Make a Lasting Impression With Plastic Business Cards

Plastic cards are easy to identify, easily fit in your wallet, purse, or pocketbook, work like a credit card, and just need to be swiped at point of sale. What can be easier? Apart from that, they can be distributed to friends and coworkers, they make easy gifts and also create positive connections of your brand with your clients. Check out their usefulness:

Keep your Customers Engaged To Your Brand

A quick scan of a smartphone can bring a customer to your website with the printed QR codes on your magnetic stripe cards. It can keep them updated about your business, and notify them about any promotions you are having.

Wildly Popular

From restaurants and hotels to gas stations and student loan programs, gift cards have fully spread into the consumer market. They also allow people freedom to pick their own products and services, which is probably the most appealing feature of all.

Eco Friendly

Many plastic cards can be made from recycled materials. They are easily re-entered into the recycling process, separating them out of the waste stream. Renewable materials are also being included into gift cards, which make them doubly green.

Popularity of Plastic Cards in Business

Business cards have long been an effective and affordable way to communicate, advertise and market a business. While each card has got significant amount of potential, not every business card make a great business. The fate of many plastic cards ends up getting tucked into glove compartments, folded into wallets or crumpled into pockets. Plastic business cards are fast changing the ways and creating lasting impressions by offering more durable, memorable and interesting options.

The potential of a business card starts to pick up speed as soon as you hand over a business card to someone. It is the beginning of accumulating a relationship with the person you have passed it to, and also the starting of its journey into other hands as you and your business are mentioned to colleagues and friends. To have a card that would withstand the journey successfully would set you ahead from the rest.

Among the key advantages of plastic cards the most notable are:

Durability

Cards made of plastic do not get folded or crumpled, hold up in your purse or wallet or and look new for years. Connections steadily build over the long term. It can take months or years for a potential client to get in touch. Therefore, your card needs to last.

Design

Plastic cards let you design opportunities that paper cards don’t. Explore the exciting possibilities to strengthen your brand by benefiting more from your business cards.

Appearance

Premium quality card for business or membership cards are the cherry on top of your marketing efforts. Your business card should receive the same attention that you give to the design of your company’s logo, brand and advertising. Your business card is an extension of your brand, and one of the most accessible, exchangeable marketing tools you have access to.

Which Business Card is Best For You?

There are many different types of business cards available for your business needs, and it is important to figure out which type best fits you and your company. You want a card that is representative of what you are offering your customers or clients. Consider how professional you want your card to be, and what message you want it to communicate to the people you give it to. Here are seven different styles of business cards that you must can between before starting your design.

1. Standard: The standard business card is a 3.5″x2″ rectangle with square corners. This is the basic size and style that every printing company prints at a standard price. Due to the ease of printing and cutting standard cards, these are the most affordable option for any business. These are very professional and will show the customer that you are dedicated, qualified and reliable. This is a great option for anyone looking to print a large number of affordable business cards.

2. Round Corners: Round cornered cards are a variation of standard business cards. Once they are printed, a die cut creates round corners to give it a different shape. This can give your business card a softer feel than standard cards and is becoming a popular option for printing. Be prepared to pay a little extra for round corners, but it might be worth it to add a touch of personality to your business cards. Be sure to create your design with round corners in mind so that you do not cut off any of your information.

3. Square: A fast growing trend in business card printing, square cards are a unique take on the standard card. They are smaller than normal, only 2″x2″, but will definitely separate your business card from everyone else. Square cards are fun and will show your customers that you have a good personality and are a creative person. The only thing you need to be careful of is the space you use. Square cards are quite a bit smaller than standard cards, leaving you less room to include all your information. Try square cards for your next printing job and you will definitely be satisfied.

4. Die-Cut: Die-cut business cards are the most unique cards you can have. If you choose to do a die-cut, you can pick from standard die-cuts or pick from one of the die-cuts your printing company may already have. There is also the option of creating your own die-cut, in which you can choose or design any shape for your die-cut that you want to. Depending on the complexity of your design, die cuts can cost anywhere from $50 and up. Your printing company will likely charge you for this die-cut because you will be their only customer to ever use it. This is the most expensive option for business card printing, but it is the best way to have a truly unique card that no one else will have.

5. Fold-Over: Fold-over cards are great for companies that want to include a little more information in their design than a standard 3.5″x2″ will allow. Folded cards are 3.5″x4″, giving you twice as much space as a regular size card. Be creative with your fold-over business cards by using the folded style in your design. Include a die cut on the fold to create a custom shape or die cut one side of the fold. Fold over cards are a unique take on standard cards, but will give you enough edge to stand out from the crowd.

6. Recycled: Recycled business cards are perfect for those companies and businesses trying to “go green.” These are made of 100% post-consumer waste paper and content. Recycled cards look just as amazing as regular cards, but will give you the peace of mind that you are helping save the environment while still using print media. You can print in full color or black and white, and you still receive the same great quality and thickness as a standard card. These are especially perfect for companies that are selling products or services to other businesses to help them “go green.” You can not go wrong with recycled business cards.

7. Portfolio: Portfolio cards are the most unique form of business card printing. Whether you are looking to add a touch of personality to your cards or you just want to showcase a variety of images or products, printing your cards in portfolio style allows you to print multiple different cards with just one order. Keeping all the information uniform on the back of each card, choose a different photograph, background color, product or image for the front of your card. The best number of styles for printing is anything in a multiple of 20, including 4, 5, 10 and 20. Portfolio business cards are great for photographers, bloggers, videographers, or anyone looking to create completely unique cards.

As you can see, there are many different types of business cards available, all of them ranging in price and uniqueness. Make sure you pick the card that best represents your company, but make sure it is still within your budget. Also, double check that your card conveys the message you want it to to your customers to get the best response.

Some other options to consider for your business cards printing include: stock weight and color, size, full color printing or black and white printing, single sided printing or double sided printing, and how many cards you will need. You will never want to run out of cards, so it is important that you order more than you think you will need. It is a bad idea to get caught without your cards.

How To Choose An Online Business Card Printer

It’s gotten way too confusing to order business cards online. How do you choose a business card printer when there seem to be millions of them competing for your business?

Shopping for business card printing online is like shopping for any other product – your goal is to find what you what, for a reasonable price, from a reputable dealer. The problem when buying business cards online is making sure you’re comparing apples to apples, as the saying goes.

Finding the Business Cards You Want

Your first task is to find an online business card printer who carries the type of business card you want. Most online business card printers offer full-color business cards in a standard size (3″ by 2.5″), so a simple search for “business cards” or “business card printing” will find those.

You will need to decide whether to use custom artwork for your business card or one of the pre-designed backgrounds or templates offered by many business card printers. Again, many online business card printers allow you to order business cards either way.

Don’t be put off by the idea of using backgrounds that are available to everyone else; odds are slim that any of your direct competitors will find and use the same background. And these are professionally done designs that flat-out make you look good to prospects. (Much better than a homemade business card!)

If you need different cards, such as die-cut business cards or embossed (raised print) business cards, those are also easy to find using your favorite search engine. Many business card printers offer more than one type of card – raised print, one-color or full-color, for example. Some even offer magnetic cards, sticker cards and more.

For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume you’re looking for full color business cards.

Paying a Reasonable Price for Business Cards

Business cards are the bargain buy of the marketing world, but comparison-shopping for business cards can be a nightmare. It’s not enough to compare style and price of business cards between printers (say, 1000 full-color cards, printed on one side – 4/0).

Besides the style and price, you also should compare:

the thickness of the card stock (a 14pt card is sturdier than a 10pt card);
whether or not a protective coating is included in the price (and which type – a card can be “glossy” without having the protection of UV coating, and UV coating is generally considered more desirable than aqueous coating);
whether or not there are extra charges, such as a fee to upload your own images;
how many (or how few) business cards you can order at a time;
shipping costs; and, last but not least;
the reputation of the business card printing company.

Finding a Reputable Business Card Printer

Online business card printers who’ve made it to the top of the search engines, and stayed there, are generally okay – but not necessarily.

In fact, one popular, high-ranking business card printer online has such a pattern of complaints that they’ve received an “Unsatisfactory” rating from the Better Business Bureau. (This company’s cards are also of substandard size, although it’s hard to tell unless you directly compare them with another business card.)

So one guideline is to look for a designation such as Better Business Bureau approval or Bizrate certification. If a company has won such a designation, they’ll probably mention it somewhere on their website. Testimonials are another clue – but it isn’t hard to find a dozen happy people out of thousands of customers, so read them with a grain of salt.

Another way to assess a business card printer is to request samples of their business cards – not only will you get to examine actual cards, but you’ll get a feel for their customer service as well.

One Last Complication

Did you know that many, if not most, of the business card printers on the web are dealers for two or three huge wholesale business card printing companies? That’s right – you spend all that time shopping for the right business card printer and you probably don’t realize you’re comparing identical cards.

(You usually can’t tell until you reach the section of the website where you actually choose and edit a business card template or background – the URL will change.)

Now there’s nothing wrong with these online business card dealers, many of whom add value by educating people about business cards, just as I do, and nothing wrong with the business cards. But knowing that many business card printers online offer the exact same cards should save you some comparison time!

Given the affordability, portability and versatility of business cards, it is certainly worth taking time to shop around for the right business card printer for your business. And now that you understand some of the differences, you’ll make a more informed decision when you next go looking for a business card printer on the Internet.

Anatomy of an Effective Business Card

The elements of a business card consist of 1) the style – horizontal or vertical, 2) color – black-and-white cards or color business cards, 3) printing materials – printed on papers, plastic cards or magnetic cards. The most important part of business cards, however, are the information elements of a business card. After all, business cards convey the message you want to pass to your prospects, customers or clients. Effective business cards make a huge difference in your daily interaction with prospects, customers or clients. Many business deals actually begin with the exchange of business cards. Effective business cards send a clear message to your customers about who you are and what your business does. But not all business cards are created equal. When you greet your customers with business cards, you want to impress them with messages that highlight the uniqueness and value of your products or services. If they don’t use your services or buy your products today, you want to encourage them to come back in the future.

Information about the Person
There’re two types of business cards in terms of the purpose – the business cards that present a business and the cards that present an individual. The first type of business cards will just list company name, service, contact phone number and fax number. They’re often placed at the service desk for customers to pick up. The second type of business cards is the one we really refer to as business cards. They present both an individual and a business. The cards will list the person’s name, job title, and a brief description of the job title if official job title isn’t intuitive to laymen. Even if the job title is trivial, a tag line will emphasize your expertise and services and distinguish you and your business from others. A web designer may use a tag line – “build your virtual office”. An Internet marketing expert may say “Convert your visitors to sales”.

Information about the Business
Business information is the focal point for both types of business cards. The information about the business includes business name, brief description of the business, business contact phone number, fax number, physical address and website URL. More and more businesses have official websites for their businesses, but not every business prints the URL on the business cards. Some marketing experts actually believe that the purpose of the business cards is to remind customers to either call you or to visit your website for more information as needed. Website is where they find detailed information about your business.

Once we’ve identified the elements of an effective business card. The design of your business card is only limited by your imagination. You can do business card printing yourself using many different business card templates online or from business card printing software library for common business cards. You’ll need professional printing companies if you plan to have a magnetic card or plastic cards.

Natalie Aranda writes on marketing and online promotion. The elements of a business card consist of 1) the style – horizontal or vertical, 2) color – black-and-white cards or color business cards, 3) printing materials – printed on papers, plastic cards or magnetic cards. The most important part of business cards, however, are the information elements of a business card. After all, business cards convey the message you want to pass to your prospects, customers or clients. You can do business card printing yourself using many different business card templates online or from business card printing software library for common business cards. YouÂ’ll need professional printing companies if you plan to have a magnetic card or plastic cards.

All That Goes Behind a Business Card Design

It is a fine summer morning and you are in a happy mood. You have just returned from a long and important overseas business trip and you have attended a number of seminars and exhibitions. As you sit down with a cup of coffee your secretary enters and hands you a stiff piece of rectangular paper. She announces that a well-dressed man had come to meet you regarding an important business deal and had left behind his business card. As you glance through the card, you are impressed by the quality of the board used to make the card. What strikes you is the superb color combination the logo and the lettering of the card uses. Your eyes are riveted to the same and you just cannot take them away.

You also recall how many business opportunities you had lost in these meetings, seminars and exhibitions just because you did not have a business card. It is high time that you got a decent one made for your company. If you search the net, you will come across many ads that are selling cheap Business card designs that you can use for your business card design. It is not recommended that you use them for your official business card. If these designs are available on the net, you are not the only smart browser and in all probabilities others must have downloaded and used the same for designing their organization’s business cards. Check the net again and go in for some blank business cards online and select one whose base color and quality of card appeals to you.

Better yet, appoint some professional to make the selection for you. They are your best option when it comes to designing a professional business card for they have been in this business for many years and know how to design and print a perfect business card that adorns your wallet. You may go in for plain white colored cards, or ivory cards as they are called, for making your business card. If you so wish, you might also go in for color business cards that are the rage nowadays. During your sojourn you might have also come across business card maker programs. These programs are helpful when you need to print a limited number of business cards immediately

They are perfect when you have exhausted your current stock of business cards and need some immediately. However you need to ensure that you have your business card design in your computer before you can use the special software to make a few copies of your business card. Come to think of it, what is the need of such a program when you have the business card design on your computer? In all probabilities the agency that designed your card might have provided you with a `one up’ card design. This means that if you print it using a personal printer, just one card will appear on the printed A4 sheet. Not a wise judgment and too much loss of paper.

The special program will take the business card design that you have on your computer as the source and will make multiple copies of the same and arrange them on a single sheet of paper with cutting guidelines. This ensures that the paper is not wasted and that all the business cards are laid out properly. Just use a slitting knife to cut and separate the individual business cards and you are in business. Before jumping in, make sure that you have got the business card design of your official business card designed by professionals. They ensure that your card will stand out among others and when the purchaser has to select from a number of business cards lying on his table, his eyes are attracted by yours and that he picks yours only.

This results in you procuring the order you were hunting for a long period of time. Take some time and try to make a collection of the business cards of leading organizations and put them out on the table. Look at them and examine them carefully. Can you see what makes them tick? Most of them will be having simple designs and a good color combination. Not just the color combination of the text and logo, but also the color that is used in the background of the card. You will also notice that the leading companies also maintain a certain standard in their business card design. They never clutter up the card with too much text or information.

There are some folks who cram up their business cards with all the information it can hold. This is not done, for a business card is business card and not sales literature. Let the additional info be there on your sales literature and keep the business card as simple as possible. This will ensure that the card will be able to pass across the information it was supposed to convey immediately. Would you rather want that the CEO of a reputed company scanned all through your business card just to find your contact information? A proper business card design should have as much `white space’ as possible on it. People should be able to access the necessary information immediately.

When going in for your business card design, do not go in for a design that requires multi-fold cards. If you use such a card, you can be rest assured that the CEO will dump it in the trashcan without even bothering to glance at it. Get your organizations business card design designed by a professional. This might cost you some additional money, but it will ensure that your business card conveys your true image. After all this is what a business card is supposed to do. They are not required to promote your products. They are meant to project your image and they can do it only if designed by professionals.