Circle + Co.

Are business cards still relevant?

In a world where we spend more time with our smartphones than some members of our own family, you could be forgiven for thinking that the business card is a relic that belongs firmly in the past.

After all, we exchange numbers and share contacts so digitally, and

quickly that the effort to design and print some business cards may seem like a waste of time.

But, just like those paper books aren’t planning on retiring any time soon to leave the kindles of the world to rule, business cards don’t show any signs of disappearing either. And here’s why.

Imagine a time when you went somewhere, on holiday perhaps, and you really liked it so you wanted to take a picture to remember the occasion. Fast forward six months, a year … have you ever looked at that photo again? Probably not (I’m terrible for doing just this). Now, what about if you bought a painting of that beautiful beach, or a nice ornament and placed it somewhere prominent in your home (there is a business card related point coming, I promise). Every time you see that painting, or that vase or whatever, you’ll be reminded of that wonderful moment in your life.

Now, consider that you had a great meeting with a prospective client and you didn’t leave a business card at the end – after all, they know who you are, your email address, phone number, website right? And you would be correct, that email you sent to confirm the meeting is still in their inbox after all. But again, we can all relate to inboxes quickly becoming overrun like an unchecked rodent population. So, you quickly fade from the minds of those prospective clients as they continue to meet with other potential suiters.

(Photo credit: British Council | Learn English)

What if instead, after that meeting, you left a business card? That prospective client now has something tangible to remember you by. Humans are tactile creatures, we like something tangible to touch, smell, see easily as it helps to form a connection to a person, place or memory. A business card will also act as a little prompt, a reminder of your contact details.

Additionally, business cards are great marketing tools. Any business owner will know how expensive it is to market your business. Most of the time we target cold leads, but a business card can be so much more that just a method for sharing your contact details. It can double up as great marketing tool, and furthermore, it’s sitting in the hand of a warm lead – someone who has either solicited contact with you, or who has had a conversation with you about something that they need.

Regardless of the ease, simplicity and of course environmentally-friendly way to exchange contact information digitally, it’s not very personal, lasting or memorable. Whereas swapping business cards is. It’s the age-old feeling of I’ll give you something of mine to remember me by, for free.

6 facts about business cards that you need to know.

1

Business cards are a good first impression, especially when they are well designed – do take the time to have business cards properly designed and printed on good card – you will be judged on this.

2

Business cards are thought to date back 600 years to the 15th century, in China.

3

According to a survey, a company’s sales see an increase of 2.5% for every 2,000 business cards handed out.

4

Coloured business cards are likely to be held onto 10x longer than a white business card. They also have a 1000% chance of not getting thrown away, when compare to a white business card.

5

According to a study by the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 72% of people judge a company based on the quality of their business cards.

6

And given the fact that 88% of business cards do end up in the bin, using recycled material is a good option and a positive image of your business.

Concerned about the environment?

There are lots of eco-friendly printing options, from recycled card, to repurposed coffee cups and card made from algae.

And let’s not forget about conversation rates. The current average website conversion rate, according to Wordstream, is around 2.35%. Conversion rate = Total Traffic ÷ New Contacts who give you their info in exchange for yours. If we were whiners we could say, “Nearly 98% of website visitors don’t keep our info—what’s the point of having a website?”

Put another way, business cards at a 12% conversion rate (someone takes your info) have more than 5 times the conversion rate of your average website at 2.35%.

Seen from this marketing perspective, why would you ever quit handing out your business card?