A typical business card has essential contact information, like your name, phone number, and email address, but it can also send a message about your brand values and identity. According to the Forbes Agency Council, even in this digital age, business cards are still valued for adding a meaningful and personal touch and providing legitimacy to you and your business.
With the right elements, a business card can become one of the most important pieces of your marketing strategy. But have you wondered what to put on a business card to make it even more effective for promoting your brand? Here are seven elements that will take your business card to the next level.
The most common elements of a high-performing card include additional features that elevate your design, keep your brand top-of-mind, and generate more sales.
A well-designed logo. Your brand identity should be present in all aspects of your business and is a fundamental element to put on a business card. If you don’t have a logo, the cost to create a great brand identity is worthwhile.
Color and typography. A study by Emerald Insights showed that color is a major influence on consumers’ initial opinions of a brand or product. More than 70% of a person’s initial assessment of a brand is based on color alone.
The same is true for the fonts you choose. It’s seldom better to put overly decorative fonts on your business card; it’s more important to make sure the information is clear and legible.
Imagery. The easiest way to increase brand likability and recognition is to put a photo of yourself on your business card. This establishes familiarity and helps people put a face to the name. You can also use photos of client work, providing a taste of what you have to offer and enticing prospects to seek out more samples of your work.
QR codes. In a world where our smartphones are always at our sides, a QR code can boost engagement between potential customers and your brand. QR codes can help drive traffic to a site of your choice, such as your website, price list, video demo, calendar scheduling, or social media page.
Your contact info can also be embedded in a QR code. When scanned, your information will be added automatically to the person’s phone contact list.
Discount codes and coupons. Promotional codes entice action. The back side of your card is a great place to include these incentives. Leave an area free for the recipient to write their name, and you have an easy and effective way to track leads.
Special finishes. Most business cards are printed on a standard flat white card stock. But you can spice up your card’s look and make it stand out by adding specialty finishes. Gold and silver foil stamping and spot gloss coating add pizzazz to otherwise flat colors.
Paper stock and specialty effects. The paper you choose sends a message about your brand. After a handshake, the first touch of someone’s business card can have a powerful impact on your brand, making it more memorable. From rounded corners and nonstandard formats, such as squares and folds, to double- and triple-thick card stocks and textured paper, specialty papers provide an immediate kinesthetic connection to your brand. For example, if your brand image is luxurious and sophisticated, then a thick, textured card stock is a great option to communicate a high-end message.
Business cards can be much more than pieces of paper with contact information. The marketing potential they offer is huge. Being thoughtful about your logo, color choices, and messaging, and opting for more sophisticated finishes will instantly elevate your brand. So, the next time your designing your business card, think of it as a small but mighty tool to market your business.
Jillian Harman is a talented designer, branding specialist, and writer. Her company, Hyperion Design and Publishing, is a boutique creative studio focused on helping companies elevate their brands. Hyperion also produces this magazine.