There is a reason why it seems like business cards have been around forever—it’s because they serve an important purpose. When it comes to gaining new business or networking with people that are relevant to your company’s success, having a great business card (read: unique, high-quality, interesting) is not something you should underestimate.

 Here’s why ensuring you have professional, well-designed business cards is ultimately a great investment for your business:

  1. First impressions matter.

 This is hardly groundbreaking advice. Most businesses know that a potential client’s first interaction with their company will likely shape their thoughts about it going forward. However, beyond initial conversations or introductory presentations, business cards are often the first tangible thing that your company will be presenting to a consumer.

 It’s as if you’re handing a potential consumer a card and saying “This is an example of something my company has produced, and I want you to refer to it as you continue to make up your mind about I’ve told you today.” With this line of thinking, having a great business card doesn’t seem like something you should have, but rather something you need to have.

  1. Business cards cut through the digital ubiquity.

In the same way that direct mail has become a more engaging marketing channel in light of how deeply immersed in digital media our society has become, business cards have become more powerful when it comes to forming a lasting connection with someone you’re interested in doing business with.

 You should still connect with contacts on LinkedIn, or even send them a follow up email with a link to your company’s website, but those actions may not be as memorable as being handed a tiny piece of paper (or cardstock, or plastic, or plexiglass) that you feel compelled to keep in a safe place for future reference. 

  1. It’s a trigger for people to remember why or how they originally learned about your business.

We’ve all been there: You’re emptying out your purse or pockets and find a business card you’d been given but totally forgotten about. Your brain immediately starts pulling together details about this business card—where you were when you got it, who gave it to you, what conversation accompanied the exchange.

As a business, this is the ideal scenario; you have a potential consumer thinking deeply about your company, even if only for a few seconds. This is advantageous because it not only makes this potential customer recall the information you’ve previously given them, while also priming their memory to be more likely to remember or recognize your company in the future.

  1. It initiates action.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every direct mail marketing campaign your business ever launched achieved a high conversion rate? If every mailer you sent ended with the recipient following up with you directly to learn more about what you’re offering, or go on to buy whatever it is you’re selling?

While that might not happen with every direct mail campaign, that is often exactly what happens when you give somebody your business card; they follow up. Business cards are extremely actionable because they are concise and contain all the relevant info somebody would need to know if they wanted to learn more.

  1. It’s a creative marketing channel that effectively engages potential clients.

The beauty of business cards is that by their very nature (and typical size) there is not a lot of room for fluff. Rather, businesses are forced to keep their message and branding concise, which is an effective marketing strategy in this day and age of dwindling attention spans.

For this reason, you should view your company’s business cards as a creative opportunity to showcase your brand and highlight the main value propositions that will bring customers in. Remember, both design and paper stock are important in creating the perfect card. (Get help choosing the perfect paper stock here.)