Should you put anything on the back of a business card? Is it important to list your website url?
Just because you only have a few inches of real estate to work with doesn’t mean you still can’t get your message across and do it in a way that doesn’t require packing every possible bit of information about your business.
Your business card is often the first place prospective customers look when they’re searching for contact information for your small business. Having a striking set of business cards forms a first impression that can mean the difference between them picking up the phone or throwing your business card in the trash.
Here's what to include (and not include) on a business card:
1. Logo and Tagline
If you want your business card (and your business) to really get noticed, it all starts with great design and quality printing. Your brand should be immediately recognizable. That means should always include the name of your business AND your logo somewhere on your card.
And this is one area where a lot of small businesses start to really junk things up.
Take full advantage of the back side of your business card.
2. Job Title
One of the questions I see the most frequently from small business owners is whether to list a title on their business card and, if so, what exactly to include.
There are a lot (and I mean a lot) of opinions and discussions around the topic of what job title to use on a business card when you own a small business.
Typically, job titles fall into 3 categories--no title, organizational role (ex. CEO or President), or function (ex, Director of Sales and Marketing).
Here's my take...
- For small businesses with only 1 or 2 employees, referring to yourself as President seems a bit blowhardy.
- If you want people to have a clearer understanding of your day-to-day responsibilities, then something more functionally specific makes more sense (ex. Business Development Manager).
- If you're trying to establish credibility with prospective contacts who prefer to deal directly with the owner, then go that route
3. Contact Information
Back in the day, businesses had one (or at most two) telephone numbers. Now you’ll often see business cards that include an 800 number, a direct line, a cellphone, and possibly even a home number. Totally ridiculous! Your customers shouldn’t have to play a game of telephone roulette.
Why not keep it simple? Include the one or two numbers where your customers will be able to reach you. That’s all, that’s it!
Related: How to Design a Killer Business Card
Along with your phone number, always be sure to include your email address. Notice I said “your” email address and not some generic “firstname.lastname@example.org.” Nothing says “Please don’t contact me—I really don’t care about you” more than pointing people to an anonymous inbox.
Do you need to include a physical address?
That depends on your business. If you have an ecommerce store with no brick and mortar storefront, operate out of your home, or there's no reason customers would need to visit you, leave it off. Otherwise, it's entirely up to you. However, I have spoken with a number of folks over the years who feel a physical address helps validate the legitimacy of a business.
On the front you'll typically want to include 1) a contact name 2) email 3) phone number 4) address and 5) website--all the information prospective customers will need if they want to get in touch.
Of course I can’t talk about business card content without mentioning the fax. Of all the superfluous information you could possibly include, this has to be at the top of the heap. With the ability to scan and email documents, listing a fax number generally isn’t necessary (unless you know your customers are going to use it).
4. QR Codes (Never!)
Let's just nip this one in the bud right now. Including a QR code on your business card isn't going to make you look hip or cool.
The fact of the matter is most people aren’t actually going to “do” anything with your business card until they get in front of a computer or tablet. At that point, it’s going to take just as much time for them to pull out their phone, waste time scanning a QR code, connect to the web, and check it out as it would for them to just type in your url.
5. Links to Social Media Profiles
If your small business is on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+, it doesn’t take long before you wind up with a proliferation of social media profiles on your business card. Instead of giving people different ways to connect, you end up overwhelming them with a sea of social media icons and links.
Focus on the 1-2 primary social media channels your customers actually use and leave all of the other links for your website.
6. Services (Sparingly)
If you have the room including a short list of services can definitely help reinforce your offerings with current and prospective customers.
Notice I said short. Trying to list everything under the sun will only junk things up. I know when I get business cards that have a massive laundry list of services my eyes usually just glaze over.
7. Multiple Websites (Never!)
If you have a business website, an ecommerce site, a blog, and three social media profiles—you’re much better off pointing prospective customers to one url where they can then access all of your other information. In other words, don’t junk it up.
Business Card Best Practices
Don’t be afraid to use both sides of your business card. Doing so gives you more space so you allow your content to breath and also make it easier to digest for current and prospective customers. For starters, add your small business logo and tagline to the back side of your card. Then use the front side for your name and title, physical address (if you have a brick-and-mortar storefront), your phone number (one is almost always enough), and your email address and website.
From there, you can look at ready-made business card designs or design your own.
Have additional questions about what to include on a business card for your small business? Leave a comment below or send them to me directly.
As a disclaimer, I use affiliate links for some of the products listed. They are all products I absolutely love and trust and would recommend regardless of whether they have an affiliate program.