A Brief History of the Business card
You may think that the business cards’ original purpose was to market and advertise for businesses, but that wasn’t it at all. Most historians speculate that the business cards originated in 15th century China and were, “used by aristocrats and royalty to announce their arrival to their hosts”. They had a similar use in 16th century Europe, better known as calling cards. Later on, shops started making trade cards that usually listed their goods and services. However, they did not contain addresses because for a while, roads were not named. So instead, they contained directions from a well known area. And as time went on, more modern forms of business card printing were created and this led to the creation of the business cards we have today.
Now that we know the origin or business cards, it is clear that they can serve different purposes. We curated a list of 8 different uses for business cards in modern times.
Alternative Uses for the Business Card
1. Appointment Cards
Often used by dentists, doctors, and other medical professionals, appointment cards are great for reminding patients when and where their next appointment is. Appointment cards may be a great addition to your business as well. By simply putting a space on the business card for the time, date, and purpose of the meeting, clients will view your business a lot differently–this makes a business seem a lot more professional and organized. This can bring in more business based on word of mouth from current or previous clients. Not to mention, appointment cards will help remind clients that they have an upcoming appointment which will reduce the amount time wasted on missed meetings.
2. Bag Stuffers
Have an upcoming sale or event? Have some bag stuffers designed to tell your clients! Bag stuffers are a great option if you have a brick and mortar shop because when someone purchases something, you can staple a bag stuffer to their receipt or put it directly in their bag. Usually, bag stuffers have details about sales and deals that are coming up or already happening so that people will come back on those dates and drive in business. Similarly, online shops may include one in each package to give shoppers an incentive to place another order or leave an online review.
3. Customer Loyalty Cards
This is one of the more popular forms of bringing in repeat business - especially at restaurants and ice cream places, hairdressers, coffee shops, and more. The general idea is that you design a business card and every time someone makes a purchase at your business they get a stamp on their card. After a certain amount of stamps, the customer receives a free or discounted item. Overall this is a great way to use business cards because they motivate people to keep coming back so that they can get a reward in return.
4. Online Campaign
If your business or organization is running an online campaign, then business cards may be a good way to grow your social media presence. In fact, according to Social Media Today, “77% of consumers say they are more likely to buy from a brand they follow on social media over one they do not”. So based on the fact that you are more likely to get sales from people that follow you, it would only make sense to encourage people to find you on social media. This can be done simply by putting all your social media icons and/or handles on your cards, or by creating a special bag stuffer or handout directing customers to your social accounts.
5. Tickets to a Company Event
If your business or company is holding an event like a banquet or charity auction, print the entry ticket on a business card. This can be achieved by putting your company info on one side and the event information on the other side. Business cards are the perfect size for a ticket, and there are lots of special finish options, like foil or spot uv, to make your event tickets feel special. This is yet another simple way to use business cards creatively.
6. Jewelry Backing CardsIf you are looking for a fun way to include your business card in your jewelry business this is a great choice. Business cards are the perfect size to be used as display backings. When packaging the jewelry, simply poke a small hole large enough to fit an earring pin or necklace on your card to affix the item and create a professional looking product. We printed the below cards with our special raised foil accents for Queen Cheetah Designs.
7. Raffle Tickets
A fun way to use business cards is to use them as raffle tickets. This is great because the people entering the raffle will definitely know what raffle the ticket is for and who is holding it. Put your logo and business or event information on one side, and use the second side as a place for the purchaser to write their name and contact info. This method can be used at charity events, Jack and Jills, parties, etc.
These are just a few of the different ways that business card printing can be utilized. The compact size makes them perfect for a number of uses outside of handing out your contact information. Spruce them up with special finishes to dress them up for a special event, or use matte finish in situations where you will need to write on them. We'd love to hear what you've used business cards for! Tell us in the comments below!
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About the Author
Quillan Reilly is a contributer to the Lucky Design + Media blog, as well as member of our admin team. In his free time, you'll likely find him enjoying some time on the golf course, or perfecting his latest recipe in the kitchen.