Business Card Marketing Basics

Business cards are one of the most common ways for small and large business owners to make a professional introduction. A marketer once said that not carrying around business cards is comparable to walking into a business meeting without your pants.

Business cards have many uses. Obviously, they can be used to promote your product or service. But marketing is more than telling people about what you do or sell. It's about making connections. When you receive a business card, you can use it as an effective way to remember people. You can use it as an instant note pad to write down pertinent information in shorthand about the meeting. Information such as when you met the person, why this connection was important to you, any commitments you've made to that person or commitments they've made to you can all be jotted down on the back of a business card.

This information can then be entered into your computer when you get back to your office if you prefer to keep a digital copy of information received. Or you can simply file the cards away in a rolodex which you can purchase at any office supply store. If appropriate, you can print thank you cards. Depending on the situation, you may want to consider adding the names and contacts to your address book and occasionally send business greeting cards to these new contacts. Greeting cards are also a highly effective marketing tool and you can print them economically from your office printer.

Make the Card Work for You

In order to make your business card work for you, it needs to look professional. You don't need to hire an expensive commercial printer, but you do need to spend some money on products like quality paper to make sure you give the best first impression possible. Since people may use your card to write down notes to themselves, it's a good idea to make sure you choose a paper stock that can be written on. A glossy finish is a poor choice as is colored paper stock. These types of cards may make a bigger impact for the first few seconds your recipient sees them, but they're more likely to be tossed than kept for future reference.

Make sure you include all necessary information. This includes your name, phone number, fax number, company logo, email, website URL and surface mailing address. As further enticement for recipients to keep your card, you can add a call to action on it. A call to action could include anything from a discount code if the number is punched into the website or offering a free report to anyone who visits your website or making the entire card a coupon for a discount on in-person transactions.

When printing your own business cards, especially if you're a sole proprietor small business owner, you may not have a chance to have someone else look at your card for any errors. Proofread and then proofread your cards again to make sure there are no mistakes. Wait a few days between each proofread. To reduce the chance of skimming familiar content, try reading each line backwards to force yourself to look at each word and number.

Other Tips

If you need a change made to your card, reprint the card. From a marketing perspective, any card with changes made in pen looks unprofessional.

Consider printing a few different types of business cards to appeal to different clients. It's inexpensive to do, especially if you're creating the cards yourself. You can even create two-side cards as long as you're careful to make sure the two sides align. If printer ink cost is concern, consider saving money by purchasing bulk inkjet supplies.