Everything You Need to Know About Business Cards
Perhaps no other marketing tool has stood the test of time than business cards. These pocket-sized cards have been around since the 17th century. And despite being in use for such a long time, they are still a vital marketing tool today as they were hundreds of years ago.
The great thing about business cards is they have a never-ending lifespan. Once you hand your card to a potential customer, it will always be within the prospect’s reach.
All About Business Cards
Here’s the main question: how can one pocket-sized card weighing six to seven square inches persuade a customer to buy your product or service? The answer lies in what information you put on the card and how you design it. Read this comprehensive post to learn everything you need to know about business cards. We will highlight why business cards are necessary, how to create one, what and what not to include on the card, and ways to market it to prospects.
Why You Shouldn’t Take Business Cards for Granted
Business cards are, in most cases, the first thing you should create when opening a business or starting a new position. These pocket-sized pieces of thick paper contain information about your business or service, and they are an effective marketing tool.
What’s great about business cards is they can serve different purposes. You can use them to target investors, customers, partners, and even suppliers who need your contact information.
Another notable thing about business cards is they are easily accessible and highly portable. It’s advisable to take your business card with you everywhere you go. You never know when you’ll get the opportunity to issue it. Here are a few other reasons why business cards matter:
- Business Cards Have a Personal Touch
Business cards are more personal than most marketing channels, especially when handed out in person or after a conversation. They are great for sealing a handshake or conversation with an investor or a potential lead. Business cards help create valuable business connections and build long-lasting relationships with customers.
- They Portray a Professional Image
Business cards portray you and your business as more professional. They show your prospects that you are serious and prepared to conduct business, thus making you look more reliable and dependable. The potential customer, investor, or partner has more confidence that you’ll deliver on your roles and requirements, and thus are more likely to reach out to you when in need of your product or service.
- They Offer Value for Money
Business cards offer value for money. They are cost-effective to produce, and you can use them over the long haul at no added cost. You simply need to place a few cards in your pocket or wallet and hand them to potential leads wherever you go.
- Great for Sharing Contact Information
Business cards are one way to share your company’s contact information. You won’t have to wait for your prospective leads to whip out their phone and record your phone number and email address. Just hand them your business card during a handshake or goodbye.
What to Include on Your Business Card
Business cards should be concise. You don’t need to include every piece of information about your business on the card. A few essential details will do.
The key to creating a perfect business card is to focus on the essential details for attracting customers. Let’s go over the vital information to include on your business card:
- Name and Title
The first two crucial pieces of information on your business card are your name and job title. These should have prominence over other sections. It’s good practice to place your job title below your name so that the card viewer has a clear picture of what you do.
Your name should be one of the first things prospects see when they pick your card up. Therefore, it would be a good idea to bold or place it in a section that allows it to stand out. Also, be specific when mentioning your job title. The titles “Founder” or “President” don’t help communicate your expertise.
- Contact Information
If you want your prospects to get in touch with you, you need to give them your contact information. Which contact details should you provide? A good rule of thumb is to provide contact information that allows them to reach you directly. Don’t give a phone number that leads to your receptionist or a phone menu.
On the other hand, avoid giving your personal email address and home phone number. Keep it professional by including only your work contact details. You can also list your work address if your business has a physical location.
Your business name and logo should also have a spot on your business card. Remember that the card is a representation of your brand. Adding your brand name and logo will ensure your business is recognizable.
While at it, revolve your business card around the logo and brand colors. For example, using your logo color as the background will make it more identifiable.
Additional Details to Include
As mentioned above, it’s advisable to keep your business card simple and to the point. However, if you are using both sides, you can add extra information about your business. Here are a few details you may consider adding:
- Create a Referral Program on Your Card
If you still have a lot of space on your card, consider adding a referral program. Referral programs are great for building your target clientele. They essentially reward those who refer their friends, family, and colleagues to your business.
It’s important to recognize and reward customers who refer you to their acquaintances. You don’t necessarily have to give away money, but you can offer your services at a discount or for free.
- Include Testimonials
You can also post testimonials on your business card to let your prospects see what others think of you. Testimonials provide proof of the excellence or quality of your business. They help convince your potential customers to try out your product or service. Your prospects are more likely to engage with you if they see positive reviews.
- Mention a Cause You Support
If you occasionally give back to society, consider mentioning the particular cause or causes you support. Doing so shows customers that you are not solely focused on making profits. It informs them that you also want to better your community and will make your customers proud to be associated with you.
- Give Special Offers on Your Card
Special offers and discounts are excellent for enticing customers to buy your product or service. Consider offering them on your card to encourage the customer to get in touch. You can give offers like free shipping (if you run an online business) or service discounts.
- Include Your Social Media Handles
Having social media handles invites potential customers to interact with your brand even though they are not ready to buy. They get to know more about your business, products, and services without contacting you. Consider including your social media handles to allow your prospects to find you online. Alternatively, you can add your website and then list your usernames on the site to save on card space.
- Put Your Face on Your Card
If your business calls for face-to-face contacts, you can include a professional photo of you on the business card. Doing so will help warm up your prospects. They will feel more confident to contact you since they know how you look. Don’t forget to smile in your photo!
- List Your Specialties
You can also use the extra card space to list your specialties. You don’t have to list all of them, just the most important ones.
- Include a Map of Your Location
If your business has a physical store or office, you can include a map of your location at the back of the card. Doing so will give your prospects an idea of where to find you.
- Add a Tagline or USP
Another thing worth including on your business card is your tagline or unique selling proposition (USP). Your business tagline is what makes your entity stand out from the crowd. It also makes your brand identifiable and memorable.
What Not to Include on Your Business Card
Once you hand your business card to a prospect, you essentially leave it to do the marketing for you. Your customers will decide to call or not to call you based on the information you provide on the card. You need to make sure it creates a good impression of your brand and business.
Your business card shouldn’t contain every little detail about your business. Only include the essential information that will help you attract your prospects. Here are a few things that may make your card look poorly designed and your company seem unprofessional.
Business Card Mistakes
- Typos and Spelling Errors
Spelling and design errors shouldn’t have a place on your business card. Double-check your card to ensure every letter is how it’s supposed to be.
- Too Much Information
Cluttered business cards often look unattractive. They also make it challenging to find essential information. For example, your prospects may have a tough time finding your contact information over the sea of details on your card.
- Unreadable or Tiny Font
Your business card should be easy to read. Using small and unreadable fonts will only guarantee that no one reads it. If your prospects can’t read the card, they most likely won’t have any interest in contacting you, either.
- Poor Color Schemes
Don’t use harsh color schemes, for example, luminous colors. They not only make your card look poorly designed, but they also make it hard to read.
- Poor Quality Paper
Using poor-quality paper is the quickest way to ruin a good card design. Avoid printing your business card on paper that bends or tears easily.
- Use Quality Material
As mentioned above, avoid using paper or material that deteriorates quickly. Use high-quality paper material that can last for years to come.
It’s advisable to use shades consistent with your brand, for example, your logo colors. If you want to step out of this option, consider using neutral colors such as black and white for your background and contrasting colors for the words. For example, if you have a white card background, use a darker color for the words.
The standard size for a business card is 3.5 x 2.0 inches in the United States. You can get creative with the shape and size, but don’t choose a size too big for a wallet or pocket. You can also round the edges to make your business card look classy and unique.
- The Best Fonts for Business Cards
There are thousands of font types and sizes that you can select for your business card. Go for the ones that are readable and that give a professional look. If you are unsure which fonts to choose for your card, try these ten fonts: Adelle, Bevan, Helvetica, Bree, Cabernet, Didact, Futura Book, Georgia, Hellenic Wide, and Satisfy
- Design Your Card Yourself or Use a Pro
You can choose to design your business cards yourself or hire a professional graphic designer to create them for you.
Designing the cards yourself enables you to save on costs. You risk, however, creating an unattractive card if you are not good at graphic design or if you are not a quick learner. In this case, you can always use an expert since it won’t cost you much.
- Programs You Can Use to Create Business Cards
The great thing about the internet is it has empowered us with many programs that we can use for graphic design, among other things. If you are looking to design your cards yourself, consider using the following programs:
A Few Ideas for Marketing Your Business Card
Once you design and print your business cards, your next task will be to distribute them to your prospects. It’s always advisable to carry a few cards wherever you go. You never know when you’ll get an opportunity to hand one out.
How to Distribute Your Business Card
Check out these ways to distribute your business card:
- Hand them out at conferences, trade shows, and networking events
- Place your business cards on the counter for visitors to pick up
- Attach your business card to your packaged products
- Add your business cards when shipping orders – inform the customer in your thank-you note or letter that you have provided business cards if they want to hand them out to friends and colleagues
- Put the cards on community bulletin boards
- Find a business that complements yours and ask the owner if you could put your business cards on their counter in exchange for placing theirs on yours
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Check out these frequently asked questions on business cards:
1. Is it illegal to leave business cards in mailboxes?
In most places, it is illegal to leave business cards in mailboxes. Some areas even restrict you from leaving your business card outside mailboxes. Mailboxes are federal property, not personal property. Avoid tampering with them.
2. Can I leave business cards on doors?
In some states, you can leave business cards on doors. In others, it is illegal. Check with your state or county government before resorting to this distribution option.
Some people might get annoyed when you slip your card under their door space without any formal contact or invitation. They may get the wrong impression of your business. Thus, you need to consider these implications before leaving your card at someone’s door.
3. When creating business cards for two co-founders, what titles should I write?
You can write their titles as co-founder. There’s nothing wrong with calling both of them co-founders. Alternatively, you can write the title as co-founder and then add another role (preferably one they spend the most time doing), for example, “Co-Founder and Operations Manager” or “Co-Founder and Head of Marketing.”
4. What is the average cost for 100 business cards?
The cost of creating business cards depends on how you design them and the printing company you use. These days, you can design your business cards for free using graphics design platforms like Canva. Business cards are low-cost whether you do it yourself or hire an expert. The average cost for a hundred business cards is $5 to $20, depending on the printing company.
5. What company has the cheapest business cards?
The company with the cheapest business cards that you can get online is GotPrint. This company charges $7.63 for 100 cards and $8.50 for 500.
6. Do people still use business cards?
Yes, people still use business cards to market their businesses and services. They are still a valuable marketing tool even with the advancement of technology and the internet. In fact, business cards are more personal than most digital marketing techniques such as email and search engine advertising.
7. How long does it take to get business cards made?
It can take two to seven business days to get cards made, depending on the graphics design company. A large order may require more time.
8. Can you get free business cards?
The only way to get free business cards is by designing and printing them yourself. You can create the business card for free using graphics design platforms. There are other methods, but it requires something in return, which usually involves promoting the company that offers free cards. With the cost of business cards being very affordable, you are better off paying for them than having some promotion on the card because it takes away credibility from your business.
9. How effective are business cards in marketing?
Business cards are a very effective marketing and networking tool. What’s great about them is they have a long lifespan and can serve many purposes. You can give them to a customer to provide your business contact information. You can also issue cards to advertise your services and inform people about what you do. Business cards make your business look more professional, and they are also great for building trust with a potential client.
Business cards are still a valuable marketing tool today, as in the past. They are not only great for sharing contact information. They are also a representation of your business and your brand.
When designing a business card, the essential details to include are your name, job title, business name, logo, and contact information. You can also include a tagline, testimonials, referral programs, and special offers if you still have space on the card. However, avoid adding too much information.
Depending on your expertise in graphic design, you can decide to design the card yourself or hire the services of a professional. If you choose to do it yourself, try using programs like Canva, Adobe Express, or CardWorks. Double-check your card to ensure there are no typos and design errors. Also, print the card on high-quality paper and use colors that complement your brand.
In the following section, you’ll find various resources related to business cards. Feel free to come back any time to use them. Many of the links lead to search results so that you always have access to the most popular and latest information.
Shop for Business Cards
If you’re looking to buy business cards, then take a few minutes to see Google Shopping, for business cards to get an idea of pricing and special offers.
Using tutorials is a great way to improve your skills in business card design. In addition, tutorials are an excellent source of information for visual learners, and it’s my preference when taking on a new task.
When choosing a tutorial, think about the program used to design the business cards and see if it’s something it’s worth investing in before going through the tutorial only to find out you don’t have the program.
Design Ideas – Google Images
Looking at images is an excellent way to gain ideas for your business card. First, you’ll gain ideas, and once you feel good about a design, you can use that as an example.
Design Ideas – Pinterest
Pinterest is an excellent source of visual information for many topics. So it’s the perfect idea to browse through the business cards posted on Pinterest to gain ideas that you can use to create a business card that’s just right for you.
Books are another excellent source of information to improve your knowledge of virtually any topic.
A time saver for nonfiction books is you can go through the table of contents or the index to go directly to the chapter that contains the information you want. You don’t have to read the book from cover to cover.
There are two links below. One leads to books from Google’s book search, and the other list the books available from Amazon.
If you want to become a pro at designing business cards, you can look into some available courses. However, I suggest you look at reviews and preview any course that interests you before signing up.
The news is an excellent way to keep in touch with the industry. I like using Google News by typing in my keyword to see the most recent and archive stories covered by the media. To see what’s in the news related to business cards, check out the link below.
YouTube is an excellent resource for those interested in learning. Keep an eye out for related videos that YouTube displays when watching a video. Many of them allow you to expand your knowledge of the topic you’re interested in.