Why we’ll never see the demise of the business card

You only have to look around you to notice that marketing and promotional budgets are being increasingly spent online. Traditional print and promotional materials are becoming redundant, digital agencies are no longer ‘digital’, they’re just ‘agencies’, and the lion share of funds are being increasingly spent on video, viral and social media.

But there’s one traditional printed item that’s never going to go the wall. The humble business card.

You can’t network with your iPad

For people who rely on networking for new business, a business card will always be King.

Plastic business card with QR code
Make the traditional business card interactive & digital

Ok, so you can send your Vcard electronically, connect via LinkedIn or send an email as you network. But it just doesn’t cut the mustard in the same way as a really well designed business card does, especially in a crowded room. The simple act of handing over a card you’re proud of, and saying ‘this is me’ – can’t be underestimated when it comes to first impressions.

You don’t have to break the conversation – or a great deal of eye contact – to hand over a card. You do if you get out your phone or tablet.

You aren’t instantly forgettable either…

So you’ve pinged over an email with your details. It gets lost amongst the 102 other emails in the inbox and you’re gone forever.

A printed business card is a physical reminder. And if it’s a great business card – really well designed, a bit different or an unusual shape – it’s going to get noticed.

So rather than thinking about how to get rid of your business cards in a digital world, you should think about how you get them to stand out.

Combine traditional print with digital opportunities

One way to do that is to do the best of both. Printed plastic business cards are one way to get noticed, and they’re far less likely to be thrown away. Add some metallic print or have them printed in the shape of your logo and the recipient will definitely look twice.

Then spec them up with a QR code

QR codes are no longer a novelty, they’re part of most brand’s marketing activity. Including a QR code on your plastic business cards can do many things when scanned, for example:

– Load a Vcard with your contact details directly into the recipient’s phone

– Launch your company website or take the recipient directly to your LinkedIn profile

– Take the user directly to your social media platform

– Launch a map of your office via Google Maps

– Take the user to a specific landing page on your site (e.g. directly to the service or product you are selling) or to product data sheets

– Launch a video on YouTube.

Including a QR code makes plastic business cards interactive, and it rewards the user for their effort. In short, they make your business cards work harder for you.

Don’t be put off by the cost for plastic business cards

Plastic business cards have often been rejected as being significantly more expensive than paper, which is true if there’s only one name being produced. But they come into their own for multiple runs of names.

Because of how they’re printed, it’s easy to change the names on each individual plastic business card, for minimal cost. The Card Network can print 500 plastic business cards for £145.13. And you can change the name on every single one for just an extra £20.