Business Cards that People Will Actually Remember

February 03, 2012

Posted in Marketing.

Do you carry business cards? 90% of business cards get tossed in under a week.

There are also more cards produced each year than there are people on this earth. And there are a lot of gimmicks to get people to notice your card: metal cards, fancy die cuts, cards that turn into neat origami. There are even business cards that biodegrade nicely and have seeds embedded in the paper – encouraging people to throw your card in the dirt!

For those of us who can’t imagine spending a ton on business cards, the content of the card has to do the trick. Here are two cards that I was handed recently that got my attention and that I now have pinned on my wall.

The Story Card

Story Worldwide business card

This is a standard-sized business card, and what you’re seeing is the back. It’s just a brief set of notes about the card’s owner that you can’t help but read and inquire on. In this case, the guy is clearly a sports nut and probably has some interesting story to tell you about how he declared his candidacy for governor. (It turns out the story is pretty good, though he certainly didn’t get elected.)

It’s slightly more expensive (maybe 3 cents per card, typically) to add text/color to the back of a business card, but if it makes the difference between the trash heap and being tacked up on someone’s board then it’s probably worth it.

The Leave-Behind

Interview leave-behind card

I hate job interviews. They’re a terrible way to showcase your work skills and an even harder way to evaluate them. So when a job candidate left this bookmark-sized card behind at the end of his interview, he stood out clearly and connected me to him on a personal level. The back has a series of intriguing facts about him that show a little more than would come out during a professional interview. Suddenly, he wasn’t just another candidate; he was a guy I felt I sort of knew. Which can make all the difference in the world when you’re interviewing. Also, it showed his creativity and personality – both important for the job.

Do this yourself

First, you could just duplicate this approach. Pick a solid color and put some text on the back of your card that tells a little story about yourself. Or use a very short, but powerful mission-related story. At the end of my Twitter account bio (as well as on the backs of the business cards I’m about to order), I mention that I do a mean impression of a velociraptor. Sometimes, that’s the first thing people ask me about when I meet them. They ask me to show them. I don’t mind, it just means that I’ve left an impression on them.

Marketing is about telling stories. We can’t pound that into our heads enough. But there are a lot of places to tell our stories, and sometimes the littlest things can make for the most surprising storytellers.

Want to comment? Send me a note on Twitter or email me.