The Great Business Card Debate: Physical or Digital?

Although many other business aspects are going (or have already gone) digital, many people still seem to prefer printed business cards to digital ones. Their reasons for this preference may vary, but it got us wondering: is one type of business card better than the other? Or are they equal, even in today’s digital age?

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of printed and digital business cards–and the reasons why they are still necessary at all.

Business Card Basics

Business cards are still an important part of face-to-face networking. They are an extension of your brand that gives recipients quick and concise access to your information. Depending on the information you choose to include, business cards might also serve as a call to action.

Digital cards typically only cost the amount of the app. A physical card’s cost, though, depends on the quantity ordered as well as the printing specifications. Notably, custom printed business cards tend to have a high ROI for a low investment cost–especially when they help you close a deal.

Generally speaking, business cards should include the following information:

  • Name
  • Job title
  • Company
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Website
  • Physical address

If you have the space, consider adding these details:

  • Company logo
  • Personal photo
  • Company tagline or mission statement
  • QR code
  • Social media links

If you’re starting to collect business cards on your desk, though, consider taking the person’s information and putting it into your CRM and/or connecting with them on LinkedIn in lieu of keeping the card.

Physical Business Cards

Paper business cards have a few benefits, including:

  • The opportunity to customize a visually-appealing card that communicates your personal (or company) brand. Cards can be printed in all shapes, sizes, and colors! If you can dream it, you can print it.
  • Acting as easy-to-find giveaways at conferences or other networking meetings. They are tangible reminders of who you are and how you met.

Two drawbacks include:

  • It’s hard to update contact information (like an email or phone number) once they’re printed.
  • You only have as many cards as you print–so you may run out (or have an excess in storage).

Digital Business Cards

Two benefits of digital business cards include:

  • Apps allow you to easily share your details with other users directly or through their email if they don’t have the same app.
  • Easier to generate online networking opportunities. Digital also allows for more space/fuller profiles, meaning you can easily incorporate your social media links, for example.

However, some downsides to digital cards include:

  • Certain business card apps change like the seasons. In addition, poor Wi-Fi connection could make it difficult to connect and share your information.
  • You often have to pay to link to custom domains, which could cost you more money in the long run.

Why Not Both?

Of course, there’s a way to take advantage of the best of both worlds: if a person has a physical business card with a QR code, there are apps you can use to scan the person’s information, which will send you to a link of their choice.

Another kind of app allows you to scan the business card and input the information directly into your phone’s contact list, saving you the time and hassle of manually entering that data.

Closing Thoughts

In the end, whether you use printed business cards or digital business cards, as long as you are taking advantage of the networking that the cards give you, you are using them to their advantage.

Advertisers Printing is a full-service, sustainable printing company that offers assistance from marketing to final printing solutions. We have decades of experience printing materials, including business cards. As we mentioned earlier, if you can dream your customized business card (and create it!), we can print it.

For more information on how we can help you meet your marketing and printing goals, please reach out to us. We are ready to tackle any size project you might have!

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