Business Card Marketing 101

What’s the first piece of collateral material that most businesses get? Their business card of course. But how much thought goes into it?

Your business card is sometimes the very first impression that a client gets of you. You may mail them one, or leave one with a secretary as you try and get an appointment with them. Or, if you’ve made personal contact at a gathering, its the last impression you leave them with as you reach into your jacket pocket, purse or wallet and deposit a card in their hand.

What does your card say about you? Does it reflect your business? Does it stand out or does it deserve to be filed in their circular filing cabinet, also known as the trash can?

When designing a business card there are certain key elements to keep in mind.

  1. Follow the brand of your business. It does no good to establish a brand and not incorporate that into every element of  your collateral material. And if you haven’t established a brand, your business card design is the perfect time to start.
  2. Make sure that the card is legible. Too often people try and put too much information on their business card rendering it practically impossible for the average person to read. Don’t make phone numbers, email addresses, website URL and such too small just to fit them on. They are your lifeline with the client. They need to be able to read them.
  3. That brings us to the old adage, “Less is more”. You’re not trying to give them your whole marketing plan at once. You’re trying to either make them call you or call you back.  Think of your business card as your ‘elevator speech’ in print form. (What’s an elevator speech? If you had 30 seconds with someone in an elevator what would you tell them about your business?)
  4. Does your business card say what your business is? You’d be amazed at how many times that element is left off. A lot of times a business name doesn’t say indicate what the business is. If that’s the case, does your tag line? And if you don’t use a tag line make sure you use some line that says what you do, such as “We fix your credit” or “Plumbing services”.
  5. Avoid humor with your card unless it will really appeal to your target audience. Think about the situations you’ll hand out your card to people. If you’d be embarrassed to hand it to your grandmother then maybe you don’t want to put it on your card. Or, if you really feel the need, get two cards made and only hand the humorous card to those you know will appreciate it. That can be dangerous, however, as you never know who THEY will give it to!
  6. Does the design style of your card reflect your business and who you are? A fun, whimsical card is great and can be really appropriate but not necessarily in a corporate setting. A very corporate card can be wrong if you’re trying to appeal to teen shoppers. Its all about who you are and who you are marketing too.
  7. Are you using both sides of your card? The back side of your card can be an excellent place to do more in-depth marketing, such as showing a list of services available or products you are marketing. It costs justa little more to add content to that side but it can be well worth it.
  8. Print quality. What’s yours like? With so many desktop publishing programs available to the general public, as well as products for printing business cards on, a lot of people feel its ok to just run one off of their home printer. And in a pinch, that can be a great idea. Nothing worse than running out of cards when you really need one. But just like anything else, quality printing speaks volumes about your business. A nice thick, high quality card stock along with professional printing won’t really cost that much in the long run. We know of one company that offers an exceptional deal – 1,000 full colour, UV coated, two-sided business cards – printing and design for only $125.00 (Business Card Special)
  9. Another question to ask yourself is how you are going to use your business card. If you’re going to want to write on one side then you should not get the reverse side UV coated. That will enable you to safely write with pen without it smudging but by UV coating the front you’ll protect the card as well as present a well-polished image.
  10. Be sure to include all of your contact numbers as well as your email address and website URL on your card. You don’t want to have to hand print those things in later as it will be both time consuming and detract from the professional appearance that you’re working so hard to project.

Its well worth it to hire a design professional to create your business card.  A good design professional will be able to offer pointers and ideas to you through the entire design process. And as we’ve stated before, your business card can be your first impression. Let them help you get off on the right foot and on your way to success!



  1. sondra Said:

    business cards are very important in leaving a lasting impression. Never ever use the paper with the perforated edges that you can print at home on your home printer. In this day in age you can find a printer for cheap.

    Great article! Thanks.

  2. Susie Said:

    once you have the perfect business card – USE THEM. Too often cards die a slow death in a box at the bottom of your drawer. 🙂 One effective strategy I’ve used is pinning business cards to local bulletin boards where I shop or frequent. Coffee shops, grocery stores, my gym.. etc. makes a great little card holder for just such a purpose.

    Great article! Thanks for the tips.

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