About The Author
Jenny Harris

Jenny Harris has been integral to Phase 3 since its inception and now is the Executive Vice President overseeing the company's sales.

The Big Debate: Digital versus Print Business Cards

By Jenny Harris
May 10, 2022

Remember when novelty business cards were a thing? There were fancy die-cut cards, round cards that were also coasters, cards made of metal or wood, and my absolute favorite, a card that was also a seed packet. These creative business cards were very memorable. They tended to stay with you – psychologically and physically – as it was much harder to throw away a business card that could also become a garden.


Business cards have been a necessity for any business owner or professional for hundreds of years, starting in 15thcentury China as “visiting cards”. By the mid-20th century, business cards were so ubiquitous that novelty versions were created as a way to stand out from the crowd. Lately, smartphones have inspired the use of digital business cards. We have our phones in our hands most of the time, making it easier to share a digital card instead of having to search for a physical card in a pocket or purse. Even before the pandemic, we were using digital cards more often. Now that we are spending less time meeting in person, and are more concerned by hygiene, the popularity of digital business cards will only increase.

But should you give up physical business cards entirely? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.


The Benefits of Printed Business Cards

  1. Business cards are still an important part of face-to-face networking. That physical reminder of your conversation can be a tangible way to stay top of mind with prospects and provides a handy place to make a note about your meeting.

  2. Printed business cards can be a terrific branding tool, especially for small businesses. Studies show 72 percent of business card recipients use business card quality factors to judge a company.

  3. A printed card allows you to customize a visually-appealing card that communicates the personality of your brand while being memorable. And while novelty cards may seem frivolous, they can grab someone’s attention, making them perfect for certain types of businesses. 

  4. They still work. Studies show approximately 27 million business cards are printed daily, and in general, sales could increase 5 percent for every 2,000 business cards handed out. 


The Benefits of Digital Business Cards

  1. Updating a digital business card is relatively quick and easy. There’s no need to pay for printing or design if you have new contact information or updated logo. Plus, you will also never run out of cards at the exact moment you need them.

  2. With digital cards, you typically only pay for the app you use to create and send the card. Apps allow you to easily share your cards through the app, text, social media, or email. Some of the same apps will also organize the digital cards you receive from others.

  3. A well-designed and interactive business card can be very engaging. You are not limited by the space available on a traditional paper card. You can add exactly as much information as you need. That can include non-traditional content such as images, videos, and links to your social media profiles. Digital business cards can also feature external links to surveys, signup forms, and other websites. All this information can also be displayed in several languages.  

  4. The environment is becoming an important concern for many companies. According to the latest MRFR research, 65% of business leaders consider a sustainability strategy necessary to be competitive, while 79% of consumers think about corporate sustainability when making purchases. Both companies and consumers are looking for alternatives to traditional paper newspapers, books, and business cards. They feel that using digital business cards is a crucial choice to help reduce the impact on the planet.


Connecting the Physical with the Digital

There is a case to be made for a hybrid approach to your business card strategy – one that combines both physical and digital cards. This approach gives you the highest degree of flexibility allowing you to tailor the delivery to the situation and to the person you are engaging with.  For some, digital cards can get lost in the "noise" of the Internet and for others, printed cards can get lost in the clutter of their office. When you connect the digital to the physical, you get the best of both worlds. That is why we offer Printeractive™ marketing.

Our creative team can design a beautiful and effective business card for your company that is then printed and shipped from one of our three print facilities. We can also create a digital portal that allows your employees to customize and create a digital business card as well as order physical cards, both with pre-approved branding and messaging to make it easier on your communications team. Few marketing partners can create great ideas and effectively produce them in both channels. Phase 3 does it all from start to finish, for companies of all sizes and industries across the nation. Ideation to execution: we’re ready to help you create new connections and increase sales. Breakthrough and connect with Printeractive™ solutions from Phase 3.

Let's get started. Contact us today.