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Business Printing: Design Business Cards as Marketing Tools

Many times, the first impression you make to a prospective customer is from your Business Card. So naturally you want your business cards to project a positive image. But the real secret is to start viewing your business card as something other than just a means to share contact information - your business card should also be designed to market yourself and your company.

Generate Interest with a Well Designed Business Card

Does Your Business Card Pass the Test?

When someone views your business card for the first time, they should instantly be able to determine what it is you have to offer them. How well does your current business card design get this job done? Try this: hand your business card to a few different people, let them glance at it for a few seconds and then ask them to tell you what you have to offer. If it isn't exactly clear to them, you should consider reworking the content on your business card so it projects the message you want to convey.

Use a Prominent Tagline.

Many company names and logos do a good job of expressing what product or service is being offered. However, if yours does not, consider adding a tagline to your business card that announces what it is you are offering. For example, Miller Enterprises, Inc. or Johnson Autoworks, LLC doesn't really provide much insight into what the company offers. However, adding a simple yet prominent tagline such as "Estate Auctions and Appraisal Services" or "We Buy and Sell Vintage Cars" provides more descriptive information and helps generate interest.

Focus on Customer Needs.

Another issue I often see is that business cards are designed with the person's name very prominently displayed. Personally, I think the card's real estate is better used to highlight what the person and company can offer the customer. As an example, let's say you're a customer in the market for a new furnace and are handed a business card. Which would peak your interest more…a prominent tagline that says "We offer the most Energy Efficient furnaces available" or the fact that the salesperson's name is BILL SMITH?

Color Sells.

Another way to get your business card noticed is to use colored ink, but don't overdo the number of different colors used or the message may become distracting. Also, make sure the colors complement each other. The goal is a clean professional design, not a clutter-filled eyesore. Also, full color photos are extremely impressive on a business card and I always recommend that any business card printed with photos also be gloss UV coated. The UV coating makes the colors in the photos stand out and demand attention.

Double Your Impact.

Finally, don't forget about the back of your business card. A standard 1-sided 3.5" x 2" business card only yields 7 square inches of space, so why not double your marketing impact by printing on the back? Printing on the back allows more room for creativity and also keeps the front from becoming too packed with information. For example, the back could be used to show a brief list of your products or services, or possibly even a map to your location. The back could also be printed with full color photos that grab attention and help sell your message. Remember, the true goal of a business card is to help market yourself and your company.

A Perfect Example.

Below is an excellent example of a business card designed as a marketing tool. It is the business card of Walkabout Adventures, a company that offers guided hiking tours to scenic destinations throughout the Southwest. This eye-catching design is more like a mini-brochure than a traditional business card. And it contains all of the elements we discussed above…

Excellent Example of a 2-sided Business Card Designed as a Marketing Tool

1) The prominent logo does a good job illustrating what this company does - adventurous walking tours.

2) The creative footprint design across the front and back reinforces the walking tour message.

3) Only the most relevant contact information is provided. There is actually very little text on this card because the images do most of the talking.

4) Both sides make use of complementing colors that are consistent with the Southwestern theme.

5) The back contains crisp, full color photographs of spectacular destinations to show clients what they can experience. The color really sells!

6) A prominent tagline on the back states an effective call to action: "It's time for you to experience a Walkabout!"

If you would like to explore the use of full color or other creative design elements for your own business card but are not sure where to start, give us a call or send us an email. We'd be happy to discuss various ideas with you.

Take care! Keith

About the Author

Keith Beaty is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include book printing, full-color printing, laminated printing, map printing, plus mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Keith is always happy to help. He can be reached at 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services since 1985.

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