Whether you’re running a business or changing careers, you’ve likely been to at least one networking event this year. And like any seasoned attendee, you probably found yourself walking away with a handful of new contacts and a pile of paper business cards.
But in a world that’s just turning the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic, people are starting to ask “are printed business cards still relevant?” Will digital or virtual alternatives, like Quick vCards, replace or complement their paper counterparts?
Here’s a closer look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of paper and digital business cards.
When it comes to the debate between Digital Business Cards vs Paper Business Cards, no doubt both sides have good arguments to make. Fundamentally, both types of cards serve similar purposes — they help you create business opportunities, share information, grow your contact list and leverage your network.
But digital business cards have some significant advantages over paper business cards. In this article, we will look at why you may want to consider adding an electronic business card to your networking arsenal.
We have to say this at the outset — we feel that with the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, paper business cards might quickly be on their way out and electronic business cards are going to see mass adoption very soon. After all, everyone is shifting from handshakes to other forms of greeting that do not involve touch. So it won’t be surprising to see this happen with business cards as well. That said, let’s dive in and discuss the pros and cons of paper vs virtual and the top 10 benefits of digital business cards.
- Can be expensive to design and print – You need to invest money hiring a professional graphics designer to create your paper business card design. Unless you are okay with a very simple design or a template from your printer, a professional quality business card design will cost between a couple hundred dollars to well over $1000. And, if you ever need to edit or re-redesign it, you will have to pay the designer again to make the changes. And then you need to invest even more money to print the new cards. If you are looking to save money wherever you can, this may be a problem.
- Carrying them around is inconvenient – You can only carry so many paper business cards with you at any given time. And carrying them around can be a hassle. They occupy a lot of space in your pocket, purse or wallet. If you keep them in your bag or briefcase, it will take time to locate and dig them out when needed. And if you are collecting paper business cards from others, you will eventually be overwhelmed by the number of cards and they will most likely end up forgotten in a desk drawer, the bottom of your briefcase or in the trash can.
- Most cards get thrown out after a while – Let’s face it — most of us save the contact information from a business card and then simply dispose of them. Research has shown that a vast majority (> 88%) of paper business cards are thrown out within a week. Not only is this a waste of the resources for the person that gave you the card, it’s also bad for the environment.
- Easy to create, edit and share – Digital (aka Electronic or Virtual) business cards exist virtually — which means that they are accessible to anyone with a smartphone, tablet, PC or other Internet connected device. If you don’t have your digital business card yet, you can sign-up for a free 30 day trial using a platform like Quick vCards and create one in literally a few minutes. And the best thing, you can update the information dynamically in real-time and you will never run out of copies. You can edit your card in seconds and share it with anyone via email, direct link, QR code, text [SMS], and other means in less than a second! You don’t even have to make physical contact with someone to share your card — in a world that is still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a significant advantage.
- Easy to customize – Customizing of paper business cards is a difficult task. If you need to incorporate new information, change the phone number, website URL, email address, branding colors, etc., a graphic designer will need to make the changes and the cards will need to be reprinted. But with digital business cards you can be quickly and easily customize them to compliment your brand, choose which contact details to display, your photo, logo, colors, executive bio, and more. Never again will you need to go through the time-consuming and expensive process of designing and printing old-school paper business cards. Your Quick vCard can be edited and updated on the fly with real-time updates being immediately available to all of your contacts to download.
- Stand out from the crowd – When you share a digital business card, you are making a style statement. You are saying that you are up to date with current trends and this will make you stand out from the crowd.
- Contactless sharing – As we mentioned in the introduction, the lingering effects of COVID-19 have pushed people to adapt their behaviors in an effort to minimize direct contact. This one factor alone gives digital business cards a massive advantage over printed paper business cards.
- More comprehensive information – Traditional printed business cards are small in size with limited “real estate” to displays information. You are not limited for space on a virtual business cards which give an opportunity to display much more information as compare to a printed business card. In additional to your name, address, phone and email address, a digital business cards allows you to add additional information about your past experiences, the honors and awards you have received and your executive bio, as well as direct links to email you, click to call, link to your website, social media profiles, and much, much more.
- Simplified contact management – If you are someone who goes to a lot of business events or trade shows, then maintaining a database of digital business cards is a much smarter move than having a ton of paper business cards to carry around. When you offer someone your digital business card, they can simply take out their phone and scan your custom QR code using the camera on their smart phone, which automatically opens your digital business card and allows them to click the “Save to Contacts” button and your contact information will be store in their phone contacts. You can even go back and edit the information later if needed.
- Link to social media – Another significant advantage is that businesses can add a variety of links to social media profiles and content with digital business cards. They can add links to videos, surveys, subscription lists, sign up forms, social media profiles, etc. This is useful in many ways.
- Display information conveniently – One of the most significant advantages of digital business cards is that they offer a convenient way to display and share much more information when compared to a printed business card. Unlike the paper alternatives, there is little space restrictions on a virtual business card. This means you can include your company overview, executive bio, email address, website URL, links to social media profiles, fax number, phone number, and much more.
- Major cost and space savings – You can customize and edit the information on your digital business cards any number of times and you won’t have to shell out addition money redesigning the card or printing new copies. You will also never run out of copies because there is literally no limit to the number of copies you have of your card. What’s more? You don’t have to stuff your wallet or briefcase with paper business cards anymore!
- Environmentally friendly – Another important benefit of digital business cards is that they are good for the environment. Not only do traditional business cards require paper (trees), we also know that a majority of these cards are disposed of within one week. Digital business cards are never thrown away and they help protect the environment by saving trees.
At a time when physical interaction is being viewed with skepticism, we have been forced to adapt to a contactless world. If you would like to see what the craze is all about, visit www.quickvcards.com, sign-up for a 14 day free trial account and create your very own digital business card. Test it out; share it with family, friends and business associates. We are confident that you will agree digital business cards are the way of the future.
When it comes to networking, making great first impressions, and exposing your brand; paper business cards and digital business cards are both excellent options – with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, it comes down to what you feel most comfortable using when networking. In some instances, a paper business card may still make sense, while in other situations the advantages of digital business cards outweigh the paper alternative. The impact of technology has revolutionized the way we interact and engage with people; both online and in-person. Do your research (paper business cards vs digital business cards) and choose the option that you feel will help you achieve your branding and networking goals.