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Are Business Cards Still Relevant?


There is an ongoing debate in the business world over the relevance of business cards in the digital age. With professional social networks such as LinkedIn, mobile networking apps and the ability to scan and organize your hefty pile of old business cards, many are doubting the longevity of the traditional business card. As a millennial, just out of college, I can tell you that many of my peers seem to think the same thing. In fact, in one of the introductory business courses during my freshman year, we were required to create our own business cards. I can tell you that many of the students did not understand why they would need business cards as a freshman in college. Why couldn’t we just sign up for LinkedIn?

With such a focus on innovation, digital applications, and technology, it is no wonder that many individuals shun the business card. But the question is, are business cards still worth it? Hint: The answer is yes.

Business cards are not dead.

It’s a simple fact. Business cards will stand the test of time. Technology has yet to actually kill the business card, and I’m not sure that it ever will. In fact, technology has revolutionized how we use business cards for networking, communication and common business practices.

Your business card is, and always has been, an extension of your branding strategy. For example, let’s say you’re looking to set up a meeting with a perspective client that you obtained through an online lead. Upon meeting, you hand them your business card. Now, you have already set up the meeting and have their contact information, so why would you present your card? You do so in order to promote your brand and keep your company on the prospective client’s radar. Although not used as frequently for contacting individuals within your network, business cards are a vital part of a great branding strategy.

What every business card needs.

With the advancement of technology comes the need to update what information is displayed on our business cards. As an extension of your brand, your business card should stay current, fresh, and up-to-date. In other words, if your business card still mentions your beeper number or aol.com email address, you need to update your business card pronto. Although the business card is no longer the first place people look for your information, all the necessary contact information should still be readily available. Make sure, at the very least, the following information is on your business card.

  • Name
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number
  • Website
  • Logo

Other details such as your job position, social media links (in the form of a QR code or even written out) and office address, although not completely necessary, can be on a business card if desired.

Combine Technology and Business Cards

How many readers have a large shoebox or drawer filled to the brim with business cards? Over the years, we’ve all collected an incredible amount of business cards and either strategically organized them, or like most, thrown them into a drawer or box. In attempt to organize the mass amount of business cards received by sales and business development individuals, specific mobile and tablet apps were built to scan and automatically organize your cards. If you’re looking to consolidate that mountain of business cards on your desk, check out some of these apps:

  • Evernote Hello
  • FullContact Card Reader
  • Icon.me
  • Shape Business Card Reader

Make an Impression.

Business cards have become permanently fixed into the functioning business society. The exchange of business cards has become so ritualistic that when you don’t hand over a tiny rectangular card, you’re looked at a little funny. Whether you have a business card or not, you make a lasting impression. You just need to choose which impression you want to present. If you’re looking to build your business, brand, and leads, I suggest you create a strong business card and distribute them frequently.

In addition, don’t forget to have an easy to read, visually appealing business card. Nothing is worse than receiving a business card with a crazy font, too much color, or an unidentifiable logo. For Parks and Recreation fans, you’ll remember the episode where Tom Haverford hands his “business card” to Andy, who finds it difficult to read because of the black font and black background. As the imaginative Tom states, it’s the “coolest color theme” ever. Or not. It’s true, you want to stand out from the crowd with your business card, but there’s no need to go overboard. Think about your industry, goals, and current (or desired) employment position and ensure that your business card reflects that criteria. In a past post, we listed some essential tips for creating a great business card.

Yes, business cards are still relevant. From branding to being integrated with mobile applications, these historic business landmarks are here to stay. How is your company revolutionizing the way business cards are being used?