The average business will spend slightly more than 11 percent of its budget on marketing this year, according to the online marketing firm Web Strategies.
This amount is often somewhat lower for those working in the healthcare space, with approximately 6 percent of expenses in these types of businesses being allocated to marketing costs. Furthermore, a large portion of that budget, approximately 40 percent, will be spent in online efforts, with search engine marketing, banner ads, and online videos taking up a majority of this expense.
Given that digital marketing strategies and techniques are growing more each year, many professionals are wondering if they should even bother with creating print business cards. But many small business marketing professionals say that the answer is still yes.
Importance of having a business card
For instance, The Balance: Small Business reports that there are seven solid reasons for offering potential clients a paper business card in this highly digital age. They are:
- Being able to share your contact information quickly and, oftentimes, more easily.
- Having a contact-sharing option for people who do not have digital devices, which is a more prevalent concern in rural areas than in urban or suburban settings, according to data collected by Pew Research Center.
- Having your information always accessible to your clients, even when they aren’t actively connected to the internet.
- Giving your business more legitimacy.
- Providing an additional promotional opportunity.
- Some cultures hold business cards more sacred than others, such as many Asian cultures, making business cards an effective tool for marketing to this demographic.
- Being a great face-to-face marketing tool.
Essential information and design
So what does an effective business card look like? “The card should look like a piece of ART,” says Lexi Montgomery, founder of The Darling Company, clarifying that, in this case, ART stands for:
Authority: social media links
Relevancy: services offered, specialties
Trust: contact information
Put simply, though the card should be somewhat similar to the industry standard, it needs to also communicate these three factors. Nela Dunato, founder of and brand designer behind Nela Dunato Art & Design, agrees, adding that the most important features of a business card are the contact details and company logo.
Also, think in terms of communicating chiropractic benefits versus features. “By this, I mean your branding should suggest things like healing, comfort, and longevity,” Dunato says, “rather than credentials, testimonials, and technical expertise.”
As far as design is concerned, “Centering the text in the middle of the business card gives it a balanced appearance, Dunato says. Also, don’t use too many colors or fonts as this can make the business card look “juvenile and unprofessional.” Ideally, the fonts should be simple and easy-to-read, and the best size is between 9 and 11 points.
While the front of the card will likely be viewed the most, don’t forget about the back. This is additional space that can be used to provide more information or a decorative graphic, Dunato says. And if you put the right information on the back, people will be more inclined to hang on to it.
“One way to make a business card more interesting and reduce the chances of people throwing it away is to print something useful on the back of it,” Dunato says. “For example a basic, simplified spinal nerve chart or a short list of tips for better back health.”
Paper and finish
Montgomery stresses that it’s also important to think about the paper and finish when it comes to creating your business card, as these are important elements. Statistics provided by Small Business Trends support this, as they indicate that over 70 percent of the people to whom you hand your card will judge your business based on your business card’s quality.
“Business cards may be laminated,” Montgomery says, “and for a chiropractic business, I’d recommend a matte finish, which makes the card soft to the touch.” Additionally, think about your patients, their demographics and concerns when making other considerations as well.
For instance, if your patients tend to be more affluent, Montgomery recommends using gold foil stamping on your logo and minimal design elements, as this communicates “a premium vibe.” And if your patients tend to be eco-conscious, you may want to consider a card printed on recycled paper.
What not to put on a business card
In addition to knowing what to put on your business card, it’s also important to know what not to put on it. The goal is provide the necessary information without trying to put too much on the card or, as Dunato says, “The less clutter, the better.”
“You definitely shouldn’t add images that take away from the text,” Dunato says, “and don’t worry about adding certifications, partner logos, or your educational background.” Dunato also suggests that, while many professionals like to put their photos on their business cards, this isn’t something that she personally recommends.
“There is no one perfect business card for every chiropractor,” Dunato says. As long as yours communicates your brand and approach, you’re on the right track.