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­­­The Pros & Cons of Paper Business Cards vs Digital Business Cards

Business cards are an essential networking tool for businesses of all sizes.


However, with many aspects of business going digital, is there still a place for printed business cards in 2021?


To help you decide whether paper or digital business cards are right for your business, we’ve put together a list of the pros and cons of both. Read on to find out more.


What is a paper business card?

Two stacks of pink with white writing and white with pink writing soft touch business cards.

A paper business card is a printed card (usually 85 mm x 55 mm) that holds all of your contact details, such as your email address, phone number, company website and social media handles. They are often shared with others to give recipients quick and concise access to your contact details. Printed business cards are designed to reflect your company branding and to speak favourably of your business.


The Advantages of Paper Business Cards


1. They give a personal touch

A business card being handed out at a networking event.

People remember how you make them feel.


When handing out paper business cards, you don’t merely exchange contact details. You build a personal connection and create a meaningful relationship. Ultimately, helping to build a loyal customer base.


However, when exchanging business cards electronically, this exchange is often lost.


2. More room for creativity

A stack of black business cards with gold foiling details.

The creative possibilities that print provides are endless.


Paper business cards can be printed in all shapes, sizes, colours and with specialist finishing options like Spot UV and foiling. There are endless opportunities to create a visually appealing business card that helps you stand out from your competitors.


Moreover, creative business cards are often shared beyond your initial intended audience, providing you with the opportunity to expand your business’ reach.


3. They make a quick first impression.


The average attention span of your target audience is just eight seconds, meaning that creating a swift first impression is vital.


A tangible business card has the benefit of instantly catching your prospect’s attention. Using a thick, high-quality paper stock (400gsm+) will appeal to your client’s senses and build a favourable impression of the quality of your brand.


The Cons of Paper Business Cards


1. The cost to design and print


Creating a design that stands out and gets you noticed often requires help from a professional Graphic Designer. And for businesses that operate on a small budget, this may be off-putting.


Of course, it’s possible to design your own business cards. However, for many business owners, it’s a difficult way to achieve their desired results.


2. They need to be kept up-to-date

A stack of black and white business cards with spot uv detailing.

If you’re a business that frequently updates its contact details, adds new social media platforms to its marketing strategy, or regularly takes on new hires, it can be expensive to keep reprinting your business cards.


3. They have limited information


With the small format size, it isn’t possible to include everything about yourself and your company on your business cards.


If you include too much information the card will look cluttered and unprofessional. So you need to be careful about what you include and what you leave off the cards.


What is a digital business card?


A digital business card is a unique way of quickly sharing contact information online. They can be created and shared via an app or produced as a PDF and shared via social media, email or SMS.


Unlike traditional business cards, electronic business cards can be enriched with clickable links and sent to your business contacts, no matter where they live. As you’re not limited to a standard 85 mm x 55 mm business card, virtual business cards can contain as much or as little information as you like.


The Advantages of Digital Business Cards


1. They’re simple to design, edit and share.


Digital business cards are easily accessible to anyone with a smartphone or computer.


They can be created on apps or designed by a professional Graphic Designer and distributed to your contacts via email, social media or SMS in less than a second.


As virtual business cards aren't printed, they are easy to update when you change contact details without worrying about the cost of a reprint.


2. You can create an interactive business card.


In the digital age, attaching media and interactive links to your custom business cards are a great way to gain a competitive edge.


You could link to videos, free resources, your company website and more. Adding media can encourage your prospects to engage with your brand and allow them to develop a deeper understanding of who you are and what you do.


3. Cost-Effective


Digital business cards are a cost-effective way to get your brand into the hands of your clients.


As you avoid printing costs, you only have to spend money on your initial design. Meaning, it's a cost-effective solution for many small businesses with a small marketing budget.


The Disadvantages of Digital Business Cards


1. Not accessible to all


Not everybody owns a smartphone or wants to exchange contact details in this way.


Investing in digital business cards could mean that your business cards are not accessible for all of your prospects.


Receiving digital business cards relies on having a Wi-Fi connection and the recipient having access to a smartphone. Meaning, it could be difficult for some of your prospects to obtain your contact information and store it for future use.


Having a printed business card will make it simple to hand your contact details to everyone, regardless of their technological abilities.


2. They lack a personal touch.


Email, SMS, and social media may be a simple way to share contact details, but is it personal?


Exchanging business cards digitally means that you miss out on establishing a personal relationship. With no conversation or handshake, how can you create a meaningful relationship online?


3. Your prospects may not receive your business card.


With the average person receiving 121 business emails a day, how can you be sure that your prospects have looked at your electronic business card?


Digital business cards are likely to be buried in inboxes and remain unread. Whereas, if you hand out a paper business card in person, you know it was received.


Why not both?

QR Code business cards

Of course, there is a way to take advantage of both digital and physical business cards.


Including a QR code on your printed business cards that links to more information about your business online or a digital copy of your business card is a great way to leverage the power of online and offline marketing.


Or, having a digital business card designed for when you run out of traditional business cards will ensure you're prepared for every business opportunity.


Are you ready to leave a lasting impression on your prospects?

If you struggle to ensure your brand is remembered, creative business cards could help ensure your business makes the right first impression. Whether that be through digital business cards, traditional business cards or both, the choice is yours!

At Soar Valley Press, we offer a wide range of printed business cards and can produce a brilliant design for your digital business cards.

To find out more about our affordable business card design and printing service, contact us today by calling 0116 259 9955 or email orders@soarvalleypress.co.uk. We're always happy to answer any questions you may have.