Business Cards Are Not Just About Contact Details

In a recent post where we asked you to submit your best-kept marketing secrets, 3 or 4 different submissions related to business cards. One tip suggested dispensing with a business card altogether and replacing it with some other kind of card. Others suggested that a business card needed to be approached creatively, perhaps putting special information on the reverse side.

Well, I’d like to share with you a recent example of how I used a business card in an unique way, to publish information about a resource here on the website, rather than my contact details.

For an online publication like mine, a Web resource is more relevant to most people than providing my contact details.

To see exactly what I mean, here’s the front side of the card, which we used to highlight the Events Calendar page here at the site:

Small Business Event calendar card

The above image is larger than actual size. In real life it is a standard business-card size.

Even the back side is put to good use. For instance, it contains a coupon for a discount toward a print order of business cards, kindly provided by Great FX Business Cards, which printed the cards (and did a nice job, too).

So the recipient gets two potential benefits out of it: the online resource and the discount for a special service.

Small business card - back

But notice something else: the card is also a way to show appreciation to other businesses that partner with you. In this case, because the Web calendar is a joint effort of 3 of us, the card presented an opportunity to highlight the brands of the other 2 partnering companies and say “thanks!”

Bottom line: even something as small as a business card can be executed creatively and its limited space put to work. Just start with a document template for a business card and play around with it. Let your imagination go.

NOTE: this is not the only business card I use, but it is a little extra something that I give out at in-person events. And yes, you may claim the discount listed above.

What do you think? Would you have done anything differently on this card?


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.

18 Reactions
  1. That was a creative example of a business card! It gave me inspiration for our new business cards for Blue Chip Café & Business Center. I have several different business cards for different occasions. I have one with my personal EGO blog with my name, PJ Network Blogger as a title, EGO in capital letters, skype phone, mobile, email and URL for the blog. I will create a new one with for my “virtual business card” on the web. I will one print my name and then the following URL:

    Do you know if Great FX Business Cards ship to Sweden? It could be an idea to “share” the card with some other companies. I have seen this done before by for example printing companies.

  2. I used John Look for my blog business card. They have now web identity too, using the same style, font, layout, color scheme and typographic design as the business card.

    I used Editor in Chief for my blog card as a fun twist for the blogosphere! [Editor’s note: Bring out the typewriter! ;)].

  3. Shannon Walker-Lembke

    I’ve been using the back of my cards to promote downloads from my web sites that might be of interest to people attending an event that I am or that I’m meeting with. I always keep a couple versions with me and give out what ever is most appropriate. Recently, I’ve re-done my card to announce my forthcoming book.

    I like the idea of promoting your partners as you did – a very nice benefit for working with you.

  4. Michelle at Outpost

    Anita, one question … why did you give a discount to some other service and not your own?

  5. Hi Martin,

    I think that Great FX has some relationship with another vendor in the U.K. that handles Great Britain and the E.U. If you go to their home page and scroll down the right side, you’ll see the link. Probably it’s not cost effective to ship to Sweden from the States (I’m guessing).


  6. Hi Michelle,

    The content on this site is already free to read, so there’s no discount I can offer on it. 🙂

    While I offer consulting services, they are pretty specialized and not the kind of thing a typical small business would want anyway.

    That leaves discounts by 3rd parties as the only relevant thing I have to offer most people. In this case, Great FX offered up the discount on their own — I can’t really take credit for the idea. But I thought readers might find it valuable.

    And it is in keeping with the site’s mission. I like you to feel you can come here and not only get great information, but find goodies and freebies to help run your business. Helping you keep your costs low and running your business smarter is a big part of our mission.


  7. I would consider a design overhaul of this card – the design is not very clean and looks very out of date.

    Also, in my opinion, you should always include a phone number, preferably toll-free, on a business card. There is still a significant portion of the population who wants the immediacy of the phone if they’re interested in a product or service.

  8. Hi Anita,

    Depending on your business, I agree that a website can be more relevant. I still like the idea of providing reference information so folks will be more likely to hold onto your card. Here are more examples:

  9. Hi Ken Tucker,

    I appreciate the feedback. We’ll take that into acount when it’s time to re-print.

    Hi Chris Lyons,

    I will take a look at the references you cite. I’m always looking for new ideas.


  10. If you are looking to promote one certain part of your site, I see no problem in limiting the info. You give out general info cards too and they can still contact you from the events page if needed.

    I also use the back of my business card to highlight some of my availabe services. Good idea though to use a whole seperate card for additional marketing.

  11. Have to agree with Ken I feel a phone number should always be included as well as a website. I do like the showing of other appreciated business.

  12. Hi Anita,

    That’s a good example of thinking outside the box.

    Other than the fonts (it may just be the translation on the web) I think the cards are good. They give some good bullet-point ideas of what benefits people get with your service and the colours work well and stand out.

    And kudos for leading the pack to a web-focused business card! 🙂

    Mark Meyers

  13. Hi Mark,

    I appreciate all the input.

    Based on what I’m hearing in these comments, next time I might look at a different font for the heading (although it is very easy to read, in person).

    I’m also thinking the background watermark merely does not translate well to the Web. In real life it’s easier to see that it’s a faint calendar watermark and it does not interfere with reading the card in the least. In person it adds a pleasing dimension to the card.

    The glossy cards I got from GreatFX are very high quality and everything is crystal clear and crisp in real life.

    Interesting that you call it a “web-focused” business card. I hadn’t thought of it with a name, but it’s a perfect concept for those Internet entrepreneurs who do not have brick-and-mortar businesses. Instead of creating a traditional business card, create a web-focused one.


  14. DCP-Print Business Cards

    Thank you all for putting light on this subject. Our company is constantly designing new design templates for business cards and now we will also focus on web-focused templates.

    Thanks for the helpful info,

    Nataly Ravia

  15. I’m sorry but as a designer I have to say this is a complete mess. It looks like a Powerpoint slide trying to be a business card. By all means add some facts/pointers to the rear but if you handed me this card it would not even register with me even if I was interested in your product offering.

    I can agree that if you are basically web based then giving prominence to the web address is a sensible solution.

    With a name like Small Business Trends there are so many things you can do graphically, try reading a book like Smile in the Mind to see how to attract peoples attention.

  16. I agree with the title.. that’s for sure..
    It’s not always about the contact details..