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.)