Sales figures show print isn’t dead yet when it comes to calling cards
Business cards are still in business.
Bette Midler’s got a running gag in “Hello, Dolly!” – Broadway’s hottest ticket – where her Jill-of-all-trades character has got a card for every occasion. Whether you need a “counselor-at-law” or “instruction in the guitar and mandolin,” Dolly’s got it on a calling card.
And in this case, the 1964 musical is as relevant as ever. An Oakland rapper went viral last week when he handed his next-level business card to a woman he met in a club. She was so impressed with the double-sided card stock featuring his photo and a QR code to his online profile, that she posted it on Twitter. It blew up.
YALL last night at the club some guy handed me this and told me to text him. WE ARE IN 2017 THIS MAN IS IN 3017 pic.twitter.com/EqEvpDrVbo
— lil remnant (@marissuh_x) June 11, 2017
And professionals across an array of occupations told Moneyish that their cards are still a must-have networking tool, even in the LinkedIn age.
“I hand them out at conferences, lectures, on the subway,” said photographer Substantia Jones, 57, from Manhattan. “A business card is a placeholder to span the time between someone first thinking of using a photographer’s services, and the time they actually pull the trigger. I want them to have my contact info at trigger time.”
Monster.com career expert Vicki Salemi agreed that giving someone your card keeps you from getting lost in someone’s phone. “It serves as a reminder, ‘Oh yeah, we had that awesome conversation, and I need to follow up with her,’” Salemi told Moneyish. “Plus, the company logo or slogan serves as another reminder of the person who handed you the card. And you can pull out a pen and take notes on the actual card.”
Data shows that company sales increase 2.5% for every 2,000 cards passed out. That may be a small return, but cards are so cheap to print – as low as 7 cents per card on Vistaprint – that they’re an affordable investment.
Erik Schmidt, 30, a Long Island graphic designer, said small businesses especially rely on these calling cards to connect with other business owners and potential customers. And gig workers such as home contractors, plumbers and painters profit from having their printed contact info at someone’s fingertips. “A pipe bursts. You run to your junk drawer and pull out that business card you got from that guy you met at the barbecue,” said Schmidt.
Plus, sometimes just handing someone a printout of your contact info is easier than pulling out phones to swap information, especially in a noisy venue. Or you can deflect someone by giving them your card and making a polite exit.
So no wonder 10 billion business cards are printed in the U.S. each year, according to StatisticBrain.
And having a business card gives an employee a sense of pride in their workplace, or legitimacy in their profession.
“When a customer purchases a business card, they aren’t just buying a piece of paper with their logo and contact information on it. They are projecting their company and even personal image,” said Jeff Nulsen, vice president of product at Vistaprint.
Chad Jennings, the chief product officer at MOO, one of the U.K.’s leading business card printers, agreed. “When you do hand over or send out that card – the design, the texture of the paper, the thickness (or flimsiness) of the card, and print quality – help you stand out from the crowd and make you memorable,” he told Moneyish, noting that his company prints an average of 500,000 business cards a day, and the company has nearly doubled in size every two years since they launched a decade ago.
Plus, it’s easy enough to link business cards to an online profile by printing your website, email or social media handles on them, as well as Snap Codes, Spotify Codes and QR codes.
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