DESIGN, BUSINESS | 7 MIN READ
The Most Important Elements Every Business Card Should Have and How to Get Them Printed
Written by Marcin Rzymek
Top 5 Business Cards Elements
In this short article, we will go over the 5 things every business card should have, which can ensure that someone picks up the phone instead of throwing your card in the garbage.
We will also highlight where printing can be ordered without leaving your office.
2. First and Second Name
3. Contact Method
4. Website (URL)
5. Physical Address
Do I need a business card?
Business cards can be an effective marketing tool whether you meet someone and leave them with your card or mail along with a letter to potential customers. These small paper cards repeatedly approve their value. Let’s look at five items every business card should have to make the most of it. For every company, a business card is an important tool. It is a tiny card printed with one’s name and contact details and is often the first place potential clients look for ways to get in touch with you or your company.
A regular business card has a size of three and a half by two inches (in the US). Other countries standard business cards dimensions could be found here.
Despite its small size, you can still get your message across.
Let's look at five elements every business card should really have:
1. Your Brand Logo
At a quick look, your brand should be easily recognizable as the logo is a visual representation of your brand, it is the fastest way for an individual to define what company the card represents. A logo should take up between a quarter or a fifth of a business card space on average. This makes your business card’s logo the most prominent element.
But if you are the only representation of your business and it doesn’t have a logo (or at least not yet), read this article in which I explain why it is so important to have visual representation of your brand.
2. Your first and second name
When you get a business card from someone it’s expected that your name is on the card. Let your business card recipient know who to contact when they want to reach your company and just in case they forget your name because let’s face it, your business card will be able to refresh their memory.
3. Contact method
Now that the person with your card knows who to contact, the next thing we need to know is how to get in touch with you. An easily legible contact method should be a telephone number or email address. We suggest that both email and mobile be included because there are different contact preferences for everyone. Some people prefer email over the mobile and vice versa, so letting your card recipient decide which one works best for them is good. When it comes to phone numbers it is also best to include only one number two if absolutely necessary. Even though you may have four phone numbers nowadays, a 1-800 number, cell phone, office number, maybe even home phone, your clients want to know the best way to get in contact as soon as possible. Keep in mind that if you list just one phone number, make sure that number allows voice messages. This way your customers can easily contact you and if they don’t get a hold of you right away they have the ability to leave a message, so you can get back to them.
4. Website address (URL)
These days is expected that your business has a website. A website should be an extension of your business card and offer the card recipient a way to find more detailed information about your business online. It is pretty well known these days that all websites begin with “http://” so there’s no need to include this in the text. It just takes up space and adds clutter to your card. Most people today also recognize that all websites begin with “www” and it’s becoming much more common to see sites listed without this prefix as well. However, you should also consider your audience if you choose to leave out the “www”. If you cater to a less computer savvy customer you may want to keep it or if your website address has a less common extension such as .shop or author vs. the common .Com; .Net or .org you may want to keep the prefix that way. It distinguishes that it is, in fact, a web address. Your designer should be able to advise you whether to keep the prefix or remove it.
5. Physical address
This one really depends on your business if you operate virtually without a brick and mortar location customers can visit. You should not list the physical address as an independent contractor, a yard maintenance service or an e-commerce shop. However, if you are operating from a physical place where clients are present or if they want to locate you, such as a restaurant, a storefront retail store, or a dentist, you should list your physical address most definitely on your card.
6. Other elements?
There may be additional items you may want to put on your cards such as your job title for example, but always ask yourself this question first – “is this information vital for my business card?”. If you can find this information elsewhere like on your website, you should probably leave it off. You want to try to maintain a clean card and only with the vital information. Whenever possible legibility is king here, and less is more. If you believe that adding something extra details would be useful, maybe your social media links or a reminder of an appointment, the back of a business card is a good location for this kind of extra information. The back side is also a good place to place your logo (especially if you use a symbol as a part of it or as separate alone standing identity part). It will make the business card stand out and help you being associated with the company you represent.
There are many ways of making your cards unique and letting them be a good “ambasador” of your company. I have recently wrote another article about lifting your business up by transforming it into a brand. The branding process helps with highlighting your venture as more professional and building a credibility. “Branding process explained” article is available here.
What about print?
Now when you have the design of a business card well prepared, let’s check how to print it and prepare it for your customers. There are certainly a lot of printing houses in your region, although you can save a lot of time by ordering them online. Here is our list of 5 decent printing sites (in the U.S.):
Moo won its first position for excellent, high-quality cards and card stock, tons of designs (and the capacity to customize or create your own), good pricing, and plenty of deals for free business cards with services such as About.me and Facebook. Moo provides mini cards and full-size business cards, and with nearly any text, picture or design you choose, you can design your cards through an excellent web app that allows you to tweak and customize the front and back. If you choose to include different pictures or designs on each card, you can even customize your card order, perfect for photographers looking to demonstrate off their job. You can even get NFC business cards if you want. The fact that Moo reps are always a phone call away does not hurt, and their printing and shipping is extremely quick. Plus, your cards are not always watermarked even if you get free ones.
Another solution that is more affordable than some others in the roundup, GotPrint. It provides various card size, inventory, and paper choices, but make no mistake — the service prints company cards, not picture cards or designer cards. If you have access to a designer or want simple, elegant and tidy business cards with a more traditional look, we have observed that GotPrint is an excellent choice. The service offers a number of cuts, shapes, and colors, all of which are available at competitive prices if you want something fancy and special. We have also read, that many clients also praised GotPrint on their fast turnaround and quick shipping.
VistaPrint’s does not give the same customization instruments as some other competitors do, but their greatest advantage is their cost. The firm was one of the first to give super affordable business card printing to people who just wanted their own cards for themselves or their companies, generally throwing 250-500 free cards to any fresh client who signs up. Even now, a quick search for Google will result in deals where you can get free cards as long as you pay for shipping. Other codes will shave off your order a heavy quantity or offer you free shipping. You usually have to choose from predetermined designs and layouts and deal with a VistaPrint watermark on the back of your card unless you ‘re willing to pay, but if the cost is the main aspect, VistaPrint is the best choice for you.
An autonomous, detailed printing company, JukeBox provides an amazing range of card stock types, including traditional white paper textured pulp and lovely recycled paper choices. If you want something that is truly and entirely unique, the company even provides wood business cards. They also give a broad range of paper colors, types, and more choices for customization and customization than many other printing agencies. You can be sure that they won’t look like everybody else when you order your cards from JukeBox. JukeBox’s pricing is competitive (although not bargaining basement— their strategy is to get what you’re paying for.) However, you’re going to have to supply your own designs— no internet wizard to guide you through the process, but the end outcome is you’re getting real private cards. The firm is based in Canada but is shipping all over the world.
Overnight Prints, like GotPrint, are specialized in mass printing of all types, not just business cards. They offer you the choice of uploading your own layout, using their wizard or choosing from pre-defined templates of your choice. You can also select your finish, card stock, and colors — you’ll find a little fewer customization options here (you can upload any design you want in the wizard anyway, or contact them for something special), but the value is in the name. OvernightPrints is dedicated to fast, easy, affordable printing without breaking the bank in the process. They may not be the best choice if you’re searching for fancy designer cards, but if you’re looking for something traditional in big amounts without spending a ton of money, it’s worth a look.
Now you’re prepared to go for it after you understand what needs to be placed on your business cards and how to get them printed quickly. Simply collect the details you want to put on it, choose the design from the web sites listed above (or ask your designer to create a beautiful design that fits your brand style), figure out how many you might need and do it!
There is one more thing you should consider to be sure your cards won’t land in the thrash – who should you provide with them? I have written a short guide explaining how to define your target audience and know who in the matter of fact are your clients. You can read it here.