Friday, 1 November 2013

The profitability of the business card

We all get them. All the time. Everywhere. We're snowed under. We've become immune to them. Half of them are immediately chucked away, and the other half ends up in a corner of a drawer. Where they are left to be forgotten. 

Only a select few ever make it to that 'nirwana': the business card holder of the relevant business contact. 

It's that ideal location every business card is targeting. It's the traditional equivalent to a top ranking in the Search Engines. 

For such a holder or map is used all the time, and every single time the owner flips through it, he or she is reminded of your existence.

(Imagine the CPC budget needed to achieve the same, with this added advantage that the prospect has actually met you. Little miracle that 'business card optimization' has become a craft and profession in itself).

It might not be a 'one million dollar question', but a 'few thousand dollar question' it is: how to turn your business card into a profitable marketing tool?

1. Professionalism

How to ensure that your business card does what it was designed for: to deliver business? First, such a card only ever makes it to that top spot, if you or your business is seen as a peer.  

Your card says: we are a serious business. 

Its subliminal message is: "I am at your level. With this card I prove to deliver services of very high standard. It is safe for you to pass it around or to recommend me. I will not let you down". 

2. Originality

If your product, service or market permits it: stand out. The key phrase here is: if your market permits it. Usually it doesn't. 

Yes, if you are an Interior Designer, work in photography or are otherwise expected to be creative, you can get away with it. If you are not: cards in metal, wood, plastic, 3D… we've seen it all and it's good for a smile. It can also quickly come across as student-esque

The example here on the left is brilliant though. They bake cookies, so what is more logic than have a cookie-card? 

It caters to expectations. 

And, more: you do not have to actually pick up the card or read it to know what the business is about. 

This card even comes with a third advantage: food being one of the 3 strongest conversion impulses, this card actually whets your appetite to get into contact. 

Three advantages in one. This is for sure a card that will be remembered and kept. 

3. Added Value

One way to optimize the chances is by providing added value. Why would anyone save your business card, if it only takes a few clicks to find someone who delivers just the same service as you? 

Why not put a special message on the flip side: 'One hour free advice'. Or: 'This card gives you the right to a free beverage'. 

People love things that are for free. Remember that 'free' is still one of the 3 most used and strongest messages in marketing. It's a powerful word that flies straight to the eye ball. 

Such a card might be saved and remembered. And the receiver will come to your bar for that beverage, or will email you for that free advice. And then the 'conversion process' has started. 

Also here applies: if your business card does not radiate professionalism, the 'free advice' will not have worth. 

Here, as in web design, it is all about the subliminal message. 

If you pick up your card, what does it say? 

"This is a free online template that does not completely match the rest of my branding materials, but it was cheap, and this is the state of my business"? 

Or: "The quality of this card is what you can expect when you work with me." 

Personally, there's no craftsman for who I've such respect as the one who masters the art of the business card.  



  1. I also agree, your business card should stand out, and give a message to people that make them think a moment. Don´t use too many words, just a 3-4 word expression in another color then the rest of your card. People will remember you forever: where is that business card of that web designer that said: I am always there.

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  3. Nice post!! Thanks for sharing with us. I loved the way you explained the post. William Penn is the perfect platform for you. They have an assortment of card holders from top brands like Montblanc, Cross, Pennline, Lapis Bard, Tru Virtu, Secrid, Troika, Dalvey and Devotie.