Business Cards Today: 8 Reasons You Still Need Them
You’ve started up a new business. Now comes the time for you to get the word around about your products and services. You can come up with an email list and post things to social media but those aren’t going to be as effective as going old school. That’s why you need to start thinking about getting business cards today.
You can make a bunch of them fairly cheaply. It makes them the perfect thing to use for you to get your name out there and make a good first impression with potential clients. The best thing about business cards? They’re still not going out of style!
Did you know 27 million business cards are printed globally each day? That translates to about 10 billion business cards per year. But you might be wondering, what is the importance of business cards in our increasingly digital world and are they still effective?
Well, according to the findings done by Credit Donkey, "a company's sales increase 2.5% for every 2,000 business cards handed out." For a multi-million dollar company, that could mean thousands of more dollars in return for a stack of cards that can cost as low as $20 to make per person.
But even if you aren't a giant corporation, there are still many reasons for you to have a business card. Here are eight reasons why business cards are important and how they can help you stand out.
The Importance of Business Cards
Imagine walking into a work event that is full of people and you end up striking up a really great conversation with someone. Then as the person is about to leave, he or she says, "It's been really great talking to you! Do you have a business card?
If you don't have one, you would have to fumble around awkwardly for a piece of paper and pen to write down your contact. Or this person would have to take out their phone to enter your information, which is both time-consuming and inconvenient. And what if they forget your name? How do they even look up your phone number?
If you do have a business card, you can just hand it off to the person and walk away feeling confident. This brings us to the number one reason to have business cards.
If someone asks for your contact information, you don't want to be scrambling around for a pen and paper or worse, ask the potential client if they have one. It makes you look ill-prepared, to say the least.
Some people put business cards on their smartphones but imagine doing this all day at a trade show. Phone batteries don't last forever so again, you end up looking ill-prepared and entirely unready.
If you can whip out a business card and hand it to potential clients you come off as prepared and a lot more professional.
When you have a business card, it signals to people that you have experience with networking. It tells people it's not your first time and that you or your company cared enough to make something specifically for this reason so as to not waste other people's time. It tells them you value time and efficiency, and that’s what professionals do.
Furthermore, it also demonstrates that you or your company believe in your business and have given thought to the image and branding of your business. Business cards don't just have your name, email, or phone number on it, right? They also have graphics, logos, and images. Together, all of these elements project an image of you and your business.
Business Cards Help You Stand Out
Nowadays, with same-day printing and custom templates, anyone can design unique business cards easily and quickly. With tons of materials like cotton, linen, or even suede, and ink choices to choose from, you don't have to worry about having the same business card as someone else. The combinations of designs are endless.
A well-designed business card also doesn't just tell your name and contact information, it tells the other person who you are and your style. If your business card really stands out, people will look at it several times and ask you about it. It becomes a conversation topic and it's a great way to engage people and end conversations in a memorable way.
2. Help People Remember You
Let's face it, in our information overload world, we can only remember so much. Whether you work in a profession where you do or don't meet many people on a daily basis, it can still be a challenge for some of us to remember other people's names and faces.
On average, every adult human being has about 50,000-70,000 thoughts a day. It's unrealistic to expect everyone to remember your name, email, and phone number. Having a business card solves this problem. It erases the pressure for both parties to remember each other and people appreciate this small but thoughtful gesture.
Lastly, sometimes when we think we might need someone's help in the future, we want to have a way to remember them but not necessarily keep them at the forefront of our minds yet. That's when we're happy we kept someone's business card.
You Have Only One Chance to Make a Good First Impression
First impressions are crucial, and you only get one of them per prospect. After that, you're at the mercy of how they perceive you. Better come equipped!
When you're meeting with a potential client you want to give them the best first impression possible. Business cards are that introduction. Think about the value of giving someone a nice or interesting business card vs giving out your contact information.
More conversation will spur from the business card. Speaking of which, you want to opt for an interesting card. For example, a metal business card will have more of a lasting impression on a customer than a plain white one with some text on it.
Business cards that are aesthetically pleasing make you look even more professional and official than your favourite business suit.
They also help the client associate your name and face with the brand of the company that you work for. From now on, anytime they see that brand's logo on a billboard or the internet, your face will pop up in their mind... now that's brand recall! All great conversations about the business should end with an exchange of business cards.
The worst thing that can happen is a potential client offering to exchange cards with you and you not having any. That's a first impression that will be hard to shake.
3. It's Still Relevant
Despite the world becoming more and more digital, there is plenty of evidence around to show people still rely on business cards. Look at the front desk of any place you visit occasionally such as your doctor, dentist, or accountant, they all have business cards and day after day, they have to refill them.
Not everyone is fond of using their phones to store everything. Not everyone is fond of looking things up every time they want to get in touch with someone. If you look into anyone's wallet or drawer, chances are, they will have someone's business card stored in there and actually use it. Moreover, not everyone uses a smartphone for business purposes.
Many companies rely on smartphones and use them to exchange information with potential clients. The problem with that is not every person has one. While a good portion of the population does, you shouldn't look over the ones who don't want one due to not being tech-savvy or not wanting the distraction.That's where physical business cards come in. It's a traditional way of telling people about your business that doesn't involve technology. It makes it easier for them to respond back to you too.
4. It's Much More Personal
When you hand out a business card, you're handing out a physical extension of yourself and your business. It's something a person can hold onto, touch, and feel and while it may not seem that different from typing in your information into someone's phone, there is a sensory difference to it.
Instead of staring at your name and phone number on a screen, next to dozens of other phone numbers, this person can look on a business card where your information appears in a unique text, different colours, and on something that feels nice. A business card feels much more personal because it is a physical object. It is real and it can be touched unlike information on your phone which only exists virtually.
Creating a personal connection with prospects is and always will be the number one way to convert them to sales. While some take longer to build than others, they all eventually purchase with enough lead nurturing and relationship building.
That entire process starts by meeting the person face-to-face for the first time. No other form of collateral, both online or offline, encourages that more than business cards. It’s not just you who needs to use business cards, however. Your staff also needs to learn to put business cards to use and reap the benefits of face-to-face interactions.
Consider equipping your staff with business cards. It will hold them accountable and provide you with a way to measure how effectively they're shaking hands and building leads. Without them, your employees may focus on online tactics such as emails, connecting through social media, etc.
While those certainly have their place in business, they don't convert to follow-up business meetings as often.
Meanwhile, handing them business cards with their name on them and saying "go get 'em kid!" encourages them to get out in front of clients. They'll try avenues such as networking events and drop-ins as a result.
A Personal Touch Is Better Than Convenience
Using your cellphone to swap contact information right there on the spot is convenient this is true but it's not personal. You can't get to know someone or have a conversation when both of you have your heads stuffed in a phone.
You need to make eye-to-eye contact with potential clients. Talk to them and attempt to open up an actual relationship. This is how your name and face will stay fresh in the client's mind.
You or them can always put the information on your business card in their phone later but first, hand them the card.
5. They Are Affordable
Some business owners are under the misconception that it costs a lot to buy a large bundle of business cards, but it's really not. You may pay a little bit extra for the fancy ones but even those are worth it because they bring in clients.
In reality, there are few marketing or sales items that you can purchase in such high quality for as low of a dollar amount as business cards.
You can customize the amount that you'd like to order for each employee to stay within your budget. Better yet, you have several options on printing styles to striking a perfect balance between the price and quality you're going for. Does your business thrive on luxury and need business cards to reflect that? You can't get much fancier than personalized linen cards with your logo and contact info on them.
Trying to stay as high-quality as possible with a significant amount of employees you'll need to customize business cards for? Semi-gloss business cards still offer a great look at a low price and can be written on with a pen.
Whatever message you're trying to send with your business cards can be achieved without compromising your resources.
6. It's A Marketing Tool
Your business card is a small piece of advertisement that travels with the person who carries it. It may not be the intended design of business cards but they often do end up being passed around or stuck on bulletin boards in public spaces. In coworking spaces especially, business cards tend to be passed around a lot because everyone is always looking for help from someone.
If your service is good and people like what you do, chances are, they will share your information with other people. And if they have your business card, this makes it much easier for them to pass on your information.
One easy way to promote yourself is to hand out your business card to family and friends who can help you spread the word. Another is to put referral codes that offer discounts or rewards to clients who use them.
It’s a more direct and personal way of marketing your business. Social media and email marketing is a great place to attract new clients but it's a little limited. Carrying around a pocket full of business cards works as a direct marketing tool which is a lot more effective.
You can give them out no matter where you go from the airport to the coffee shop. It gives you way more chances to give your information to potential clients.
You Can Leave Them Around Everywhere
You can't leave your smartphone at a small business and ask for the clerk to get the word out. What you can do is take a handful of your business cards into a shop and ask them if they will display them at the front for you.
Business cards are convenient in that they can be left anywhere you want. Always keep a few business cards in your wallet or purse and you'll be ready to exchange contact info at any time.
There aren't many other forms of marketing that can trade contact information faster, not even your phone. Hand them your card and shoot them a text to the phone number on it later in the day.
The funny thing about business is that you never know when or where you'll run into a potential client. Go out to eat at a restaurant? Leave a business card with your tip. You never know, the waitress who picks it up may call you for your services or at least pass it down to a co-worker who can use it.
Heck, you could be at your kid's soccer game and run into someone looking for your business. When that happens, you only need to exchange business cards to further the conversation and turn them into qualified prospects.
As you can see, it's a lot easier to get the word out about your services than if it was stuck on a smart device.
7. Generate Leads
Another reason why business cards are important is that even if someone is not completely sure about your products or services, leaving them with your business card tells them you are available for them when they are ready. You are giving them the option to get in touch with you without pressure. This works perfectly for people who need a little more time to decide.
In addition, if you have a website, you can leave the website's address there for people to look you up. Maybe they are curious about your business and want to ask you questions but they are shy or simply prefer to do their own research. Having your website on your business card will give them the chance to find out more about you on their own and it'll also generate website traffic for you.
Promote Further Connection with Business Cards
So, you meet with a potential client and you share contact information. That's as far as it goes. They may give your information to a friend that is looking for someone that performs the service that you do but that's a big maybe. To truly promote further connection, you need to print business cards and hand them out to prospects.
Many people like to think of business cards as an essential step in online marketing and sales tactics. After you've met face to face, you exchange business cards to keep the conversation going. How do you do that? By reaching out to them via the contact info on their card.
Everyone knows to put your name, number, and email address on there. But mix things up by placing your Twitter handle, LinkedIn account, Facebook page, etc. on it as well. Whatever their favourite form of communication is, they'll be happy that you share the same love for it and will be glad to connect with you on it.
More importantly, it helps set your plan in motion. You're going to sell them based on the number of touchpoints you reach them at. Getting their business card gives you several different touch-points avenues to reach them and vice versa.
For example, friends and family like to show each other things that they think are cool or interesting. So, if you hand over a creative business card, it's more likely to get shared than your contact information.
8. Business Cards Are Part of the Future
Although business cards have been around for many years, they do not show any signs of stopping. In fact, in certain professions, business cards are a way to display status and success.
For example, some companies started making business cards with diamond studs for top-tiered executives, and another started linking 3D images for customers to view through apps. While both of these options are a bit on the extreme end, they work to capture their target audience's attention and help them remember you, which is what business cards are really about.
Of course, you do not need to have premier business cards for people to remember you. What's important is that you know business cards are still very much relevant in today's business world and they won't be going away anytime soon.
Start Customizing Your Business Cards!
Some people argue business cards don't work anymore because they end up in the trash but these are also the same people who are not using them properly. They make small talk during networking events, give out their business cards, walk away, and think they're done. This is not the most effective way to use business cards.
To make the most out of your business cards, you must take the time to learn the best settings to hand out your business cards and how to identify the correct people to connect with. If you engage with the right people and make meaningful conversations, you'll have much better luck with someone taking and keeping your business card.
Now that you've seen all the benefits of having business cards today, it's time to reach out and begin the customization process for your company's cards. Be sure to read this article for further benefits of print media and how they can help your business thrive in today's marketplace.
If you'd like more tips on how to design and print the perfect business card for you, visit our website today!