Do business cards still matter in an ultra-digital age? According to research, the answer is yes. Data shows that 72 percent of people still utilize business cards to help them assess the legitimacy of a business or brand representative. Over 50 percent of business owners report that business cards are still considered an important part of their daily interactions. In fact, depending on the cultural norms, industry, region and demographics of your business and customer segment, business cards can be downright crucial.
Even in the social networking and smartphone era, they matter. The difference isn’t that business cards are no longer relevant today, but rather that they can be leveraged in innovative ways to be more effective and provide long-term benefits. Here are a few strategies to make the most of business cards – and your professional network – in 2019.
Digitize for lasting connections
If business cards are misplaced, you could be throwing away a valuable customer lead or potential partner. If they are tossed in a drawer or piled on your desk, business cards become a major source of clutter. Instead of falling victim to either scenario, commit to digital organization. With intuitive wireless scanning capabilities, our compact ScanSnap iX100 is the perfect solution. It can scan, digitize and export data directly to CRMs such as Salesforce and other common organization software including Microsoft Excel. The powerful ScanSnap iX1500 has an attachable receipt and business card guide that can expertly handle small documents, in addition to meeting a wide variety of scanning requirements within your business. All scanners within the line feature OCR (optical character recognition), which recognizes data and generates keywords, allowing you to quickly identify the contacts you need and build a searchable digital networking database. Also, ScanSnap Home can help organize business cards and you can import scanned data to Outlook.
Use business cards simply as a starting point
Depending on the nature of your company and industry, some customers and colleagues may rely more on traditional business cards and less on smartphones. Some may instead prefer to connect on LinkedIn right away. If the latter is true, business cards are still an essential starting point for building a lasting business relationship. At a busy conference, trade show, networking event or meeting, you’ll have little time to personally connect with every contact as it is. You shouldn’t spend this valuable time exchanging details and searching for one another online. A quick business card swap allows you to capture the information you need to later connect via a phone call, text, or email – or to research their company and connect on LinkedIn.
Get smart with design – include digital details
Business cards are often thought of as “old-school” and outdated, but yours shouldn’t be. The research tells us that people still consider them a vital business tool, but is your company implementing best practices in terms of designing business cards with digital networking in mind? Consider how you can effectively communicate contact information, key details and social handles in a clean, fresh way. This could mean using a QR code or shortened URL for your website or LinkedIn. Incorporate your Twitter handle, if applicable. Keep in mind that, when it comes to business card design, less is more. If a single website, digital CV or social profile includes all of the essential details, stick with that.
What other ways do you make business cards work better for you in today’s digital business ecosystem?