Business cards remain as relevant today as they were fifty years ago. They are the lasting, physical impression of your business.
They are a cheap method of marketing your business and relaying the correct information when tapping into word-of-mouth marketing. Yet this is all for naught if the business card is poorly designed or has other issues. Here are our tips for when you’re designing a business card.
First things first
When you design a business card, it is easy to get caught up in the graphics. You might try to put half a dozen pictures on your cards to promote your business. Or you’re so busy adding decorative elements that you forget the most important aspects of the business card – your contact information.
Business cards must contain, at a minimum, the business name or your name and your contact information. A phone number and address add legitimacy to a business card well above a name and email address. A business logo can communicate what your business does while adding a degree of seriousness. After all, anyone can put their name, address and phone number on a business card. A website URL should be on your card, though it should be as short and simple as possible. For example, send them to your homepage, not a product page on your eCommerce site.
Don’t clutter it up
Business cards are far smaller than a computer screen. Your text will fill up most of the space, and you want to have enough white space around it that it is easily readable. Don’t clutter up the rest of the business card, because this hurts the business card’s readability.
This means you can have decorative flourishes on the edges. Do put your photo on the back of the business card or in a thumbnail on the corner of the card if you’re working in a customer-facing business like real estate. An engaging icon or logo could reinforce your brand identity and remind people of what you sell. For example, a wedding photographer could put an outline of a married couple or camera on the business card, while a simple graphic of a lawn mower is fine for a lawn service.
Don’t try to add too many images to the card. Nor do you want to try to spell out everything you do. Instead, think of it as a 30 second elevator speech. Condense it down to the essentials, most of which is your contact information.
Invest in quality
The quality of the business card impacts your business in a variety of ways. Cheap printed paper cards are prone to tearing or smearing if left on bulletin boards or riding around in someone’s wallet. Poor quality images hurt your brand’s reputation.
The only thing worse than forgetting to put your contact information on your business cards is to list incorrect business contact information on it. We can laugh about the business that accidentally directed young children to Norad’s phone number, leading to the “Norad tracking Santa Claus” tradition. Yet this cost them an untold amount of business.
A typo in your phone number, email address or website URL will send people off track. If they do get on track, they’re less likely to do business with you due to the experience. This is why you must proof-read before you distribute it. And it is why you must update your business cards every time your information changes. People are going to question your reliability and quality of work if you’re scratching out the phone number on a business card to write a new one.