You’ve ditched the landline. You can’t remember the last time you sent or received a fax. Snail mail has been replaced by email marketing and Facebook ads. Business cards also belong in a museum, right?
Not quite. We think that business cards are still incredibly important. We’re willing to go even further: there’s nothing out there that can replace them, they’re a must-have item for any business. Here are 7 reasons why.
There’s Something About Paper
The Kindle was released in 2007. Have books disappeared? Exactly. They haven’t. Humans are very tactile; there’s just something about holding a physical copy of a book, turning those pages, seeing the cover weather over time the deeper you get into the story, it’s an experience that has no digital equivalent.
The same is true for the business card. For the most part, people just prefer them. Think about it: thoughtful birthday card through the post, or a generic email template? Paper is more personal. It’s exactly why businesses still use paper in innovative ways.
They Hold All Relevant Details
When you meet a potential client and you don’t have a business card, what do you give them? Your email address? A name to look up on LinkedIn? With a business card, you can hand your contact all of your relevant details with a single piece of paper (or plastic, or another material, depending on how creative you are!).
Make an Impression
Giving someone your name or number doesn’t give you a chance to make an impression. Business cards give you the opportunity to give a subtle sales pitch by delivering a designed first impression.
Business cards can ooze professionalism. They can reflect your sense of creativity. Some can even show that you think outside the box. You can even use them to showcase some of your work. No matter what kind of business you run, a card gives you an opportunity to reflect on what you’re all about.
Yes, business cards are inexpensive. Anyone can get one designed and printer for a relatively low amount of money. Yet a business card still gives you that professional edge. It gives the signal that you’re serious.
You can also use this as an opportunity to give out an email address or phone number you won’t find on LinkedIn or elsewhere. It shows the other person that they’re worth more than just what’s publicly available anyway, further adding to the trust factor.
They Supplement Digital Alternatives
When people argue about whether you should have a business card or not, they often go the either/or route. But it doesn’t have to be a choice; you can use a variety of ways to keep in touch with your potential business contacts.
For example, pointing people to your LinkedIn profile or website can easily go hand-in-hand with handing someone a business card. You can use scanner apps to make sure your card is used to move from paper to digital, saving your contact details on their phones. You can exchange numbers and give them a card as you say your goodbyes. In short, combine, don’t choose a single option.
Creative Cards = Free Marketing
Sure, a business card that you took 5 minutes to design and print isn’t going to get you anywhere. But if you put in a little creative elbow grease, you may have your best marketing asset yet.
Creative cards get shared. If you use attractive design elements, something that sets you apart, or use materials that are a little ‘out there’, people will be keen to share them with others. And that leads to more business.
Those that are proponents of ditching the business card don’t ever propose a credible alternative that’s even simpler. Why? They don’t exist. Business cards are still the easiest way to exchange contact details.
Think about it. The alternative is trying to sync using an app (which often goes wrong), taking minutes to type in the relevant details on your phone (how do you spell your name? Was that last number a 6?), or trying to figure out why you can’t find someone on LinkedIn. Business cards, on the other hand, take mere seconds to exchange.
We leave you with an extension of our first point. There’s just something about a physical business card that gives a personal touch, something that’s real and somehow more valuable. If you want to give potential clients and business partners the feeling that they really matter, hand them a business card instead of simply exchanging details.