Anatomy of an Effective Business Card

The elements of a business card consist of 1) the style – horizontal or vertical, 2) color – black-and-white cards or color business cards, 3) printing materials – printed on papers, plastic cards or magnetic cards. The most important part of business cards, however, are the information elements of a business card. After all, business cards convey the message you want to pass to your prospects, customers or clients. Effective business cards make a huge difference in your daily interaction with prospects, customers or clients. Many business deals actually begin with the exchange of business cards. Effective business cards send a clear message to your customers about who you are and what your business does. But not all business cards are created equal. When you greet your customers with business cards, you want to impress them with messages that highlight the uniqueness and value of your products or services. If they don’t use your services or buy your products today, you want to encourage them to come back in the future.

Information about the Person
There’re two types of business cards in terms of the purpose – the business cards that present a business and the cards that present an individual. The first type of business cards will just list company name, service, contact phone number and fax number. They’re often placed at the service desk for customers to pick up. The second type of business cards is the one we really refer to as business cards. They present both an individual and a business. The cards will list the person’s name, job title, and a brief description of the job title if official job title isn’t intuitive to laymen. Even if the job title is trivial, a tag line will emphasize your expertise and services and distinguish you and your business from others. A web designer may use a tag line – “build your virtual office”. An Internet marketing expert may say “Convert your visitors to sales”.

Information about the Business
Business information is the focal point for both types of business cards. The information about the business includes business name, brief description of the business, business contact phone number, fax number, physical address and website URL. More and more businesses have official websites for their businesses, but not every business prints the URL on the business cards. Some marketing experts actually believe that the purpose of the business cards is to remind customers to either call you or to visit your website for more information as needed. Website is where they find detailed information about your business.

Once we’ve identified the elements of an effective business card. The design of your business card is only limited by your imagination. You can do business card printing yourself using many different business card templates online or from business card printing software library for common business cards. You’ll need professional printing companies if you plan to have a magnetic card or plastic cards.

Design Your Business Cards So They Help You Continue “Selling” To Your Prospects After You Leave

Why Are YOU “Really” In Business?

“I wanted to be an editor or a journalist, I wasn’t really interested in being an entrepreneur, but I soon found I had to become an entrepreneur in order to keep my magazine going” – Richard Branson

If you are a true entrepreneur, you will know that to succeed, it helps that you enter a line of business that you naturally enjoy, and would gladly do even if you did not get paid(as tends to happen during start up). The truth however is that you are(I hope) in business to make money in a manner that is profitable – which will in turn enable you stay in THAT business you enjoy, for the long term. To achieve the foregoing purpose, you will need to do cost-effective and results-focused business marketing. One very important – but I believe grossly underutilised tool – for doing that is the Business Card.

I discuss in this article how you as a business owner, can better design your own business cards, to significantly improve your ability to market yourself to those who really need your services and/or products.

Marketing is about creating an impression – a positive impression – in the mind of your intended customer – that YOU or YOUR BUSINESS are more capable of meeting his/her perceived need or want than any others. The more successful you are in creating this impression about yourself/business in the mind of your target audience, the greater the chances that they will choose you over others who may offer the same products and/or services you do. This in effect means, you will be better able to achieve your major business goal of making MORE money, MORE profitably.

This Article Is Meant MAINLY For Non-Employees

Just before I continue, I wish to make the following clarification. The ideas I offer here are mainly for use by self-employed individuals (independent contractors, consultants, entrepreneurs/business owners) – i.e. people who are their own bosses and therefore take decisions that affect how their company is perceived or operates.

For those who work as employees in companies, it is likely that decisions about the type and design of business cards used will be taken with considerations relevant to the company’s preferred mode of operation and business vision. I will therefore only say that persons who fall into this latter category, if they find what I say here of potential usefulness to their organisation(e.g. sales/marketing personnel) explore the possibility of bringing it to the attention of appropriate decision makers for consideration.

Is There A Rule Book For Business Card Design?

I am not aware of any rule book that actually spells out what information or details should or should not be on a business card: But if you know of any, I would appreciate your sending me a note about where to find it. :-)

It appears instead, that most people seem to have come to some tacit agreement on the most relevant pieces of information and features to adorn their cards with. Or maybe they just adopted what they found others doing when they entered into business for themselves. Either way, the point I’m making is that I believe each person needs to try and design a business card that works for him/her.

What Does The Conventional Business Card “Say”?

What I would call the conventional business card typically contains information that “says” the following(in addition to some graphics such as a logo, or artistic effects for aestetic appeal):

1. Who you are: Your name/title/business name, and possible qualifications that lend credence to your claims.

2. Contact Info: Phone numbers, postal/physical address, web URL/email(you do have these don’t you?).

3. A Tag Line: Punchy phrase about your biz. BUT will these help achieve your purpose?

But the question could be asked: Does the conventionally designed business card work as well as it could be made to? I say NO. I say NO. In fact, after thinking about this issue, I have come to the conclusion that one word best describes the conventional business card – and that’s “Passive”. It’s contents are not designed to be response-generating or action-inducing. I however believe one can adopt a card design that is more “Active” — hence my efforts at finding an alternative that works, which eventually led to this article being written.

I have always been a bit of a non-conformist – with a penchant for “playing devil’s advocate”, “rocking the boat”, “stirring things up” etc in a bid to challenge others to re-evaluate accepted norms for possible refinement – or total replacement. :-) If I find that the status quo does not offer me what I consider optimal returns towards achievement of a set goal(s), I immediately begin exploring alternative options to adopt, till I find something that gives me the results I want.

Based on the above, the question, for me – as a performance enhancement advocate – on the issue of business cards and how to get the most value from them is: What information do business persons NEED to put on their business cards, to help them MORE successfully achieve their intended purpose for handing such cards out to prospects ?

By the way, with a few possible exceptions, I assume here that the reader – like most people who give out business cards – does so because s/he expects that the cards will further impress(or remind) the recipients to make contact at a later date in relation to the product or service discussed. In my view the business cards many business persons give out are not properly equipped to achieve the full marketing impact potential they possess. Business cards, I believe, can be designed to play a more active – even though silent – role in the marketing and/or selling process.

Think about it this way. Someone you speak with about your work could say “Can I have your card?”, possibly because your conversation is interesting enough to them, that they want to be able to contact you at a later date to take it further. However, whether or not you do end up closing a sale with that person could depend on what your card “says”(if at all it has anything to say) to him/her AFTER you’ve parted ways.

Now, if s/he runs into ANOTHER person who “appears” to offer something similar to what you told him/her you could, s/he might just give that OTHER person the job. But if your card is THE type that “tells”(or reminds) her about specific unique benefits you provide that the OTHER person may not be able to match, s/he is likely to tell the other seller “NO”, and come back to you. I say the foregoing here on the assumption that you do actually have a Unique Selling Proposition(USP).

In essence, my argument is that business owners can do a little more thinking to MAKE MORE OBVIOUS, the TANGIBLE BENEFITS they offer, which prospective – and existing – clients would find attractive, and therefore be willing to take ACTION to get. The business owners can then highlight those benefits in form of keywords and phrases on their business cards. Such business cards would subsequently have a greater marketing “impact” on those who receive them, increasing the chances of the prospects making contact at a later date.

A Comparative Analysis Of Two Similar Restaurants With Different “Sales Pitches”

Let’s do a little comparative analysis. Say it’s 12.30pm and you are driving on a major highway to the next city to do a presentation scheduled for 2.00pm. If you keep driving at the same speed, you estimate you should get into the city in another thirty minutes, leaving you just enough time to check into “Clear View International Hotel”, take a shower, change clothes and move into the conference hall on the ground hall of the hotel where the presentation will hold. But you are feeling a bit thirsty and hungry, and worry that there might not be enough time to quickly order something to eat at the hotel(Please bear with me: for some reason, I could not think up a better “excuse” :-)).

Suddenly you get to a junction and notice road signs for two different fast food outlets poisitioned next to each other. For the purpose of this example, we assume that both places actually offer equally quick services and more or less the same variety of foods and drinks. The difference is in the way they describe – on their road signs – what they offer the prospect(traveller), who needs to make up his/her mind.

One sign says “Quik-Caterers! Get Our Quik Travel Meals & Drinks Pack(TM). Wait Max 15 Mins – Or We Pay!”. The other says “Welcome To Jazzy Jaff’s Fast Foods Restaurant And Bar”.

You will agree with me that if many travellers – who are in a hurry – had to decide which fast food restaurant to stop at, they would pick “Quik Caterers” – not because the name sounds better, or more appropriate, but most likely because their road sign offers MORE information – using catchy keywords/phrases – about TANGIBLE BENEFITS the prospective customers can relate to.

Customers are likely to PERCEIVE that “Quik-Catering” is more capable of meeting their NEEDS than “Jazzy Jaff’s”. Now, imagine the information said to be on the road signs(or some of it) is used on business cards given out by the respective owners of the two restaurants. Chances are that Quik-Catering MD’s business card would raise more eyebrows, and probably result in one or two additional queries or comments to him/her(regarding the service described) – creating “openings” for sales conversations to take place.

Look at it this way: Wouldn’t you be curious to know(and test?) if Quick-Catering could really deliver on its Wait Max 15 Mins – Or We Pay! promise? It’s an attractive – though unusual – offer, but if Quik-Catering only put it on flyers placed on the drinks counter in the restaurant(and not on the road sign or on business cards), less people would get to know about it and stop over.

What Does Your Business Card “Need To Say”?

A business card that keeps “selling” you to your prospect long after you’re gone, needs to say what you do in a way that makes those fitting your customer/client profile more likely to realize they actually NEED your product(s) and/or service(s).

You can design your business cards such that they cut down the amount of “work” you need to do to generate potentially valuable sales leads. This is particularly important because many times we come across people who qualify to be our “perfect customers or clients” in first time meeting situations that do not permit lengthy discussions or interactions. So, often times we end up using an elevator speech, answering one or two questions that arise from it, then exchanging business cards.

Some days later, the executive you gave your card to(and who at the same event went on to receive not less than four additional ones from “others like you”), sits in his/her office staring at your card. Among other things, s/he may struggle to recall where/when during that cocktail dinner s/he met you, and what again it was you said you could do for him/her that sounded so good!

This kind of dilemma faces many people who receive the conventional cards I earlier described. Of course s/he sees on the card that you are a CPA, or Certified Coach etc. What s/he does not see on THAT type of card is something(keywords, phrase etc) to help him/her see or recall the “slant” in your offering that sets you apart from others who may offer anything like you do. The result? S/he puts the card back in the desk drawer(or worse: the round filing cabinet – aka “Waste Paper Bin”) and (probably) forgets it. Why? Because s/he cannot find a compelling enough reason to take the relationship further by giving you a call.

Think back to the two fast food restaurant signs comparison I did earlier and imagine you are a decision maker for a large company that’s trying to choose a caterer to supply snacks to be served at their Annual General Meeting. Looking at the business cards given to you by the MD of Quik-Catering and that of Jazzy Jaff’s, all other factors being fairly constant, you are likely to get the “impression” that Quik-Catering will be able to meet your needs more readily, because they sound (from what they say on their road signs and business cards) that they’re already thinking along the lines of proving the value YOU seek.

What It Could Look Like: A business card that “sells” you looks different from any your prospect has seen, and creates a lasting impression that sets you apart from the crowd. You can print your information on the front – and leave the back blank, or print on both sides. From testing various designs, I have found that it is useful to leave some blank space on the back for writing answers to “Date We Met?”, “Where We Met?”, “Notes/Comments” etc prompts that are printed on it.

16 Ways to Make Your Business Cards Unforgettable

Every time you hear someone say “May I have one of your business cards?” you should get excited. I know I do. That’s because I LOVE my cards. I spent thousands of dollars on printing, several hours on designing and went through 10 different layouts until I got them right.

And it was all worth it.

A business card is an entrepreneur’s best friend, his most valuable marketing tool and an essential element to becoming UNFORGETTABLE. Unfortunately, too many people have business cards that simply blend into the multitude of cookie cutter crap. And that’s a shame, because a business card is more powerful than you think.

Of course, it’s impossible to know this unless you actually have a card that’s really, really good. Therefore, this article will examine The Four Corners of Unforgettable Business Cards:

1. Stacking Up

2. Standing Out

3. Creative Enhancement

4. Implementation

CORNER #1: How Does Your Card Stack Up?

Think back to the last trade show, networking event, seminar, convention, social hour or association meeting you attended. How did people react to your business card? Did they compliment its design? Quickly shove it into their pocket? Show it to someone else? Rip it up?

Whatever the response was, your card made some type of impression. But only the most creative, unique and memorable business cards make UNFORGETTABLE impressions. And those types of cards elicit reactions like…
“I showed your card to everybody in my office!” says a hot prospect.

“Can I have another one? A friend of mine will LOVE this!” exclaims your tablemate.

“Oooh! I want one too!” begs the person in looking over your shoulder.

“Hey…can you show my friend Paul your business card!” asks a colleague of yours.

“You know, I’ve never thrown your card away!” says one of your customers.

If you’ve ever heard a compliment along those lines before, congrats! You’re on the right track.

That reminds me of Gus. He and I sat next to each other at a sales seminar a few years ago. During the program, the facilitator asked the audience members to exchange cards and get to know each other. Gus’s card was amazing: thick, colorful, double sided, bold, shiny and best of all, simple. (That was no surprise – he was in advertising!) But it was one of the best I’d ever seen. So we introduced ourselves, exchanged cards and talked for a few minutes. And that was about it. Nice guy, I thought.

Now, here’s the cool part: although Gus and I didn’t really keep in touch, I’ve never thrown his card away. I show it to everyone! In fact, I even use it as a prop in some of my networking workshops! His card was just that good.

Is yours that good? Keep that question in the back of your mind as you read on. Now let’s move into the next section and find out why certain cards stand out more than others.

CORNER # 2: Standing Out

Recently I took 66 business cards I’ve collected over the years and spread them out on a table. I closed my eyes for 30 seconds, opened them and took note of which cards stood out the most. And here’s what I noticed:

Red: every card that had red on it stood out.

Picture: only a few cards had pictures of the cardholder. This not only made them stand out, but helped me connect faces with names and companies.

Vertical: several cards were formatted vertically, which caught my eye.

Black Background: most cards have a white background, so the black ones REALLY stood out.

Image: cards with some sort of colorful image that took up at least one fourth of the total surface area captured my interest.

(To view a high quality image of this game of 66 Card Pick Up, go to http://hellomynameisscott.blogspot.com/2005/03/does-your-business-card-stand-out.html)

This was a valuable exercise in understanding UNFORGETTABLE business cards, and I recommend it to everyone. Try it out! Gather dozens of accumulated cards from your desk and discover which ones stand out. Oh, and don’t forget to put your OWN card in the pile. You’ll be amazed at what you see.

Or don’t see.

CORNER #3: Creative and Unique Ways to Enhance Your Card

Now that you’ve analyzed your own card and have been exposed to a large quantity of other people cards, your mind should be swimming with new, creative ideas. This is the perfect time to brainstorm ways to enhance your card. So, grab a blank sheet of paper. Come up with as many ideas as possible. Let your creativity run wild! And to help you get started, here’s a list of 16 creative ideas to make your business card UNFORGETTABLE:

1. Size or Shape – Rectangle, schmectangle. I’ve seen squares, circles, ovals and triangles. Each shape made a connection to the brand, and each shape stood out amidst the endless regression of the same old rectangles.

2. Chocolate Business Cards (yes, these DO exist) – Several companies have online catalogues for personalized chocolate cards. Expensive? Yes. Delicious? Probably. Memorable? You better believe it.

3. Trading Cards – If your company is team oriented, get trading cards with your “players” pictures and stats. Then encourage your customers and prospects to “collect all 12!”

4. Cartoons – Get a custom cartoon commissioned for the back of your card. It’s cheap, royalty free and absolutely unique to your business.

5. Table/Chart – Include a mortgage loan interest table or some staggering statistics on the back. These are helpful reminders for the mathematically challenged and effective methods to position yourself as a resource.

6. Pop-Ups – Just like kid’s books, some business cards can be printed as folded, pop-up cards. Talk about thinking three-dimensionally!

7. Credibility – The smartest thing I ever did to my business card was add color images of my two books. Instant credibility. And, I noticed an immediate change in the reactions from the people to whom I gave cards. One lady even said, “Scott, this is the coolest business card I’ve ever seen!” Money well spent.

8. Rubber Stamps – Buy 10 different customized rubber stamps for the backs of your cards. When someone asks for one just say “Pick a card, any card!”

9. Die Cutting – My friend Lisa works for the Rock Island Fire Dept. Her business card has a charred hole burnt right through the middle of every card! It looks incredibly real. And most printers offer this feature for a nominal feel. You can also specify various shapes, bite marks or hole sizes.

10. Recipe – If you work in an industry connected to food, kitchens or homes; include one of your favorite recipes on the back!

11. Material – Use leather, blinking or brail business cards (yes, these actually exist too!)

12. Language – If your business requires international travel, consider offering multiple languages, or print the phonetic spelling of a difficult to pronounce name.

13. Motivation – If you’re the motivational type, include a famous quotation, bible verse or movie line that connects to your brand. And be sure to read it aloud when you give someone your card, it might just make their day!

14. Stickers – Print one side of your cards on adhesive label paper. This gives the recipient a peel off sticker for reminders, appointments or phone numbers.

15. Non-Cards – Who says a card has to be a card? After all, the first rule of creativity is “break all the rules!” I’ve seen million dollar bill cards, coin cards, even a banker in Boston who uses business cards that are actually miniature checks he tears off of a pad each time he gives one out! The possibilities are endless.

16. Double Up – Make your card “double” as something other than a card. For example, mine doubles as a business card AND a nametag. As a result, people stick it on their shirts all the time. Thanks for the free promotion!

CORNER #4: Implementation

Once you’ve come up with the layout for your new, creative, UNFORGETTABLE business card, there are only two things left to do: print ‘em up and hand ‘em out!

First, as you approach you printer, remember a few rules:

It’s OK to Spend Money – when I did my taxes this year I calculated that I reprinted my business cards 11 times and spent over $1,400 on printing costs. I also doubled my income from the previous year. Once again, money well spent.

Local is Better – by choosing a local printer you can work closely with the designers; touch, feel and smell your paper and even do a few test runs until you get the card perfect. Some businesspeople choose to use online sources, which is fine. The only problem with that approach is that most cards designed, created and ordered over the Internet look like they were designed, created and ordered over the Internet.

OK. Once you have your new cards in hand, keep a few final rules in mind:

Reminders – be sure to tell people you’ve got a new card. They’ll be happy to accept it, even if they already have your old one. Highlight some of its newest, most unique attributes. Also, if you printed on both sides of your new card, remember to either tell people about the back of your card; or hand them the card back side up, so they know there’s more to it.

Etiquette – don’t “Deal the Deck” by inconsiderately throwing thousands of your cards to everyone in sight. If so, you will not only become a practitioner of Highly Horrible Networking(TM), but you will waste your money. Remember: people throw away business cards from those who failed to establish rapport or make a connection.

The Card Creedo: finally, when you’re ready, reach into your pocket and grab one of your business cards. Look at it closely. Then say this affirmation out loud:

“This is my business card. There are many others out there, but none of them are like mine – because there’s nobody else like me. My business card is not a formality. It’s not a piece of paper containing my name and contact information. And it’s not another annoying thing to keep in my pocket. My business card is the most important networking tool that I own. It’s a reflection of my personal brand and a bite-sized morsel of the mission of my business. I LOVE my business card. And I can’t wait until somebody asks me for one. Because when they do, I will find a way to give that person value.”

After you’ve face lifted your business card from unacceptable to unforgettable, I promise you will feel great. Your confidence will skyrocket. And from that moment on, every time someone asks, “May I have one of your business cards?” it will be like music to your ears.

A Business Card and You

A business card, invoice sheet, order forms and brochure are key elements of advertising your business. It also brings in future sales at craft shows from repeat customers. It took me about eight craft shows to realize the importance of a business card. Whenever a customer didn’t buy something, they would ask me for a business card. Each time I kept saying “Sorry I don’t have one at this time”. After telling so many customers that I didn’t have one I thought it was time I looked into obtaining some business cards.

Yet I didn’t know where to start and no one informed me that there was a website that created all sorts of business cards, brochures and other promotional tools called Vista Print. Since I was a newbie to the craft circuit I thought I could create my own business cards from scratch. This sparked me to look on the internet and read about how others created their cards. Some used a special program or ordered their cards from expensive printing services. Then I noticed a software program on my computer called Microsoft Office Publisher so I used it to create my first cards. Needless to say I didn’t know a thing about the quality of paper or what should or should not be on a card. My business card only had the name of my business, my name and phone number.

I didn’t add other important things like what type of crafts I created or my email address. So when you create your card ask yourself this question “What does my business card say about me? For one thing it tells a customer who you are as a business. It makes a statement about your craft before you begin to speak. Also gives a basic description of what type of business you run and what you offer to potential customers.

While planning and designing your card, keep in mind that a customer might not know how to find you and never assume they will know your zip code or area code. Here are a few basic things to consider for your business card:

Name
Business Name
Address or PO Box
City, State and Zip Code
Area Code and Phone Number
Area Code and Fax Number (if applicable)
E-mail and Web Site (if applicable)

Now that you have the basic ideas needed to create a business card; let’s spice it up a bit! What catches customers most about the card is the graphics. For instance, let’s say you do porcelain dolls then you might consider adding a porcelain doll graphic on the card. Or if you specialize in wood furniture then maybe a small chest would be a good symbol.

50 Surefire Business Card Tips

Business cards are one of the most powerful and inexpensive marketing tools you can use. Here are 50 surefire tips to make the most out of your business cards:

Your business card must communicate more than just your contact information. Make sure that your card includes a tag line that explains what you or your company do.
Order them in large numbers. By ordering 1000 your cost per card will be significantly lower than if you ordered 500.
Even if you can produce your business cards at home using an inkjet printer, have your business cards professionally made by a printing company. Your business card will be the first impression your prospects receive of your business, so let them convey the best possible one.
Avoid using standard clip art as your business logo. A logo brings credibility and brand awareness, so before you invest in business cards have a logo professionally made for your business. Nowadays, there are online companies that can produce a professional logo for as little as $25, so there is no excuse for not having one made.
Put up a website and use the URL in your business cards. If you don’t have a website, people will notice the absence of a web address in your business card and, depending on the business you are in, it may make you lose credibility.
Keep all the information in your business card current. If you changed address or phone number, don’t scratch the old number and write down the new one by hand; get new business cards.
Keep your business card simple. Don’t use too many fonts or try to cram too much information in it. Try to use a pleasant layout and make sure that your main message (your tagline or your unique selling proposition) doesn’t get lost.
If you live in the US, limit your business card size to 3.5″ x 2″. Anything bigger will not fit in standard card holders and your card may end up in the trash. Business cards in Europe tend to be larger, but so are the wallets and card holders.
Make sure that your business card reflects your image. If you are an artist or a graphic designer, it is OK to use trendy colors and fonts. If you are an investment banker, a sober layout and colors such as blue or gray work better.
Your business card is an integral part of your brand or corporate identity strategy. It should follow the same graphics standards as the rest of your communications material (stationary, brochures, letterheads, etc.).
Find a way to make your business cards stand out. I’ve seen business cards with one of its corners cut in an angle, or with an interesting texture, all of which makes your business card stand out of the crowd. The best one I’ve seen is from an interior designer, who used a hologram to show a room before and after a redesign.
Make your business card easy to read: use high contrast between the background and the type. Light background with dark type works better.
After your logo, your name should be the largest piece of information on your card.
Make sure that all the information on your card is printed in a large enough typeface to be easily readable.
Run your business card copy through a spell checker and double-check your contact information.
Keep your business cards with you at all times. Keep a stack in your car, in your house, in your office, and in your wallet.
Leave your business cards in billboards at supermarkets, schools, stores, libraries, etc.
When giving away your card, give two or three at a time, so that your contacts can in turn distribute them to other people. This will not only help you distribute them faster, but will generate a beneficial “endorsing effect”.
Include a business card with all your correspondence. People may throw away the letter, but will usually keep the business card.
Make your business card go the extra mile: use the back of the card to print more information: special offers, checklists, schedules, etc.
Throw in a business card in every product you ship.
Send a business card with any gift you send, instead of just a card with your name.
Scan your card and use it as an attachment to emails.
Use your business cards as name tags. Get a transparent plastic cover with a pin, and attach it to your lapel. Wearing it on your right side tends to make it more noticeable.
Use your business card as a name tag on your briefcase. Make sure that your company logo and tagline are visible. This way, your business card will turn into a “conversation piece” during plane rides, which may help you meet interesting people and good business contacts.
Use your business card as an ad: many publications offer “business card size” classified ads. If you design your business card properly, it can double up as an ad in those publications.
Don’t give your business card too quickly. It may be perceived as pushy. Try to establish a conversation with your prospect first. For example, ask them what do they do. That will usually prompt them to give you their card. That is the perfect moment to give them yours.
Don’t try to give your card in situations where many people are giving them to your prospect. Wait for a moment when you can capture your prospect’s attention span.
Another tactic you can try when your prospect is overwhelmed and can’t pay you enough attention is to send your card by mail. Pretend you ran out of business cards and ask for theirs. Then, mail them your card and take the opportunity to drop a follow up note.
If you have a mobile phone number or a direct phone number that is not listed in your business card, write it at the back of your card before handing it out, and tell your prospect that you are giving them your direct number. This will make your card more important, and less likely to be lost or thrown out.
Another way of increasing the chances that your prospect will keep your card is by printing valuable information on the back, for example important phone numbers (local police, hospitals, etc), a calendar, or a football schedule.
Offer to hand out cards of complementary (non-competitive) business people in exchange for them distributing yours. An example of non-competitive businesses is real estate brokers and mortgage brokers.
If somebody gives you their business card, you should give them yours in return.
Always give your business card face up.
Take a cue from Far East business people, who hand out business cards with both hands. It helps give the impression that your business card is something very important.
If you conduct business internationally, use the back of your card to print a translated version of your business card in your customers’ language. Even if they have no problem reading English, it will be a classy touch and they will appreciate it.
If you sell different product brands and want to put their logos on your business card, print them in only one color. Using each logo’s brand colors could make your business card look chaotic and busy.
Create a business card in magnet form. Magnets are widely used, to hold important papers on the refrigerator door at home and on file cabinets at work. They are always visible and always get read.
When receiving somebody else’s business card, don’t put it away immediately. Instead, keep it in your hand for a while you talk to your prospect, or place it neatly over the table, and try to develop a conversation based on the information on the card.
Use the back of the cards you receive to write down important facts about the persons who handed them to you. It will help you enormously when you follow up with them.
If you are in a profession where relationship selling is important, it may be a good idea to include your picture in your business card (i.e. real estate brokers).
Even if your business is a sole proprietorship, you can still use “account manager” as your title instead of “owner” or “president”. If you do sales (and we all do) “account manager” is a perfectly appropriate title, and it will give the impression that you work for a larger company.
Use logos of organizations that you or your business belong to in your business cards. They are an easy way to provide instant credibility to your business. For example, if you operate a repair shop you can display the logo of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) or the Triple A (AAA). (Check with them first about the terms of use).
If you participate in affiliate programs online, you can still use business cards to promote your affiliate links. Use the name of the affiliate company as the company name, use ‘partner’ or ‘associate’ as your title, and the URL of the directory or web page where you have placed your affiliate links as your web address. Just because affiliate programs are online doesn’t mean that you can’t use off-line marketing methods to promote them.

Make a Lasting Impression With Plastic Business Cards

Plastic cards are easy to identify, easily fit in your wallet, purse, or pocketbook, work like a credit card, and just need to be swiped at point of sale. What can be easier? Apart from that, they can be distributed to friends and coworkers, they make easy gifts and also create positive connections of your brand with your clients. Check out their usefulness:

Keep your Customers Engaged To Your Brand

A quick scan of a smartphone can bring a customer to your website with the printed QR codes on your magnetic stripe cards. It can keep them updated about your business, and notify them about any promotions you are having.

Wildly Popular

From restaurants and hotels to gas stations and student loan programs, gift cards have fully spread into the consumer market. They also allow people freedom to pick their own products and services, which is probably the most appealing feature of all.

Eco Friendly

Many plastic cards can be made from recycled materials. They are easily re-entered into the recycling process, separating them out of the waste stream. Renewable materials are also being included into gift cards, which make them doubly green.

Popularity of Plastic Cards in Business

Business cards have long been an effective and affordable way to communicate, advertise and market a business. While each card has got significant amount of potential, not every business card make a great business. The fate of many plastic cards ends up getting tucked into glove compartments, folded into wallets or crumpled into pockets. Plastic business cards are fast changing the ways and creating lasting impressions by offering more durable, memorable and interesting options.

The potential of a business card starts to pick up speed as soon as you hand over a business card to someone. It is the beginning of accumulating a relationship with the person you have passed it to, and also the starting of its journey into other hands as you and your business are mentioned to colleagues and friends. To have a card that would withstand the journey successfully would set you ahead from the rest.

Among the key advantages of plastic cards the most notable are:

Durability

Cards made of plastic do not get folded or crumpled, hold up in your purse or wallet or and look new for years. Connections steadily build over the long term. It can take months or years for a potential client to get in touch. Therefore, your card needs to last.

Design

Plastic cards let you design opportunities that paper cards don’t. Explore the exciting possibilities to strengthen your brand by benefiting more from your business cards.

Appearance

Premium quality card for business or membership cards are the cherry on top of your marketing efforts. Your business card should receive the same attention that you give to the design of your company’s logo, brand and advertising. Your business card is an extension of your brand, and one of the most accessible, exchangeable marketing tools you have access to.

Business Card for Every Small Business Owner

Having a good business card is not as necessary as posting your name and contact data on a little 3.5″ x 2″ card. There are an enormous number of ways you can organize your card, numerous choices with regards to the data you incorporate, and considerably more ways you can make your business card emerge.

If you fizzle in any of these areas, you could lose prospects; get your cards hurled before making connection, thus hurting your aptitude to organize adequately.

Here are several guidelines to ensure your business card underpins your image as well as performs well for your business.

Incorporate Only the Most Important Information

It is enticing to diminish the text dimension and take into account each and every piece of data you have on your business card. As you about your daily job you will see cards that incorporate the staples (name, title, business name, telephone, email, site), in addition to each social organization profile, a business pitch, an extensive rundown of administrations and a bio. If you have this much data on your card, you are losing the beneficiary’s consideration because of data over-burden.

You need to incorporate enthusiasm of the recipient and make it essential, without making his or her head turn. Avoid the kitchen sink, and keep your card basic by being specific about the data you incorporate.

Ensure It Is Legible

Trendy text styles are fun, however, there’s a period and a spot for them, and your business card, for the most part, isn’t the correct place. Ensure the textual styles you use on your card are not too little, excessively favor, or blended somehow, making your card hard to peruse.

Would you like to add some flavor to your card? Let your logo be the configuration component that includes intrigue and keep the content basic and clear.