In an age where business is done increasingly via digital means, there are some who question the usefulness of the business card. These people do so at their own risk, however, because the business card is still the best way to get your contact information into the hands of potential customers.
When meeting with a customer, presenting them with a business card is standard practice. But in an age of digital connection, why is it still so crucial? For starters, business cards lend an air of credibility and permanence to your product or service. This sense of credibility is further enforced when the person presenting the card is well groomed, well spoken, and knowledgeable without being pushy. These two happenings in conjunction create a "face/service" memory, which basically means that when they think of your service, they think of you personally. Second, a business card is a way of conveying all of your information at once, without the digital conversation killer of looking down at your phone and taking time to add a contact.
Though they can be considered old fashioned, business cards have been around for a long time for the simple reason that they work. For many years, they were the best (and only) way to get your company’s name into the mind of customers. In the modern day there are literally hundreds of other ways to get your brand out there, but business cards are still by far the most effective. You may ask yourself how this could be, and rightly so. The answer is simple: business cards are everything digital connection isn’t.
First of all, the business card is as we said a tangible reminder of your service. Being that it is non-digital, it is immune to power outages (and therefore great for electricians). It can be carried and deployed even in areas of little to no cell phone reception. The customer doesn’t need internet access to find the information on a business card, so long as they have it in front of them. Finally, the business card will never have server issues or connection problems.
Perhaps the most useful aspect of the business card is that it is, in fact, ‘renewable advertising’. If a customer is happy with the service you’ve provided, they’ll more than likely hand your card to any friends or family looking to have the same services done. In this way, the one card has lead you to two customers, with no more effort from you than it took to do a good job. The cycle will continue as long as the standard of your work stays up, and as long as the card survives the hand-to-hand shuffle. For this reason, it’s a good idea to give a card to every new customer, even if they have an old one in hand.
The Importance of Design
Now that we understand how and why the business card is still relevant, let’s take a look at some of the best card-building strategies to make yours work for you.
- Stick to Standard Size-Using anything other than standard size is simply inconvenient. Standard size cards fit in wallets and Rolodexes, which is exactly where you want your customers to put them.
- Be Direct and Informative-List your name, phone number, email, and business address. You could also include a short list of services or specialties offered by your company.
- Leave the Back Blank-Leave the back blank for notes, or to add your personal cell phone number for clients. You could also use this space to write down any recommendations, future appointments, or anything that needs a personal hand.
- Include your Picture-By including your picture, you’re helping to insure that whenever the customer thinks about X industry, they’ll be thinking of your face and name first.
- Selectively Deploy-Get cards into the hands of customers, don’t just them out to everyone you meet. Apply some sort of screening criteria in your head to determine if the person needs your business card or not.
- Support A Cause-According to Entrepreneur, supporting a cause on your card will make your company look like a responsible citizen of the corporate world. It also makes people more inclined to call you for service, since it shows that your company is giving back to the community in one way or another.
The answer to whether business cards are traditional is a definite “yes”. But the more important question of are they effective is also a resounding “yes”. If you’re looking for a means of advertising that doesn’t depend on electricity, WiFi, or cell phone service, and that can be passed repeatedly from referral to referral, then the old fashioned business card is certainly for you.