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5 Ways to Make the Most of Marketing With Business Cards

5 Ways to Make the Most of Marketing With Business Cards

By Rieva Lesonsky, Guest Blogger
Published: January 16, 2013 Updated: January 20, 2016

Business cards? Didn't those go out with the dinosaurs? Actually, no. In fact, according to an Ipsos poll conducted last fall, business cards are still one of the most effective marketing methods available to small business owners. Surprisingly, 60 percent of the small business owners surveyed say they currently give out more business cards than they did five years ago.

How can you make your business cards even more effective?

1.      Make them memorable. Use design to make your card stand out from the pack. You can design your own business cards using templates at a host of websites. However, for not much more money, you can enlist a graphic designer to create a template for you. Ask around for a local designer or visit, or to find graphic designers.

2.      Focus on function. Don’t get carried away in your desire to make a card stand out. I still remember a metal business card someone gave me back in the 1980s. Why? Because I tossed it in my purse and one of the sharp corners tore a hole in the lining. Business cards in odd shapes, sizes or materials are often touted as a way to be memorable, but in reality, these cards often get tossed since they may be bulky or don’t fit into card-holders or files easily. Good-quality card stock and good design will make your cards stand out without resorting to gimmicks.

3.      Keep it simple. The purpose of a business card is to get someone to contact you, so focus on the information they’ll need to do so. While in the past you may have wanted to include your business name, address, fax number, etc., today business cards allow for a lot more customization. Depending on how you want to be contacted, you may simply want to have your name and title, your business name, your email address, your URL and your cell number on the front of the card. (That’s assuming, of course, that when they go to your URL they can find all the other information, like address, landline phone number and fax.) Are you a Twitter maniac? Then put your Twitter handle on there, too. If you want to include lots of other information, you can put it on the back.

4.      Share them. You’ve got your cards; now give them out—everywhere. The average U.S. small business owner distributes 40 business cards a month, the Ipsos survey found. And three in 10 say they “always” give out their cards when they meet someone new in either a business or personal setting. Carry plenty of cards with you at all times. Whether you’re in the gym locker room, in line at the movies or at a cocktail party, you never know where you’ll meet a prospect or potential partner.

You can also:

·         Include cards in correspondence

·         Include them with invoices or bills

·         Include them in packaging when you ship a product

·         Give someone two cards: one for them to keep and one for them to pass on as a referral. (Ask first. Don’t just assume they’re willing to pass your cards out for you.)

·         Put cards in public places where your clients are likely to visit or ask if you can leave them at other (noncompeting) businesses

5.      Organize them. The cards you collect are as important as the ones you give out—75 percent of small business owners keep contacts’ cards at their desks for easy reference. While I myself still have a Rolodex, you can speed things up by using tools such as the Neat Desk Scanner to scan business card information or import it into your digital contact list quickly and easily.

About the Author:

Rieva Lesonsky
Rieva Lesonsky

Guest Blogger

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO and President of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Follow Rieva at and visit to sign up for her free TrendCast reports. She's been covering small business and entrepreneurial issues for more than 30 years, is the author of several books about entrepreneurship and was the editorial director of Entrepreneur magazine for over two decades