Business cards are an essential networking tool for any business and sales professional. Will printed business cards and documents still exist after 2023?
In an age of instant gratification and technology-driven processes, relying solely on traditional paper business cards is becoming outdated.
Now more than ever, sellers are transitioning towards digital solutions that give customers and prospects faster access to their information and services – including options such as business cards. So if you want to stay relevant, it’ll definitely be wise for you to explore if these virtual alternatives are right for your organization. Let’s take a deeper look into why investing in ‘going digital’ might actually benefit your team!
Not long ago, before all the shutdowns during the pandemic, around 27 million business cards were printed around the world daily… that’s more than 7 billion a year!
And according to data from Adobe, business cards handed out are thrown away in less than a week.
According to a survey by Statistic Brain, a staggering 72% of people (for real, for real) judge a company or person based on the quality of their business cards.
And hold onto your hats because here’s the kicker: a whopping 39% of people would straight-up refuse to do business with a company if their business card looked “cheap“!
So, it’s crystal clear that having a professional and impressive business card design can truly make all the difference.
Are Digital Business cards worth it? I say, only if you want to connect digitally with people you meet!
What are Digital Business cards?
It is a card scanned by a device (usually a phone) that takes someone to a specific place online. It could be a landing page with many links, a direct link to a place you define, think LinkedIn, or a portfolio site.
Whenever you meet someone in a professional environment, you exchange a business card. OK, BOOMER!!!
That’s how it USED to be, but today you can level up your networking game and use a full digital business card solution.
Reasons You Need Digital Business Cards
They make a quick first impression
Sadly, our target audience’s average attention span can only be eight minutes, making an immediate impression crucial.
An electronic business card is an easy and inexpensive way to attract people instantly. Using a thick paper of high-quality (400 gram+) or even metal can create a positive impression on your client.
They’re free to update if your role or contact information changes
The average person in 2023 will have had 12 jobs in their lifetime . Traditional paper business cards will become irrelevant as new job names and phones are issued.
Think of all the things that will change when you shift to another company. The company name, your business email address, the company website, maybe your phone number… the list goes on.
All of that is simple to update and can be done with a digital business card faster than it would take to start ordering a traditional one!
They make it easy for prospects and customers to contact you
Each link on the cards’ landing page is actionable, which means they can email you, connect with you on LinkedIn, follow you on Twitter or even click your phone number and call or text!
The prospect or customer can swipe the card and be immediately taken to your social networks, websites, payment systems, etc.
You can arrange meetings with clients and contact them directly from your calendar. Those people have a lot of opportunities with you.
Gives unlimited space to accommodate your personal details
A typical print Business card is only so big. It usually doesn’t accept all of your data. Digital business cards can hold whatever you’d like.
You aren’t limited to a single line of 6-point font to share your title. Maybe you’d like to have room for 2 email addresses, a calendly link, and 3 web addresses? You know, that physical printed business card is too small for that!
Digital business cards help you avoid the tedious process of paper business card procurement
Why go through the process at your company to order cards? After you put in a limited amount of data, it can still take day or even weeks to be ordered and delivered.
That’s how Blockbuster failed! Think of the digital business card as the Netflix of physical business cards. On-demand, any content you like, and has a certain wow factor!
All that aside, there is a cost every time you want new ones. With so many being tossed in the trash, it’s a bit of a waste of time and money.
Digital business cards are an eco-friendly alternative to traditional business cards
Amano You (Ceo of CardZero) says
“The biggest problem with digital business cards today is that they increase the wastage from 88% to 92% because after a card is scanned, it is usually thrown away immediately. We found that 7.2 million trees are being cut down each year for business cards, the majority of which will be discarded,” says Amano Young (Ceo of CardZero).
If your customers like the company’s approach to sustainability, it can make an excellent impression.
Track engagement and ascertain interest through e-business cards
Traditional cards have a problem: they can’t give you performance indicators based on card-scan data. Once you hand them out, monitoring and analyzing how they attract people is impossible.
Digital business cards, on the other hand, can be easily tracked. This tool lets you get these metrics through tracking data, helping you track your digital card and activity stats and improve your networking efforts.
Leverage quick and contactless card-sharing with e-business cards
To print and distribute business cards on paper, you typically need face-to-face communication, which often involves physical interactions. However, you can easily share your virtual business cards online or in person using contactless methods to connect with others effectively and conveniently.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Getting Digital Business Cards
Research the options
Here is a complete list as of the time of this article writing:
Here’s a simple list format with the digital business cards and their descriptions:
Popl is a digital business card platform that allows instant contact information sharing by tapping phones together, eliminating the need for physical cards.
Mobilo is a digital business card solution that helps create and share professional contact information through customizable templates and various sharing methods.
Wave Connect focuses on networking and lead generation, offering interactive business cards with social media integration and analytics for engagement tracking.
Beaconstac leverages proximity marketing technology to create and share contact information using NFC or QR codes for seamless connections.
Linq is a digital business card app that offers customizable designs, multimedia content integration, and real-time updates for interactive contact sharing.
Blinq is a digital business card solution designed for efficient networking, providing customizable templates and supporting sharing through QR codes and social media.
Warmly focuses on building meaningful professional connections with personalized digital cards, featuring video introductions and automated follow-ups.
HiHello allows for creating and sharing customized contact information with features like QR codes, email signature integration, and real-time updates.
SwitchIt aims to replace traditional paper cards, offering customizable templates, multimedia support, and easy sharing via email, SMS, or social media.
Kado Network combines contact management with blockchain technology, enabling secure sharing, interaction tracking, and rewards for referrals.
CamCard helps digitize and organize physical business cards using OCR, providing features for managing and sharing digital contacts.
Canva is a versatile graphic design platform with templates for creating digital business cards, offering customization options for professional designs.
Haystack simplifies contact exchange with customizable digital cards, automatic updates, and integration with popular CRM platforms.
Features – they vary but the minimum you are looking for is to have direct someone to
Setup your Digital Business card
They each have a different way to set up the link/links that result from scanning your card, but the process is straightforward. Typically it looks like:
Scan the card yourself
Create an account
Customize the link or links
Setup actions based on scanning
Customize the design of the landing page
Key Considerations For Digital Business Cards,
As someone in B2B sales, the FIRST feature I wanted was to funnel people to connect with me on LinkedIn.
Making this convenient and in as few clicks as possible was my aim. I used to have a laminated paper with my photo and a QR code linked to my LinkedIn page, but that was nowhere near as cool!
Taking it to the Next Level:
Use it as an email opt-in landing page
Think about it this way, they are giving you permission to reach out to them by email; that’s a great next step! I was at a conference recently, was staffing our booth, and used my Digital Business card.
I used digital cards and had people scan it and put in their contact info.
They get an email in a few moments thanking them for the initial meeting and letting them know what to expect from our future communications. #NextLevel
Use it as your email signature
Your digital business cards can be used for e-signature. This enables other customers to instantly get contact details from you and provides a professional image to recipients of your emails. These digital business cards have a system designed with a simple dashboard allowing you to customize them.
Alternatives to Digital Business Cards
Well, you could keep using the older paper paper based business cards. Just make sure you stock up. I met 156 people at the last conference and only used ONE Digital Business card.
Another alternative would be to hand them your phone with the LinkedIn app open, ask them to find themselves and click connect…
OR while they have your phone, ask them to text themselves…. But I guess that’s more of a casual connection.
There are a TON of alternatives to this new professional tool but my goal is always to eliminate the steps (click) someone has to do in order to do something with (or for) me.
Wrapping Up and My Experience With Digital Business Cards
I am soooooo glad that the long and challenging period of the pandemic has finally ended. It feels absolutely amazing to see everyone back out and about, gathering together in person, sharing beautiful moments, and engaging in meaningful face-to-face networking opportunities! I have been eagerly looking forward to this moment and couldn’t wait to step out and embrace the world with open arms!
I have tried a few of these mentioned above, and in the end, I wish I had it sooner 🙂
Some things that I learned are:
I keep two in case I lose one.
I offer it up to have people scan a LOT more than I used to hand out my business cards!
People think they’re cool, and it usually keeps our conversation going.
It is now my preferred way to network in person. I don’t even have a traditional business card anymore! If you are in a job that meets many people, do yourself a favor and try one out.
I believe you’ll love it too!