Thursday, April 9, 2015

Time to Throw Away Your Business Cards

Now that so much has gone digital, is it time to throw away your business card, and move to solely digital representation of yourself, an e-card? Is environmental responsibility, or technology key to your branding? Don’t cards cost us trees? Why would any business want to be represented by 19th century technology? Isn’t that the definition of old school?
Business Card, 1895

When offered an e-card, it’s convenient for me to skip the paper step, but I watch the faces of the people who aren’t familiar with e-cards. They immediately feel excluded when they’re told a business contact doesn’t “use cards anymore.”

In businesses where innovation and technology are the essence of the product, it makes sense not to lead with a paper business card. Nothing gets an early-adopting tech shopper revved up like thinking they’ve missed an important tech development, after all! Environmental groups and agencies should definitely move in that direction, setting an example in every way they can. But if the client asks you for a card, what then? “Electronic, or physical card?” might be a good response. Many business people just need to be introduced to the idea to go along. When you offer your e-card, explain why your company is moving in that direction.

Anytime you’re asked for a card, hand one out, electronic or paper. If you’re thinking of moving to an e-card, do some research. Your e-card can behave like an app, and have your customers able to dial your number or get directions to your office by pressing a button. Your e-card can have the exact same look as your paper card. Using hyperlinks is popular, letting people navigate to specific parts of your website, or send you an email directly through the e-card. Some website designers include e-card design in their packages. Choose functions and a design that will work for your customers. And don’t throw away your business cards. Keep a few with you at all times. After all, your phone battery might die someday!

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