There was a time, not so long ago, when business cards were ubiquitous. You couldn’t go much further than the corner café without someone pressing a 3.5 x 2-inch piece of “very valuable contact information” into your hand. Wallets regularly burst at the seams, unable to contain the hundreds of cards ranging in condition from pristine to unreadable, depending on how often they’d been pulled out and replaced.
The Internet Age changed all that, and somewhere around the turn of the 21stcentury, business cards went the way of the Rolodex and Yellow Pages. Who needs to carry around physical representations of a business, destroying countless wallets in the process, when we canjust Google the address or phone number or look them up on social media?
While it’s true that most of us now carry in our pockets a device that provides near-instantaneous information about every business in the world, business cards do still have their place in the hierarchy. Here’s why you may want to consider printing some of your own.
Business Cards Have Become a Novelty
Small business owners constantly are looking for new ways to market, and in the case of the business card, old has become new again. We’re so focused on exchanging email addresses and connecting on LinkedIn that a traditional business card feels like a breath of fresh air.
Not Everyone Is a Technophile
While it may seem insane in this day and age, not everyone is into constant online connectivity. Although younger baby boomers are hopping on the smartphone bandwagon, with 73% of 50- to 59-year-olds owning a device, only a little more than half of 60- to 69-year-olds have one. For this market, business cards make good sense.
Business Cards Serve as a Tangible Reminder
In a world where everyone has hundreds or thousands of friends, fans, followers, contacts and connections, it’s easy for people to get lost in the shuffle of social media and email inboxes. A business card, however, is a physical representation that can be stuck to the fridge, pinned to a bulletin board or scanned into a phone, keeping your business top of mind.
A Quick Exchange of Information
Everyone you meet is a potential customer — the guy on the train, the hipster at the coffee shop and the middle-aged woman you shared an elevator ride with yesterday morning. But how much time do you really get to spend with these passing strangers? Business cards make it simple to reach out, no matter how brief the encounter may be.
Sharing Is Easy
Customer referrals and recommendations are the bread and butter of the small business world. It’s awesome when someone calls and says, “So-and-so sent me” — and it’s way easier for Mr. So-and-So to send them if he can pull out your business card and pass it along to someone who needs it!
Business Card Best Practices
Are you ready to start using the “here’s my card” line? Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Be unique. Make your card stand out. Consider using interesting shapes, colors and textures. Think beyond the cardstock!
- Include all relevant contact information. An address and phone number is an absolute must, but don’t forget to include email addresses, Twitter handles, Facebook links, etc. The more ways people have to contact you, the better.
- Make it easy to scan. Business card scanners are increasing in popularity to the immense relief of overtaxed wallets everywhere. Make sure your business card still looks good in digital form.
- Add an incentive. It’s no secret that plenty of business cards go straight in the trash — but when you give people a reason to hold onto them, there’s a better chance of your card serving its purpose. A business card that doubles as a bottle opener, anyone? Check out some inspired (and useful!) designs here.
The business card is not dead, and while it’s not as universal as it once was, there are plenty of situations in which you’ll be glad to have a stack on hand!
Let’s trade business cards! Contact Mischa Communications today and we’ll show you even more fantastic ways to market your small business.