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Business Card Design: 5 Ways to Add Value to Yours

A collage of business cards

brand building with business cards

This past week I had business cards printed for the Big Brand System — the business I founded in 2010. They’ll help spread the word about my blog and business at the conferences and events I attend this year.

Business cards are some of the cheapest printed materials you can have made, and they can be marketing powerhouses if you handle them correctly. Here are five tips to help you make the most of your business card.

1. Include your benefits-oriented tagline

Your business card is a great place to include a compelling reason to do business with you. Tell people why they’d want to work with you over your competitors. Show them the benefits of doing business with your company.

Hopefully you’ve developed an effective benefits-oriented tagline that does this for you. If not, read this post about writing taglines for tips.

2. Give something valuable away for free

One of the best ways to establish a relationship with a prospect is to offer them valuable information they’ll find useful. This can be a free report, an e-course, or a series of tips sent by e-mail.

Your business card is a great place to make this offer. You’ll be taking that first step toward establishing an ongoing relationship when the recipient follows through and signs up for your offering.

3. Make it multi-dimensional

Business cards are cheap to print, so you should go beyond a one-sided standard card. At the very least, be sure to use the front and back of your cards. One side can be devoted to contact information, and the other can make your free offer.

You can also create folded business cards that open up into two panels. This will give you twice as much space to work in, and can become a “keeper” piece where you share information people will want to hold onto. For example, your two-sided card could include:

  • A checklist for buying your type of product or service
  • Tips for dealing with a bothersome problem your market suffers from
  • Reference or contact information your market frequently needs

4. Print more than you think you need

The majority of your printing bill covers all the preparation work a printer has to do to get your job on press. Once the prep work is done, running more sheets through the machine isn’t a big deal.

That’s why it’s always surprisingly cheap to print twice or three times the number of cards you think you’ll need. It’s always better to have more than you think so you can hand them out liberally (see below).

5. Hand out extras

When handing out cards, always give the recipient one or two extras. Ask them to pass your name along to someone who could use your product or service.

The best new clients are the ones who have been referred by someone else. Your selling job is simpler because the person giving the referral does most of your sales work for you!

Make it easy by giving them the “tools” they need to make those referrals. Load them up with those gorgeous business cards and let your friends and colleagues help you get the word out.

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson is the Chief Marketing Officer at DCS. She’s the creator of the Offer Accelerator Program. Learn more about Pamela’s content marketing books, and read reviews of the tools used to run this site.
Pamela Wilson coaches people in midlife to build profitable online businesses
I’m Pamela Wilson

In 2010, at the age of 45, I started this site and grew it into a business that offers freedom, flexibility — and consistent revenue.

12 thoughts on “Business Card Design: 5 Ways to Add Value to Yours”

  1. These are great tips, especially the part about printing more than you need. I recently ran out while speaking at a large event. Ooops 🙂
    I’m intrigued by the folding ones, but I’ve seen some that just have way too much stuff crammed into them. Your principles of good design would need to be applied to pull this off successfully.

    • Hi Carole!

      You’re right: even in a small space like a card, you have to maintain some white space. As a matter of fact, it’s probably more important in a small space. It keeps it from feeling claustrophobic and cluttered.

      Thanks for your comment. Now go print more cards! 😉

    • Thanks so much, Eddie! I’m not going to do a big launch around the new products: I’ll just put them up for sale and let people know. I won’t be pulling them from the market in the near future, so I plan to keep it low key.

      I’ll hang on to your review info: that’s really good to know. An affiliate program is in the future, too. I’ll keep you posted!

  2. Pam,
    You are a marketing “evil genius”. I normally put a quiz for prospects on the reverse of my cards, but your idea for the info product is so much more valuable. An opportunity to gather names and demonstrate your expertise at the same time. Thanks

    • Mwua-ha-ha-ha-HA! (fiendishly rubs hands together).

      Actually, Ray, it’s just plain old content marketing at work: sharing good stuff to drive people to your website where you can interact with them. I use it because it works! 😉

  3. Good marketing perspective on the often lowly and taken for granted business card. I just had some new ones designed which I really like. I covered all your bases except the tag line. It doesn’t quite fit for my medical office cards but I think I’ll add it to a small batch that I can use for my e commerce site promotion. Thanks

  4. I love the post….I hadn’t even considered putting depth into my business cards. Why? I have no idea but I will be doing so now, it is time for me to make some new ones any how. I am bad about not having enough of them on me, actually today at lunch the local dentist asked me for my card…guess what, I didn’t have one…he said he’d grab one at the local Chamber, he happens to be a board member so probably not such a catastrophic incident since I have history and am the only local person doing what I do, but it might as well be…so making more than you need and handing out multiples instead of singles is definitely a good idea.

    Another great post…thanks

    • I have a little business card holder I keep in my purse … oh, wait: that’s not going to work for you! 😉

      You could try sticking a few in your wallet, Brad. Then you’ll always have them with you.

      Thanks for the comment!

  5. A really cool business card I recently came across is the USB Business Card. It’s about the size of a credit card and thin enough to fit neatly in your wallet or purse.

    You can have your logo and business info printed or laser engraved on them. What’s really great is that you can preload the USB Business Card with product catalogs, presentations, portfolios, videos, etc.

    You can read more about it here,

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