Technology hasn’t made physical business cards obsolete despite many predictions that it would. However, it has led to development of digital business cards and changes to physical business cards. But how will technology change the future of business cards?
The Digital Business Card
The term digital business card typically refers to a digital file that contains your contact information. In some cases, it is a scanned version of your physical business card, though more advanced ones include active links to your website or a link to a slimmed down homepage that contains all of your contact information. Ensure that your physical business cards and digital ones remain in sync. Obsolete information in either location can cause you to lose out on the business opportunity.
The Scanable Business Card
Technology should change the way your business card looks. For example, all text on your business card should be in a font that is easy for both you and scanners to read. This is because many people scan business cards and let a service enter the contact information into a contact database, though more intelligent devices will translate the scanned text and put it in the right database fields. Unfortunately, this means that a business card format that is non-traditional may not read right. For example, putting your email right under your name or using cursive fonts in the NAP information may prevent your data from being saved.
The widespread adoption of business card scanners is in conjunction with the practice of taking a picture of a business card to save the information and then throwing away the business card. This should affect the design of the business card. For example, it makes it impossible for devices to capture information from business cards with reflective metal flourishes or a bright finish.
The Appearance of URLs, QR Codes and Other High Tech Links
Including a business website under your name, address and phone number is so routine that it is now referred to as NAP+W. However, other high tech references are appearing on printed business cards. For example, many people include links to their social media profiles, especially if that’s where their work is showcases or it is part of the process of building their brand. QR codes are not as common, but they’re becoming more so. One variation of this is putting a QR code on the printed business card that others can scan to access a digital business card. Another is using the QR code to connect them to a marketing video or let them follow you on social media. If you’re a service provider, hand the business card to people with a QR code that sends them directly to where they need to go to post a review of your business. Or have the QR code trigger a text message sent from their phone asking for more information, so your system can automatically send them information via a text. In most cases, the QR code is used to start the next step in the sales funnel if not close the deal.
A few businesses take it to the next level by adding cryptocurrency wallet information on business cards, so that someone can scan it and send money to the person’s cryptocurrency account. Granted, this isn’t as common as swiping a credit card via a portable reader connected to the person’s smart phone.