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How to Make Business Cards Convert

Yesterday we discussed designing your business card with your end goal in mind.  Some people want more calls, some people want brand recognition.  Discovering what you want is the first step in figuring out how to make your business cards convert.

Keep these design ideas in mind when creating a business card that converts prospects to customers.

1. Shock value gets you noticed, the sales pitch gets you a customer.

If you have a great and unique business card, prepare your elevator pitch well in advance.  Make sure you use that 30 second pitch to land that prospect because you’ll likely only have one chance.

2. Designs can change.

If you try a new design and you notice that you’re not getting the results you expected, ditch that design and move in a new direction.  Business cards are extremely inexpensive marketing tools.  For $30 you can get 500 business cards.  If they don’t work, you can get another 500 and so on.

3. Stay current.

There is nothing worse (in my opinion) than a business card that was designed 10 years ago.  Design changes and style change.  Stay current or risk losing customers that see you as old and plain.  Keep in mind that a business card text and pitch doesn’t have to change, but the brown and off white business cards of the 1980′s aren’t going to cut it any more.  Today’s executives were only 10 years old when you had those business cards designed in 1985!

Make Business Cards Convert

Photo by absurdity.

What is the Purpose of your Business Cards?

Converting prospects into clients is something that takes years of practice, experience and testing.  You’ll never know what advertising or marketing method will convert the best, but one this always remains true.  If you do nothing, you’ll have no business.

With that in mind, business cards are a great place to start with your marketing strategy.  Making your business cards convert those prospects into paying customers is totally different.

Business cards should be designed with one idea in mind, generate revenue.  Sometimes that revenue is generated through brand recognition and therefore a big logo should be used.  Other times you’re trying to generate revenue by using your business cards to let the world know what you do.  In that case a tagline is crucial.

Most of the time you want to receive more calls and generate interest in your product or service.  This is the most common use for business cards.  Here are some tips on how to make your business cards convert!

Self Employed Business Cards

When you lose your job, a common thought is, “I don’t like working for a boss, why don’t I work for myself?“  That thought usually spawns ideas and before you know it you’re registering your business name and you need business cards.  Self employed business cards tend to take on two distinct forms.

Idea One - I want my one man business to look like there are other employees and not to look like I’m running my business out of my bedroom.

Idea Two - I want people to know that I’m the boss and they’ll always deal directly with me.  I don’t mind meeting my clients at Starbucks.

If you’re in the first group of self employed people and want your business cards to look like you have two hundred lackey’s working for you then make sure that your self employed business card is designed professionally.  That word “professional” doesn’t mean the local printer.  They usually prefer pre-made templates and don’t do much logo design.  You should plan to pay a decent amount of money to have a logo and busines card professionally designed.  Prices range from $200-800 for a good design.

If you’re in the second group and want people to know that you’re self employed and happy about not telling anyone what to do, consider a simpler approach to business card design.  You can experiment with creativity and humor.  Colors and styles are at your disposal.  Maybe you should even hand write your business cards.

Whichever group you fall in, when designing self employed business cards, plan the card and draft your ideas.  Work on them for a few days before you get them printed.  Make sure they have all of the information you want on the business cards and that they sell you and your product above all else.

Software for Designing Business Cards

Pinoy money talk wrote:
What software are easy to use in making business card? Is Photoshop? Corel Draw? Is there any other software in designing business card?

Thanks for the question PMT! As for the answer, yes. Personally I’ve only used Photoshop to design my business cards. You can see a lot of my examples from my business card template site. Every template on that site was designed in Photoshop CS2 and CS3.

Personally I like Photoshop because of the flexibility. If you want to use another graphics editing program to design business cards you could probably achieve the same types of designs. Photoshop is what I’m comfortable using.

As for specific software for designing business cards, you’re on your own. I’ve used Business Card Designer Plus by CamDevelopment and it worked really well.

Business Card Designer Plus a Windows program that only designs business cards. Then again it doesn’t cost $1,000 like Adobe Photoshop does, so maybe a smaller business card design software program is what you’re looking for. You can also browse a few of my favorite business card websites and get some design ideas.

So in conclusion, business card design is only as good as your designer. If you’re not a great designer, you might be better off with using business card software that will provide you with a template, or having your business cards professionally designed.

If you still want to print business cards at home, there are many resources, but be careful that your business cards still look professional.

How Often Should I Update Business Card Graphics?

Free Streamed TV wrote:

How often should I update the graphics or images on my business cards?

Thanks for the business card question Tristan! In terms of updating, you can check out this post about wasting business cards. Check out the last section on design.

Personally I update my business cards every time I go through my box of 1,000. In my current business, 1000 business cards last about 6 months to a year. Before I order new business cards I try to spend a little time looking through unique business cards.

If I see a style, font, color scheme or something that I think I would like to incorporate I send it to a designer and tell him I want my business cards updated.

Then, when I get my new design I choose from the new design or my current design. The last two orders have been exact duplicates since I liked my current design more than the new business card design.

That’s how I do it, maybe you’ll find a different way, but the point needs to be made, don’t keep your business cards for 5 years and expect them to be current!