things to avoid.
1. Make it professional.
You only get one chance to make a first impression. Make the most of it! From a pure psychological standpoint, the quality of your card says a lot about who you are and the professionalism of your business. Is your card well-designed or is the text out-of-alignment and cluttered? Is it nice to feel and hold, or is it printed on cheap, flimsy paper? It’s amazing how a small investment in something of a slightly higher quality can make such a large impact on how we are perceived by strangers and colleagues.
2. Make it Pop
Relating to the previous point, what does your card look like? Is it drab and boring, or colorful and vibrant? Does it do your brand justice, or make you seem uninspired and out of touch? Research shows that cards with a little color are a whopping 10 times less likely to be thrown away than plain white stock. So do yourself a favor: add a little color to your palette. Consider having your card not only professionally printed, but zhuzhed with a little input from an experienced graphic designer. Make it bold, make it beautiful. Make it you.
Speaking of you, does your card contain plenty of relevant information about you and/or your business? Does it list your email, best contact number, web address, et cetera? Take a moment to consider the data your new connections will find useful and necessary, and be sure to include it in a clear and presentable way. You could even take it a step further and add your professional portrait. You’d be surprised how a photo can increase the sense of connectivity and maximize your conversion rate.
3. Consider Unique Approaches
Let’s face it: most business cards, however posh, polished, brilliant or bright, are ultimately destined for life in a purse, wallet or recycle bin. C’est la vie. But that doesn’t mean you can’t create a little staying power!
Go online, and you’ll find all kinds of creative ways people are making their cards more like lasting works of art than just pieces of paper. Want your card to last? Why not print it on metal? Want it to have a purpose? Hey, who doesn’t like a free bottle opener?
Bottom line, go as crazy as you want. Fact is, the simple business card is an opportunity to show the world any side of you that you wish – whether that’s you in a business suit or in flip flops.
4. Get Techie with It
Want to combine the real feel of paper with the capabilities of the cyberworld? Simple. With the newfound ubiquity of the QR code, you can use your printed card as a tangible portal to just about any datapoint you wish – whether that’s your website, sales page or taplist. It’s a great way to harness the power of the web while maintaining the advantages of something real you can hold and keep.
Even in an increasingly digital world, the business card is your friend and ally. Make the most of its advantages, and you won’t have to worry about missed opportunities to connect.
At Firespring, we do business cards the right way, so let’s get started and get you personalized with cards you’ll love.