Published on October 4th, 2012 | by Lena Martin8
Business Cards Refuse to Die
In striking research, Business News Daily reports that over 90 percent of small business owners feel like business cards have brought in new business. Almost half of the business owners surveyed report giving out more business cards today than in the past and they hold a strong belief that giving out business cards will result in new business.
As of July 2012, there are over 27 million business cards printed every day in the United States (in case you were wondering, that works out to 10 billion a year). And there’s a clear statistical increase in business sales due to handing out business cards. For every 2,000 business cards distributed, a company can expect a 2.5 percent increase in sales.
All of this goes to show that business cards are far from dead. However, there’s a reason why people have been descrying the use of paper rectangles as a method for networking.
- They’re inefficient.
- They’re wasteful.
- They’re boring.
- They’re irrelevant.
It is very time consuming to manually hand out your business card to people. Especially when you consider the time it will take to hand out 2,000 cards. You would be much more efficient sending out 2,000 emails. But the return is a tiny fraction on email versus a physical touch. Only about 1/5th of people will even open an email you send and only 5 percent will click through the email to your site. You’re then hoping that your site can convert some of that 5 percent to buy. Or you could spend the time handing out cards, developing relationship and know that it’ll result in more sales for your company.
You might point out that 90 percent of all business cards are discarded within a week. That’s true, but what’s also true is many business cards are printed on poor quality paper with no color. When color is factored in to the equation, people hold on to the card an average of ten times longer. You also need to consider the type of waste. Paper is easily recycled, highly transportable and immune to nearly every glitch or error. Its simplicity is its beauty.
True, most business cards are boring, but that’s not the fault of the cards. Most televisions spew out mindless garbage, but that’s not the fault of the TV manufacturer. It’s up to you to put creative, interesting, passionate, engaging material on your business card. When you connect with customers in an interesting way, they’re much more likely to hold on to the card and remember you later.
In a world of social media, smartphones, online marketing and digital connections, it’s easy to think that business cards are irrelevant. We now have the technology to wirelessly send contact information from device to device. That should surely spell the end for business cards. Except those devices came out in 1997 (remember PalmPilots?) and they’ve yet to destroy the business card. The key thing to remember about all the technology that surrounds your business is this: it’s only a tool to connect people. The same is true of business cards and Facebook. They’re both tools you can use to connect with people.
So, do you still think business cards are dead?