Keep your customer in mind if you want to make sure that they will keep your business card around for later use.

January 12, 2014

Business Cards: Keeping Your Customers in Mind

It’s easy to get carried away with business card printing and design.  The temptation is to develop a unique business card design that will stand out from the crowd.  You must keep your customer in mind if you want to make sure that they will be able to keep your business card around for later use.  This article discusses why readability, accessibility, and visibility are so important for business card printing by looking at how your customers keep your business card around. 
Business card cases and folders 
Probably the oldest method for your customers to keep business cards are with business card cases and folders.  These devices allow your customers to fit as few as 2 to as many as 24 business cards in a plastic sleeve.  The plastic sleeves are actually pages in a folder or case. 
As your customers look for your business card through the pages of their case or folder, they need to be able to quickly find your business card and get the necessary information off of it.  Readability is important because you want your customer to be able to see your information without having to remove your business card from the plastic sleeve.  Visibility speaks to an interesting or colorful design that quickly stands out to the customer.  Accessibility is important because if the business card is too large or shaped to funny, they will never be able to fit the business card into the case or folder in the first place, not without damaging it anyway. 
The Rolodex is still a popular method of storing business card information.  If you haven’t seen one of these, they’re very simply a device that allows people to place small cards with contact information on them, typically in alphabetical order.  These are organized in one card at a time, so your customer literally has to thumb through each card until they find yours. 
Here again, readability is vital since you do not want your customer to have to hassle with pulling your business card out of the Rolodex just to read the fine print.  A business card that is too big, or even too small, will not fit into a Rolodex the right way, which could make your card inaccessible.  Finally, visibility with an interesting design will help yours stand out from the pack. 
Card readers 
The modern business person uses an electronic card reader disk to enter contact information into their contact database.  This entails running your business card through a small device attached to their computer.  This device either saves a picture of your business card or attempts to gather the data in text format, making your information searchable.
If you use fonts that are complex, the card reader will not be able to understand the text on your business cards.  This can make your business card either useless for a customer, or it at least makes them do a lot more work.  Business cards that are too big will not fit in standardized card readers.  This makes them inaccessible for this technology, and frustrating for your customers.  Finally, while an interesting design will increase your business cards’ visibility, you must balance this with the readability factor. 
Final thoughts 
At the end of the day, you must know what your customers are using to store their business cards.  You cannot anticipate what everyone is doing, but as long as you are using standardized fonts, the typical card size of 3.5 X 2 inches, and your designs are not overly exotic, this should make your business card readable and accessible while still being visually interesting.

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