Business cards: 5 ways to go beyond the basics

Business cards are small, but they are mighty. In fact, they may be the most overlooked piece of marketing material at your disposal. This small item is the one thing that represents you at your first introduction to a new potential prospect, partner, or employee. What impression does it give of you and your company?

Business cards can communicate beyond your contact info if you allow them to. They can imply creativity, innovation, high quality, and more. Here are five techniques that you can use to improve your chances of being remembered after a first encounter, based on an assortment of business cards we’ve collected over the years.

Switch the size or orientation

Your business card does not need to be the standard horizontal 3.5” x 2”. Why not switch it up by printing vertically? This doesn’t cost a penny more and makes you look different than 99% of business cards in the market.

Or you can go wild and abandon the rectangle all together. Rounded corners have become common, but how about a square, circle, or a custom shape that reinforces your brand in some way?

Print both sides

It’s likely your business card is leaving 50% of its usable marketing space empty. What’s on the back of your white business card? If you said nothing, consider adding branding to the back with a full color flood to reinforce your brand. Or use the backside for a marketing message with a call to action (see next tip).

Use a QR code

A recent update by Apple allows iPhones to read QR codes with the built-in phone camera instead of having to install a separate barcode scanning application. So while QR codes may have not gotten traction in the past, it’s now easier for the average person to use them. You can give recipients a link to your website, a custom landing page, or your LinkedIn profile to connect digitally!



Change up the canvas

A business card doesn’t have to be printed on plain white paper. You could use a colored or metallic stock, or move away from paper altogether and print on plastic like the Suttle-Straus card shown in the image above. White ink on clear plastic could even give you a “see-through” effect.

Add a special effect

If you really want your business card to impress, add something tactile to the design like a foil stamp or emboss. Soft touch or other coating effects can also elevate a business card for luxury or high-end brands.

At some point in your career, you probably had someone hand you his or her business card and you thought, “Wow, that’s cool and different!” It’s likely you saved it and remember that person months later. Shouldn’t your own card deliver the same experience?

Maeghan Nicholson is the marketing manager at Suttle-Straus.

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