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Business Cards

More bang from your business card

Jake Gourd 28/11/2005

Marketing experts the world over have preached at some time that business cards are a small businesses most important marketing tool. The majority of business cards handed out fail to impress and make a lasting mark on our customers. The confidence that a well-designed stylish business card can give you in any market cannot be over stated enough.

Business cards use dates back hundreds of years initially as personal calling cards, and more recently as business marketing tools. Almost all forms of marketing has been transformed by the arrival of computers and Internet technology, business cards however remain the tool of choice for many situations.

This article focuses on how as a designer or a marketing entrepreneur the steps you should take to avoid making common mistakes when designing your business card. With a little time and effort you can produce business cards that even the most cynical large corporate marketing expert would be proud of.

Business Card Basics

1. Designs and artwork should be up to date, colorful, stylish, accurate and most of all legible. If in doubt about any of these points then you should consider hiring a professional designer.

An alternative option is to visit online business card providers. Here you can choose from thousands of professionally designed templates to suit your organization and then customize the text online and order directly from their website. Goodprint UK Limited are a leading online business card provider based in the UK, providing the highest quality print and templates from their website.

2. Try to let your design cover both sides of the card, this will double the impact of your card and allow space for more marketing text or information on your company. Common uses for the reverse of your card include calendars, appointment details and maps. Try to be inventive and the reverse of your card will make your card more memorable and more useful to your customers.

3. The text on the card should include a strong message or slogan that raises the reader's curiosity or to attract them to make contact with you. Promising a benefit to the customer if they contact you is a common practice such as "Use this card to claim a discount" is a proven marketing technique to generate a sales lead.

4. When finances allow every member of your organization should carry business cards. Not only does this increase the possibility of a sales lead from both work and social events but awarding business cards is shown to increase morale in employees.

These basic rules probably sound familiar but you'd be amazed at the number of times these basic ideas aren't followed closely enough.

Making Business Cards memorable

Now that you have read about the basics of business card design, read on for ideas to inspire you how to really make a business card that will cast a lasting impression on your customer's minds.

- Make your business card physically different from the rest. Use bright bold colors and patterns. Use alternative materials such as plastics and metals. Or how about a folding mini brochure? Try and think outside of the box and your business cards wont end up in the garbage!

- Turn your business cards into something worth keeping hold of, for example "On presenting this card you are entitled to one free hour of consultation" or offer a discount "This card entitles you to 30% off any orders made".

- A popular gimmick tradesman and other personal industries use is to include a photograph of yourself on your card. Your customers will feel more comfortable when meeting you and might be more likely to trust you, in many cases it is yourself you are trying to sell.

- Stretch your business title and people will take you more seriously and you will be granted respect more readily. For example use "Account Executive" instead of "Account Clerk" or "Area Director" instead of "Regional Sales". Many thanks to Goodprint UK Ltd for sponsoring this article.