Time was when a visit from a salesperson or browsing through an exhibit hall would result in at least one paper business card, and more than likely a fistful of them. Today, the demise of the physical business card is becoming apparent. It’s at least on life support.
Even at a recent trade show, while the traditional business cards were certainly there for the taking, there were also representatives passing out cute flash drives cleverly embossed with the company logo, and containing – can you guess? – digital business cards and the electronic version of the vendor’s brochure.
Which do you think will be retained longer, the paper cards, or the flash drive emblazoned with the company name (even if the content is later over-written)?
Digital Business Cards – Why Use Them?
As the digital world takes over the popularity of “snail mail” for regular messages and correspondence among business associates, family, and friends, writers have sought out more personal methods of enclosing signatures or other greetings with their messages.
Digital technology can be used to enhance nearly every type of correspondence:
- Digital signatures on email or even contracts
- Elaborate corporate logos with eye-catching use of graphics, fonts, and colors on every email
- Icons to express emotion on communications, texts, and social media comments and posts
Formats, colors, styles, and information on modern business cards are limited only by your imagination. Incorporate your existing business logo, or design one from scratch.
Benefits of Digital Business Cards
Have you had the experience of rummaging through a desk drawer or file to find the business card you’re certain you kept for future reference? With a little luck, you were eventually able to locate it, but there is also a good possibility the information was lost for good, or perhaps the effort took much longer than anticipated.
With digital business cards, the whole scenario disappears. Representatives simply exchange their digital business cards with you from their mobile device to yours. It’s quick, cheap, and there for safe-keeping (and finding). There are even many apps available for storing, organizing, and searching your digital business cards, both on the Android and iOS platforms.
Social Media Business Cards
Social media has exploded in popularity in recent years. Businesses represent not only their products, but their corporate image on such sites as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and more. Individuals also represent their personal businesses on these social media sites.
Displaying an attractive, well-designed business card on social media can make a positive first impression, generating interest and potential future sales.
Many web sites are available that offer many options in creating your own attention-grabbing social media business cards:
- Hundreds of pre-designed templates to begin your design
- Selectable artwork to customize your business card to reflect your product or personality
- Total create-your-own design capability
- Customizable cards in a broad variety of colors
- Business card icons to further enhance your message
This will likely put the final nail in the coffin of paper business cards, right?
Modern Business Cards
Not so fast – paper cards also have their place, and are likely to remain in circulation for the foreseeable future. It’s still one of the easiest ways to make an instant connection with prospects. Especially when meeting new customers for the first time. But to be sure, business cards still need a modern touch to make them stand out and ensure they’ll be retained (at least for the short term).
Fortunately for those who need physical business cards, they have also made significant strides in the use of digital technology and structure. They can be designed online with nearly any feature you can imagine:
- Any variety of paper weight, color, or texture
- Plastic is available as well, similar to credit card media
- Photos can be added as desired
- Multi-color printing and even textured inks are available
Want to stand out from other business cards? Try a plastic card in a custom shape. This will certainly catch the attention of the recipient, and may even be shared with additional prospects.
Creativity Reigns in Business Card Apps
One example of an application designed to offer creativity and variety in creating your business card or other personalization is Haystack. This mobile app now utilized by thousands of businesses and individuals. This empowers users not only to create personalized digital business cards, but also includes functionality to scan, capture, and store physical card images. Just snap a quick picture of any card with your smartphone. The app will store it away in the Haystack app for future reference.
Using social media on your smartphone? Haystack has you covered there, as well. Give Haystack your social media contacts, and import them right into your Haystack contact information. When your contacts update their information in social media, the app will update your information in Haystack. This keeps you current seamlessly and effortlessly.
Business Cards of the Future
Certainly the digital marketplace is increasingly taking over the popularity of physical business cards. However, paper will continue to enjoy its solid place on the market. Ordering and designing will be performed digitally, but paper seems to persevere for many of us.