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The Number 1 Business Card Marketing Mistake

Drumroll, please. The number one business card marketing mistake is…..not putting your email address on your business card! (OK, imagine that I’ve just smacked my palm to my forehead to say ‘duh-oh’) Now I can guess the excuse-you don’t want to get spam. But you know what? You’re in business to be contacted. Some of those contacts will be new clients who want to spend thousands of dollars with you. Some will be people trying to sell you recycled toner cartridges. But pull up your big girl panties or your big boy tighty-whiteys-the price of being open for business means being “bothered” by contacts.

Today’s economy works on email. Phone calls are intrusive and time-consuming. If I send you an email, we can arrange an appointment for a phone call. No phone tag, no string of missed messages. That is efficient for your time and mine. If you give me a card with no email, now I’ve got to call you. Odds are, I’ll get your voice mail. Then you’ll call me, and round and round we’ll go. Or I might catch you at your desk in the middle of a meeting or on deadline, so you can’t talk, which leads to another round of calls. All that time wasted because an email address wasn’t on the business card.

When you give someone a business card without an email address, you’re asking them to work harder to reach you than to reach your competitor. Most people hate going to web sites, searching for email addresses or filling out one of those email forms. If I have a choice between two providers of a service and one has a email address on the card and one makes me call or search for it, guess who I’ll spend my money with? That’s right. The person I can contact at my convenience, 24/7, without phone tag with an email.

How much business are you losing because your email address isn’t on your business card? How many people would have sent you referrals from your last networking luncheon, but it was too much trouble to do so since you didn’t have an email address? How many people passed your card on to a prospective client who took one look at your card, didn’t see an email, and gave business to the competitor who was easier to contact?

If you’re only doing business by phone, you’re behind the times. I have to ask myself when I don’t see an email address-is this person using best practices or living in a 1990s world? Not only do you lose out on new business, referrals and replies from people you’ve met, but you’re also making a statement about your accessibility to potential new clients. I interpret a lack of an email address on a card to say, “I don’t care about your convenience; it’s all about my convenience.”

If you hung out a shingle over a store or office, you’d have to deal with the “bother” of people walking in off the street. If you have a phone, you deal with the “nuisance” of hearing it ring with those troublesome calls. And if you have email, you might get some messages that don’t interest you. I’m not sympathetic. That’s the price of being in business. As the comment goes, “we could get more work done if it weren’t for those darn customers.” Not having an email address on your business card could just give you all the peace and quiet you desire. (And that’s not a good thing.)

The Essentials of Business Cards Marketing

All hail the almighty business card: the keeper of information, the displayer of logos, bastion of branding. That small piece of paper represents years of planning and effort and hard work and dreams. Being extensively used at meetings and trade shows, business card is the best way to make the introduction. However not all businessmen understand the importance of business cards exchanges and arrive at trade shows and meetings without them. They might not even realize how much they lose by not having their business cards on them! If you realize the importance of using your card extensively the following considerations will be instrumental for you:

Keep in mind the power of information

Make sure your card has these key points of information, at a minimum:

  • Your company name
  • Your company logo
  • Your name
  • Your title
  • A direct phone number
  • A fax number
  • Your e-mail address

It is also a prudent step to throw in something more than just your contact information. Include images and other items that will generate more interest. Armed with this information, your customer can find you in their hour of desperate need.

Choose proper font. Not only should the typography you choose for your text represent your business image but also be easy to read. Business cards do not allow for large fonts, which means that the type of font you use should be easily readable in a small size.

Crosscheck the information to avoid mistakes. It is important that you should proofread your business cards before they are printed. There is a simple, yet great way to make sure there are no errata. Try to read each line backwards, from left to right and then from bottom to top. Thus, you will see each word and number, instead of only scanning the message, you’ve already seen so many times.

Make sure your sales agreement allows to place logo on your business cards. Card organizations, most vendors and banks have certain regulations on the subject of the use of their logos. Add any logos (that you are allowed to use) that might provide further reliability to your business, such as from a trade union, chamber of commerce or Better Business Bureau.

Let people know that you conduct business in alternative languages. You may print your message in other language on the backside of your business card or just add a line such as, “Sie konnen mit uns Deutsch sprechen”.

Have your cards printed on the paper that people can write on. Many people like to take some notes on cards they were given. You can actually deprive them of such possibility by printing your card on plastic. Dark color will not do for your card, either. So, choose proper paper stock and fair colors. While business cards that look and feel like credit or gift cards may be a innovation, they will most likely be thrown away rather than retained as valuable reminders for further action.

Business cards are the best way to recall people you want to deal with. Always keep all business cards you’ve been given. It is an excellent way to quickly find contact information about the person you want to deal with. You may also use the backside of a card to make some quick notes, such as your second appointment or some terms you’ve agreed on. Always look through the cards you’ve been given after the meeting and you will be sure not to forget anything.

Get a good record by simply distributing your business cards. While assessing the professional qualities of the staff members, many sales managers take into account the number of business cards their employees collects during the day.  Take the advantage of this. You may also give your card each time you receive one. Thus, you will be aware how many cards you are giving out for a certain period of time.

Always have your cards in your pocket, wallet, briefcase and desk. Keep your cards handy to use them every time you feel there is a potential client nearby.

Use Business cards holder. Bent and greasy cards give a bad impression. A business card case represents an affordable and convenient way to keep your cards straight and clean. Your business cards are an integral part of any good marketing plan. Consider them the seeds of your business, and disperse them far and wide.