When was the last time you looked at your business card? Is your business card in color or does it have black and white line drawing illustrations that are more appropriate for fifty years ago? I have business cards from the early ‘90s that don’t have email addresses or websites on the cards. When was the last time you saw a card that didn’t have both?

A business card is a business card is a business card, right? Wrong! It’s not your father’s business card. Today’s business cards are so much more than the cards we created even just a few years ago. Look at your business card. Is it interactive? Does it really say who you are and what you do?

The traditional business card has your logo, your name, company name, address, email address, website addresses, phone numbers, etc. They worked well in their day but with the move to mobile technology, there is so much more that you can do to make your business cards work for you. Did you ever notice that the standard business card has two sides and clearly, 75% of them don’t have anything on back of the card?  

With the advent of low cost printing, it makes sense to use both sides of the card. In addition, we need to add extra information to our business cards. We also need to take advantage of millions of smartphones in the hands of our potential customers.

What about card stock thickness? Are you using flimsy cardstock or is your card more stiff and robust? Think about the impression you make on someone when you present your business card.

Use both sides of your business card for maximum effectiveness. You get twice the real estate for probably cheaper than what you are paying from your local printer. I’ve found a company that will print a thousand business cards, double-sided with a high gloss UV coating on thick cardstock for around $58.00 plus shipping. I’ll share the contact info at the end of this article.

Include your photo on your business cards. Real estate agents learned to do this years ago. It creates a professional appearance and by adding your photo to your business card, you provide instant identification for your customers and it can prevent someone from passing themself as one of your employees. Think of it as a way to make your customers comfortable with you and your employees.

It’s understood that you must include your email address, and website on your business card, but many companies still don’t have websites and you really need to have a website. A website legitimizes a company and it’s still the first place a customer looks when they want to learn more about your company. You can also include your facebook page and twitter account name if you regularly post to those forums. Make sure that you make the typeface large enough for your target audience to read. Eight-point font may allow you to put more information on your card; what good is it if your customers can’t read it?

We have talked about that square crossword puzzle looking thing called a QR code before; the business card is one of the perfect places to put one. It allows the smartphone user to scan the code and immediately go to your website. You can create a specific landing page that you use much like a line card that shows all that you offer: products, services, and your terms and conditions. A QR code only needs to be about ¾ of an inch square so it takes up little room on your card.

While you work on creating your new business card, tie in the color and branding images that you use on your website and in your marketing and advertising materials. The trick is to be consistent in all of your marketing efforts, so why not include your business card in the mix. Your business card is one of the things that you hand out the most, almost everywhere you go. The public probably sees your business card second only to your trucks.

The five essentials you must include in modern business card design are:

1.  The business card must be double-sided – you have twice the real estate
2.  Include your picture so customers can easily identify you or your employees
3.  Website addresses and your email address along with your other contact info
4.  Add a QR code so your customers can instantly access your website
5.  Use color and include your branding to increase the effectiveness of your marketing

I have found a company here in Fort Wayne, IN, who has the best prices on high quality printed materials. The company is called Ink Works. The website is www.myinkworks.com and my contact is the owner, Robb Wilson. His email address is robb@myinkworks.com the phone number is 260-615-5988. I have no ownership or connection with this company; I’m sharing this because Robb’s prices are very good.

My website contains links to all the marketing articles I’ve written for the HVAC-Talk Newsletter. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of my new book, Navigating the Marketing Maze, click here. If you need a branding consultation, a complete strategic marketing plan, or help with marketing services, call or send an email to discuss your needs.

Andy Fracica is president and CEO of Fracica Enterprises, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in marketing, and social media strategy. He has over 30 years of sales, marketing, and product management experience in the heating ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) industry. He concentrates on helping companies deliver their message in an ever increasingly crowded market by helping HVAC dealers more effectively market their businesses without breaking their budgets. Contact him at 260-338-4554, andy@fracicaenterprises.com or visit the Fracica Enterprises, Inc. website.