Business Cards: Why They’re Still Relevant
A recent article on Vice’s Motherboard site asked the question, “Why are business cards still a thing?” The piece’s author, Kari Paul, writes that “Business cards are bulky, inconvenient, and hard to keep track of — and with an abundance of online landing pages like Twitter, LinkedIn, and personal websites, it is a wonder this paper vestige of the past yet to be unseated by something more efficient.”
While Paul may be right in describing the lifespan of the business card …
“Every time I go to a conference, networking event, or tech launch I find myself returning home with a stack of strangers’ business cards that I promptly set on the corner my desk and, for the most part, never look at again.”
… she is wrong to flippantly assume that the business card has outlived its usefulness. As an insurance agent, you still need to think about investing in business cards for the following reasons:
1. They are cheap to produce
Some websites will actually do your business cards for you for free. All you do is pay shipping. Online tools have made it easier than ever to get a professional looking design for next to nothing. It’s not unheard of to hire pro design services and printing for a 500-run and pay $60 or less.
2. It’s not about what happens to the card
While Paul is right in painting a picture that illustrates most business cards getting dumped somewhere never to be thought of again, that isn’t always the case and even when it is, it doesn’t mean the business card failed to do its job before going the way of the dodo. Scenario: you hand out your business card and establish a personal connection with someone looking for insurance or someone who knows someone looking for insurance. Maybe this person is an employer, and he thinks your solution would be a good one for his employees. He takes your card, thanks you, studies it for a bit, and then promptly loses it. A few weeks go by. He needs a product like you’re offering, but he no longer has your card. (He’s long since lost it.) Nevertheless, receiving that card from you created a firmer business connection in his mind. He was a little more apt to remember it because of the card, in other words, and since you deal in exactly what he is now looking for, he is able to recall enough of that meeting to Google your name and pull up your site. In this scenario, it doesn’t matter what happened to the card. It did its job because it reinforced that connection with your insurance lead long enough so that they remembered you when they needed you the most.
3. The card can sell you even when you — and a bad Internet connection — aren’t around
Say you’ve made some good connections with the businesses in your area. They let you place your business cards up near the register where patrons can’t help but see them while paying their check. You’re not there. There’s no Internet connection. But because of primo placement, and that card finding the right person’s eyes at the right time, you’re likely to get a call without having to do much at all to acquire it.
The thing that you have to remember as an insurance marketer in the 21st Century is that while the whole world is now online, there is still plenty of ground to cover offline. Business cards have always been a great way to connect offline — passively, actively, you name it — and they’re increasingly helpful in bridging the gap between the “real world” and the virtual one.