Don’t Forget Business Cards!

Making Paper Business Cards Relevant In A Digital World: Six Ideas For Creating Digital-Friendly Business Cards

Handing out paper business cards in a digital world can feel anachronistic, but these tried-and-true tools are still essential in the world of business. If you've just meet someone you'd like to see again, the paper business card is still the easiest and simplest way to get your information in their hands.

Digital alternatives have tried to take over this age-old personal marketing tool, but according to many business analysts, the attempts are "limited" or "overly complicated". Based on that, now is certainly not the time to forgo the tangible business card, but it is critical to modify it to make it more relevant to the digital world.

Here are a few ideas to help you:

1. Include your digital details

When designing your business card, don't exclusively include your physical address or your phone number. Also, ensure you include your digital addresses such as your email or website address.

2. Share extra digital details to create intimacy

Often, when handing out business cards, people jot their cell phone numbers on them -- this makes the recipient feel as if they are special, and this element of intimacy hopefully increases the likelihood they will contact the giver of the card again.

To succeed in the digital world, consider modifying that practice, and jotting your private email on the back of the card.

3. Link your card to your digital profile

If you have a large digital presence, it can be hard to fit all of your information on your business card. Instead, consider including a simple link to a digital profile. This single link takes the user to one website, and from there, they can navigate to your business websites, blog, social media profiles, online portfolio or whatever else you have online.

4 Use a QR code

Instead of having contacts manually enter a website address in their smartphone or other device, make it simple, and give them a code to scan. Using QR codes and similar types of technology, someone holding your business card can easily scan it and be delivered to the website of your choice.

5. Consider an NFC-based business card

Rather than making paper business cards more digital friendly, consider investing in NFC-based cards. Like paper business cards, they are tangible. You can easily give them to your contacts without worrying whether their cell phones are charged or whether they have the right app (to receive a digital business card).

However, the cards themselves are digital. When your contacts review the card later, they hold it next to their  NFC-enabled smartphones, and through the magic of wireless data transfer, the information you want automatically appears on their phones, without the need for any special apps or confusing processes.

Best of all, unlike paper cards, NFC-based business cards are not static. This means you can change the info to which they link as needed. This is fabulous if you update your website, change your portfolio or make other online changes. Regardless of when you give away the cards, you can always ensure the recipients have up-to-date information.

6. Reach out digitally as soon as possible

If you want to ensure the person to whom you have given your business card knows how to reach you, initiate contact first. Instead of waiting for the other person to reach out to you, use the information gleaned from the other person's card and send an email or a social media message with links to your digital profiles.

In the other person doesn't carry business cards, always have a pen and paper or a stylus and a charged phone on hand so you can jot down info as needed. To get more unique ideas for designing business cards, check out a site like