These are 6 reasons why business cards are here to stay. In today’s world of new technology and online address books, the old-fashioned business card is still a successful way to share your important contact information. The following reasons are why business cards are here to stay, even in this high-tech world.
1. Business Cards Don’t Have Technological Flaws
There are occasions when cell phones must be turned off, batteries die, or power the goes out. Business cards, however, never have downtime. No matter where you are or what’s happening with your electronic devices, you can always view and share a business card. While many companies have tried to replicate the physical exchange of business cards using digital means, there still isn’t a simpler, faster, or more reliable way to exchange information.
Even if you have an app on your smartphone to exchange information, the other person has to have the same app or it won’t work. You also have to hope that person has their phone with them and that you both have an Internet connection for everything to work properly. If any aspect of this exchange fails and you don’t have a business card, you’re forced to write your contact information on a cocktail napkin and hope it doesn’t get accidentally thrown away with the trash.
2. Emails Get Lost in the Shuffle
Today, we’re in a constant battle to keep our email inbox clean and organized. As a result, the average email exchange happens incredibly fast. There’s hardly time to reference what you discussed in person when exchanging contact information through email. Plus, the typical email will quickly get filed or, worse, deleted within seconds. In fact, the average person only spends 15 to 20 seconds reading each email.
The whole point of exchanging contact information with people is to build a lasting and beneficial business relationship. However, that’s nearly impossible to do if someone only spends about 20 seconds looking at your information. It takes more time to exchange business cards, write important information on the back, and place the card someplace safe. During this process you can continue talking about your respective businesses and how you can help each other.
3. We Like the Ritual of Exchanging Business Cards
People have been exchanging business cards since 15th century China. The practice started as a formal card handed out to citizens to announce a visit by the royal family. Cards needed to be stored in a holder to keep the corners from bending and presented by holding both corners without covering up any information. The recipient would accept the card by bowing, taking the card with both hands, and looking at the details.
Today, we continue to follow many of these same practices when exchanging business cards. In this digital world, many people still find comfort in handing out and receiving a physical piece of paper that has important contact information.
4. Not all Businesses are Using Advanced Technologies
While it might seem like every business in the world is using advanced technologies to promote their service or product, this simply isn’t the case. In fact, in North America alone, nearly 20 percent of the population doesn’t use the Internet. Additionally, 52 percent of small businesses say they don’t have a website.
With so many people and businesses not ready or unable to use the latest in technology, business cards are still a necessary part of business. Still skeptical? A 400 percent increase in business from 2008 to 2013 for one business card company and the fact that 87 percent of Americans say they still exchange business cards shows just how important this small piece of paper is.
5. We Have Terrible Memories
If you attend a professional networking event, chances are you will meet plenty of people who could help you or your business succeed. While you’re talking to these contacts, you’re so focused on the conversation that it’s easy to forget something as simple as the name of the person you were talking to as soon as you walk away. This is why having a business card in your hand is so important.
It’s also why many networking experts recommend putting your picture on your card. If you attend an event and receive 30 different business cards, the ones that have pictures are easier to remember than the ones that do not.
Make sure your design has some space free of text or the finish of the card can be written on so people can jot down a few notes about you and your business. To help you remember important contacts yourself, do the same when you receive someone’s business card.
6. Business Cards are a Form of Expression
While those who work for large businesses might be limited to a certain card design, others have more freedom to create a card that reflects their personality.
This is especially true for those in art or design fields. Photographers can print their best images on the back of their cards, while artists can feature a small piece of their artwork to make their cards really pop. Designers can also choose cards that have raised text, magnetic backs, or double as stickers to stand out from a pile of other cards on a desk. Capture cards even have an interactive feature for multiple functions.
Even those in technology fields can incorporate unique designs that are ideal for their career. For example, many technology professionals are starting to use QR codes on their cards as another form of interaction.
When scanned, these codes automatically enter the person’s contact information into the phone or direct them to a special landing page. These pages might include welcome videos that explain more about you and your company or a contact form visitors can fill out to get more information about your business.
Even with all the technological advances in the business world, the simple business card is still the most efficient way to share important contact information. Even though email and smartphone apps have tried to muscle in, business cards continue to thrive and show no sign of going away.