5 Benefits of Digital Business Cards
Fifty-seven percent of business owners strongly believe that business cards are good for their business. And yet, 88 percent of business cards get thrown away within a week. So what’s the deal with business cards?
Business cards have been around for hundreds of years. According to historians, 15th-century Chinese aristocrats and royalty used the world’s first business cards. Before the pandemic accelerated digital transformation, business cards remained a critical component of networking, HR and recruitment, sales—and even brand awareness and perception.
Business cards are integral to a brand’s identity because they offer potential customers their first tangible impression. Card design—from the logo to layout and illustration—contributes to that identity. Colored business cards typically last 10 times longer than standard white cards due to their uniqueness. A unique business card featuring vivid colors or a funky font helps brands make a splash.
Standing out in a crowded market is especially important in a world where omnichannel has become the preferred method for consumer interaction. Over 90 percent of business leaders view B2B omnichannel reality—in which customers buy both in-person and online—as more prominent than before the pandemic. Digital business cards offer an efficient, engaging, and secure approach to creating a unique omnichannel experience.
The digital business card market is estimated to reach $3.1 billion by 2027; however, 77 percent of people don’t use this technology. Brands that embrace digital business cards will be a step ahead in providing customers with a unique, seamless omnichannel experience.
Okay, but What Really Is a Digital Business Card?
Digital business cards offer a modern, safe way to share professional or personal information. Like traditional business cards, they include contact information. However, digital business cards include an online element—social media handles or a website link.
Digital or electronic business cards safely store data in an online format called .vcf (virtual contact file). People can share this contact information card in numerous ways—via email, social media, NFC tags and QR codes.
In fact, because they’re small, versatile, and easy to use, QR codes have become an increasingly popular method for sharing digital business cards. Companies can embed them on paper business cards and other collateral such as emails, print receipts and social media graphics. Easy access to information and the ability to store it for later use are great benefits of digital business cards.
Need My Contact Info? Scan This
Digital business cards offer a myriad of benefits, including the following:
1. Convenience. By scanning a QR code or NFC tag, users can quickly access information. These cards allow users to save contact information—like a digital Rolodex—for future networking without the time-consuming hassle of manually adding contact details into a smartphone or tucking the card away (and hoping it doesn’t get lost).
2. Reliability. Over 80 percent of physical business cards are lost, damaged, or forgotten within a week of their initial exchange. Digital business cards eliminate this risk. Businesses are also able to break location barriers. This benefit allows companies to share information with those in other geographical areas. Digital business card users can send contact information to others via QR codes, widening the users’ reach and connectivity.
3. Flexibility. Users can easily customize and update the information on a digital business card to reflect a new business address or website. And because the information is stored in the cloud, data automatically changes to reflect new information, a handy feature for people who may have received a card long before the updates. Prospects and customers can continue to reference the digital business card to view the latest details in real time.
4. Data collection. As third-party cookies phase out, digital business cards offer another huge benefit: they collect first-party data. This first-party data includes the number of scans, unique visitors, devices used to scan, top-performing campaigns, and scans by location and time of the day. First-party data collects valuable information companies can use to inform ongoing marketing efforts.
5. Eco-friendly. With more than 80 percent of customers seeking to engage with businesses that put people and the planet before profits, digital business cards are eco-friendly (and cost-effective!). This technology offers an excellent way to reduce print production costs, save on paper, and establish the business as one recognizing the importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policies.
Digital Business Card Best Practices
Companies introducing digital business cards should keep these best practices in mind:
- Customize and personalize digital business cards to fit brand identity. Include essential identification such as logo and brand colors, and experiment with unusual, eye-catching designs such as circular QR codes and 3-D graphics.
- Elevate digital business cards beyond the traditional contact information and increase their impact by linking them to customized landing pages. Creating mobile-friendly, visually appealing landing pages with product deals or social media handles is a great way to make a brand experience memorable.
- Share them—everywhere. Use them to their full advantage! Email signatures, social media posts, and even physical collateral like posters and kiosks offer ways to leverage digital business cards across multiple channels. Large and small companies—and teams—can take advantage of their ease of use and flexibility. No matter their specific use, they’re poised to be at the center of professional connectivity well into the future.
Sharat Potharaju is the cofounder and CEO of Beaconstac, responsible for crafting the overall strategy and execution. Potharaju is dedicated to achieving Beaconstac’s vision to enable digital connection with every physical object and place on the planet. Prior to his entrepreneurial career, Potharaju spent a few years working in investment banking at Merrill Lynch in New York.