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Business Card Basics

Business cards can be your most effective marketing tool. Most people do keep business cards for future reference, and it is a give that you will exchange business cards with others at networking functions and business events.

To get the most from your business cards, make sure the basic information is included: your name, your business name, mailing address, phone number, fax number, toll-free number, cell number, email address and website address. You do not have to include all those things, but the more ways a customer or prospect can get in touch with you, the better. The minimum these days is one phone number and an email address.

An added "must" is a description of your business, especially if your business name does not indicate what you do. Associated Industries, General Services, Aragon Incorporated, J & C Enterprises are all names that could be almost anything. If your business name does not say exactly what you do, add a tagline: J & C Enterprises, Promotional Products for the Automotive Industry. By adding the tagline, you avoid prospects "forgetting" why they have your card, and if someone picks up your card, they will know who you are and what you do.

I recommend using the back of the card, too. It only costs a little bit more, usually, to print a message or some other information on there. For instance, J & C Enterprises could list some of their more popular products: air fresheners, key chains, license plate frames, floor mats and so on. If you are a service business, list some tips. A veterinarian could list required immunizations for dogs/cats and so on. A jeweler could list stones and their "meanings" or origins or properties.

Also, consider your market when designing your cards. If you market to people over 40 years old, use fonts big enough for them to read. And, avoid odd-shaped cards. They don't fit into business card files or pockets and are likely to be tossed.

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