Home > Branding, Social Media > Are Business Cards Obsolete?

Are Business Cards Obsolete?


facebook-business-cardI was out with some friends last weekend and talking about what I was doing with this website when one of them said, “Oh, my company is looking for some SEO help, give me your card.”

Business cards are something I was thinking about.  I even had a design in my head, but I didn’t have a card at the time.

Even though my friend and I are connected through Facebook and Gmail, he still wanted a business card.  I felt kind of bad I didn’t have one until I read this article earlier in the week.

If you cross paths with Lorenzo Geraci and want to exchange contact information with him, he’s only giving you two options — and neither involves a business card.

For personal contacts, Geraci uses Facebook. For business, he prefers LinkedIn, the professional networking site.

It seems this strategy would work for a guy like him.  It would work for me too, since my name is unique.  But how do I know someone will remember my name?  What if I’m John Smith who will get thousands of listings on any search?  I guess that’s what the card is for.

Regardless, the article made me think.  How much information should I put on a business card.  I’d rather new contacts see this site.  If you’ve received an email from me recently you’ll know I have a link to this blog that goes out on all the emails I send.  This blog is currently serving as a business card, billboard, resume, portfolio and lead generating machine.  I can’t fit that all on a business card, so why have one?

Business cards are cheap.  Super cheap.  I have a wholesaler’s account with a local printer and the last job I did was a third of the price from the previous time I had it run.  1000 full color business cards for $30.  They used to cost a little over $100 for the same amount.  When I asked them about the price they said they got new equipment that allowed a cheaper price.  I’ll bet market demand is pushing down the cost as well.

Business cards can drive web traffic.  If I wanted to go out and do some “analog” marketing, for three cents a card I could afford to hand them out to everyone I meet.  That would be helpful in a situation like a trade show or a chamber of commerce meeting, but it would take a lot of time and effort if I were going from business to business.  Nawww, I’d rather market on the Internet.  It’s much more efficient.

Business cards for A/B testing?  Since they’re so cheap, maybe I should design two or three, all with different tracking URLs and see which card converts the most.  That could differentiate me when I hand it out.

Q:  “Why are you handing me four cards?”
A: “Don’t worry about that, I’m just A/B testing!”

I’ll never forget a card exchange I had with a clown…a real clown…red wig, big shoes…you know.  I was in the market to hire a clown for an event I was thinking about putting together and I met this clown working at the mall.  He seemed pretty good, so I asked for his card.  He reached into his pocket and handed me a plain white card with black print that simply said “My Card.”  “Funny,” I said, “give me your other card.”  So he reached into his shirt pocket and gave me his other card…a plain white card with black print that said “My Other Card.”

Obviously we need a way to contact each other.  Are business cards still the way to go?

What are your thoughts?  Leave me a comment.

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  1. October 3, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    You had me reading this entire blog – good job 🙂

    I had a “business card moment” yesterday when I was selling at a local farmers market and someone noticed my business card was different. That was nothing new to me since I’m probably on my 6th business card look in the past year, but it did make me think maybe I need to invest and stick with one. In my case, since I sell a product and not a service, my business card goes out with the product because it’s also something that needs a little explanation, which is included on my card (it’s a “bar of lotion” so that usually involves some instruction on how it’s used).

    So (to put closure on my rambling), seems like having a business card ready to hand out is still important, at least for now. Although in your case, telling him you’ll shoot him a personal follow up email with your business info would be even better – he’s more likely to act on a click than to type in your web address.

    Renee

    Like

    • seobyswaby
      October 3, 2009 at 6:41 pm

      Renee,

      First of all thanks for the compliment!

      You have an interesting point about the business card/label for your product. Of course you’re going to want to have contact information as part of the packaging, especially since your product can be consumed over and over again.

      Have you thought about putting your “instructions” on your Facebook business page? That way you can point customers to your online presence and build a community around your product. Your customers will become your best product evangelists and customer support people around, particularly if sales of your product takes off.

      Just a thought. Good luck and thanks for the feedback.

      Nigel

      Like

  2. Orson Buggy
    October 3, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Since they’re hardly prohibitively expensive, I’d say business cards are still useful. They’re just another way to get your web address and email address out and about.

    Like

    • seobyswaby
      October 3, 2009 at 6:42 pm

      Thanks for the comment Orson.

      1 vote business cards!

      Like

  3. Wealisa
    February 4, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Im my humble opinion having a business card is still important in this day and age. Believe it or not, there are many people who aren’t avid users of the internet, as one of my middle aged aunts recently said to me, “What is faceplace anyway?”. Some people will be more apt to contact you if they don’t have to hunt around to track you down on the internet.

    Like

    • seobyswaby
      February 4, 2010 at 5:30 pm

      Thanks for the comment Wealisa. I do have a business card, it’s just not printed on paper. I’m not saying this strategy works for everyone, but it’s working for me, so I’m sticking to it.

      P.S. – I think your aunt was thinking about “Bookface” not “Faceplace.”

      Like

  4. April 22, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Yes they are still important. In fact they should include more information than ever before. The trick is to make your card stand out. believe it or not people still put your card on their fridge or in a drawer to use and share with others.

    Like

  1. November 11, 2009 at 8:07 am

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