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Business Cards- Prolific, Inexpensive, Powerful

By admin • December 28, 2008 • Filed in: Marketing

There is little more needed to start many businesses than a cell phone and a business card. The exceptions could be retail, restaurants, manufacturing, etc. But even there, I have heard of manufacturing companies that have gotten orders before they even had equipment (some used advances/deposits to buy equipment/materials). How do you get business? By meeting people. The most accepted and ubiquitous method of business information delivery - the business card.

Yet, the lowly business card is treated with such disrespect. The most prolific and most viewed marketing effort of a business is not given its due regard. Business cards can be and should be more than a glorified scribbled napkin of contact information. They present the image of the business, as much as any other part of business. They say who someone is, what they do, and how get hold of them in a form that everyone likes- brevity.

The Measure Of A Card

I use a very hard standard with business card designs; you do not have a acceptable business card unless the person who receives it responds unexpectedly. That could be a non-verbal change of body or facial expression, a comment, or a noise. Whatever it takes, move people with your card. You can use a slogan, quote, picture, format, cut of a card, and any number of elements to get a response.


A Few Tips

Use Full Color. Also, spring the extra few dollars for full-color. The old days when everybody had to walk to school in the snow everyday, uphill both ways, printers charged by the color. Each color brings an additional charge. Those were the days of one color on a white business card. With digital printing that is no longer true. Therefore, use the full spectrum of colors and maybe a photo. It can be a picture of the owner’s mug, but only if it would bring a response. So, unless the owner is unusual looking, better to choose a photo that represents the business’s unique selling proposition. Security company should have a criminal in handcuffs, a restaurant studio quality of specialty plates, computer repair someone despondent at a computer.

Use The Back. That is valuable real estate that rarely gets used. For not much more a print can be added to the back of a business card. This space can be used to list offerings, add a special incentive/discount, propose secondary service, co-brand another business; the options are amazing.


Upon Delivery. When presenting your card, personalize it. Quickly jot nickname if you go by one rather than a given name, put your cell number on it, best hours available, or a quick discount for next service/purchase. The personalization keeps the card special in the eyes of the receiver, they saw and heard the presenter write something on it for them. This will differ the card from hundreds of other business cards they may receive this month. Consider that millions of others will not do this small five second exercise, this would be that little extra that will set one part, bringing a manifold return.

An Internet Offer

They have been seen throughout the Internet, VistaPrint has an offer for 250 free business cards. OK, nothing is “free”, have to pay shipping & handling ($5.45) and VistaPrint will put their logo on the back. Still, I use the free cards to promote a web site of mine. It is a very specific site but business cards allow me to precisely target viewers who could be interested in the site. These business cards are personally transferred in conversation or dropped in mailings like invoices. As the measure of my success is the number of visitors per cards, I have a better than 100% return on these cards. Meaning that everyone who receives a business card visits, and a few either forwards the business cards or web site to others to view. For two cents apiece, using the free business cards to promote a second offering cannot be beat.

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