Is Your Business Card Your Best Marketing Tool?

A company can spend a fortune marketing and advertising, then one of their sales reps hands me a flimsy cheap-o business card. Now I’m left with a cheap-o impression. For such a small piece of paper, your business card says volumes about your business. And it’s the one thing people will usually walk away with that reminds them of you. So, here are some tips to make a better business card impression:

  • Your card should represent your style. Is your business conservative? Or trendy? Or whimsical? Your card should reflect your style.
  • Keep to the standard business card size. That’s 3.5×2. You can make it twice the size and fold in half if you need more room for information. You can die cut, foil stamp or emboss the card for added effect, but stick to the 3.5×2 size so your card will fit in a wallet or card holder. If it doesn’t… it has a much higher chance of hitting the trash can.
  • Include one power statement. What do you do? What makes your company stand out from the competition? And don’t just go with the tired old standard “In business for 40 years” if your competition has also been in business for 40 years. If your competition is brand new, or your industry tends to have fly-by-night competition, then that statement sets you apart. Tell the world what makes you special… and then condense that into one memorable line on your business card.
  • Print large enough for people to read. Not everyone has 20/20 vision. If they can’t read your card, they can’t call you. Any font size lower than 8pt can be hard to read. Use a font that is easy to read. I’m not saying all business cards have to be in the standard Arial font, but choose easy to read fonts.
  • Use eye-catching design. Don’t have light type on a light background or dark type on a dark background. And above all… don’t look like everybody else. My best advice is to hire a graphic designer to design your cards. It’s a small amount of money in the grand scheme of marketing budgets, and it’s your first impression. It’s worth the money. Ask the designer up front for the design files when they are done. That way you can make changes to your card as needed without having to go back to the designer every time.
  • No homemade cards. Enough said.
  • No flimsy paper stocks. Go with a substantial stock. It feels more impressive when you hand it to people. You want your image to say “strong, dependable, solid”, not “flimsy, weak, lightweight”. Your card puts an impression in your prospective client’s mind the second their fingers touch it. Make it a good impression.
  • Your card needs to be self-explanatory. If someone picked your card up, they should be able to deduct what you do just by reading your card. Inquisitive conversation starters are great, but leave that for trade show banners when you are present to elaborate. Your business card should not be a mystery.

Pass them out! Business cards don’t help you if they are in a drawer in your desk. Take them with you everywhere you go. Hand them to anyone you talk to. And always do it with a big smile… everyone responds better to a person with a smile.

Sharyn Dawson
Print Project Management