Are business cards dead in the digital world?
Business cards still deliver a personal touch that a digital connection simply can’t, but only for those who get smart about their design and use.
This article was sponsored by Snap to let readers know how their business cards can stand out from the pack.
When we attend networking events, we usually head straight to the free welcome drinks and start making small talk with the people around us. Questions come up from all areas of the room and after responding with what you do and where you live, the conversation drifts into something a bit more structured. At the end, the usual trick is to hand over a business card before you politely leave.
Or has this changed? Has digital world changed the need for the business card? Do business cards have the same effect?
In our ever-changing world, day-to-day activities such as team meetings and global conferences have become virtualised and connections are usually made and maintained online.
There are 433 million registered LinkedIn users globally and more than 40% of users check the platform daily. If it’s not for connecting the first time, it’s usually to continue conversations with friends and associates.
Turning to LinkedIn and clicking ‘connect’ doesn’t take much courage and it’s quicker and less costly than printing.
Business cards deliver a personal touch
As the saying goes, ‘first impressions count’, and a piece of pretty card that is handed over personally catches attention. But it should serve more of a purpose than just being a way of offering your contact name and details. It’s a representation of you and the company you work for, and therefore should reflect your personality and give the recipient a reason to want to stay in touch.
Hayley Smith, owner of PR company Boxed Out PR, says:
“I’m a big fan of business cards, because they can be a huge marketing tool. However, nowadays with so many people giving out business cards, companies need to think smarter about it. There is a huge psychology behind cards, that companies should consider.”
How can you make your card different?
Look and feel counts for a lot and putting effort into the design, colour, texture and quality of the card ensures it stands out in the pile.
A card should include something a bit more unique rather than just a job title and contact details. It’s useful to add a call to action (CTA) which prompts the receiver to take action. Writing notes on the back of it or adding a personal message will make it look like you intended to give it, rather than just giving a ‘one-in-5000’ message.
It’s a good idea to check that the card is easy to read and that the font is simple and the colours contrast enough.
QR codes can be used to bring a business card up to date and add a more enticing CTR.
Ditching the card for the phone
It may sound like a good idea but getting rid of a card because you have your phone is not always the best answer. Just because you are tech savvy doesn’t mean everyone else in the room is.
Business cards are also a visual reminder of what you do and what you stand for. They communicate a brand message as well as having a functional purpose. For example, if you own a high-end fashion store, a luxurious looking business card will give your customers the impression you care about them and take pride in your business.
In Asian countries, business cards are extremely important as they convey a message of respect for one another. They are usually handed over with two hands, examined carefully and discussed — rather than just being thrown in a bag.
“Business cards are the first and most powerful marketing tool that help with networking and generating new leads. The card gives your audience a tangible asset that connects them to you and provides a great first and lasting impression, when done well.” Says Cindy Haylen, marketing manager, Snap Franchising.
So, think about these points before you decide to print your next batch of business cards. Even though the digital world is booming, printed cards will still leave their mark.
For the best in business cards, design and promotional merchandise, don’t look past Snap.