First impressions are important for everyone, and within the business world, it is essential to begin by putting the right foot forward. Whether you are a small company or a large corporation, business cards are one of the first opportunities you have to introduce yourself to a prospective customer.
“Some people may say that business cards are dead and that digital marketing has replaced them,” notes Cline Design President, Lorraine Cline. “On the contrary, business cards still play an important role in solidifying your brand and present an opportunity to differentiate your company.”
According to Small Business Trends, 72% of people will judge your company based on the quality of your business cards. What does this mean for you and your company? It may be time to dust off your box of cards and evaluate just how effective they are.
Do your business cards need an facelift? If so, here are five important tips to consider when reinvigorating your business cards:
1. Provide Only The Most Necessary Contact Information
Keep it simple. Be sure you don’t include any distracting fillers on your card. Remember, the main goal of business cards is to make it easy for people to remember you and to contact you. Don’t slow that process down with unnecessary information.
2. Choose Your Colors Carefully
If your company has a color scheme, use it. According to a study by Loyola University, color increases brand recognition by 80%. Keeping all forms of marketing and branding consistent in format and style is key for strong brand recognition. If your company doesn’t have a set color scheme, consider using complementary colors—color combinations such as yellow and purple, green and red, and blue and orange. If your target audience is predominantly male, you may want to use Pantone Reflex Blue, green or gray.
3. Jazz up the Back
Adding visual content on the back of the card not only removes unnecessary whitespace, but it also gives you an additional opportunity to customize and differentiate your card from the others. Design and print service providers make it easy for you to print custom business cards with a variety of different designs. Each card can be unique with pops of personality while also remaining consistent with your brand—it’s a win-win.
4. Use A Large Typeface
Using a large font captures the attention of your new contact and draws them into the content on the card. Does your typeface match your brand? Does it project a minimalist feel or is it heavy and rock solid? Type can convey feeling just like images and colors. Be sure to use the appropriate balance of white space to graphics—you’ll know just by looking at it if the design appears too cramped or is difficult to read. Use your own judgment for the design layout, but be sure to follow Rule 1 and only include the information that is absolutely necessary.
5. Consider Using Unusual Materials or Sizes
Break up the traditional format of rectangular cards. Using different materials, such as recycled or premium paper, makes your business card stand out from the rest. Something as simple as a square card could do the trick. When a prospect’s first impression is how unique your card looks and feels, you are already differentiating yourself from your competitors. A conversation will likely begin and you now have an opportunity to engage with your prospect.
Let’s take a look at one of our business cards as an example of a non-traditional card
The square shape, heavy stock, and pop of red color say more than you’d think from first glance. Even within our own staff, there are varying interpretations of what the card says to us.
Meredith Cline, our Business Relationship Manager, believes the black, white and red color scheme refers to the classic pun of newspapers being black, white and read all over. This idea pays homage to the classic print media marketing styles of 1988, which is when Cline Design was established.
As the newest Cline Design team member, I think the card says “we care about standing out in a crowd, and as a B2B marketing company, we can help your company stand out too.”
As a company that practices Inbound Marketing, we are already separating ourselves from the herd of traditional marketing companies, and I think our business cards provide a tangible example of that difference.
Both of these interpretations came from looking at the same business cards. Are you starting to see how powerful these little cards can be?
Give any, or all, of these tips a shot in your organization and see what they can do for you, your branding and your first impressions. In a world of online and digital marketing platforms, sometimes the classic, old-school marketing tactics are what truly sets you apart.