Which one to choose between paper vs digital business cards?

This is a question that often comes to mind, especially when you are starting a new business.

While both have their own set of pros and cons, it ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. But first, let’s try to understand:

What Are Paper Business Cards?

Paper business cards are simply cards made from paper.

They can be printed on a variety of materials, including card stock, recycled paper, or even cardboard.

The most important thing is that the paper is of good quality so that it looks professional and makes a positive impression.

Paper business cards usually include the company name and contact details of the company or individual.

They may also include a logo or other image, although this is not essential.

Paper business cards can be printed using a standard printer, although some businesses prefer to use more specialized equipment.

What Are Digital Business Cards?

Digital business cards are a new way to exchange contact information for small and medium businesses.

Rather than exchanging physical cards, you can share your digital business card with others via email address, text, social media, or even in person using Near Field Communication (NFC).

Related: 5 Best NFC Business Cards That’ll Make You Look Cool At Work

Digital business cards are easy to create and can be customized with your own logo, colors, and contact information.

They can also be updated instantly, so you always have the most up-to-date version of your card.

And perhaps best of all, they’re environmentally friendly!

11 Points To Consider While Choosing Between Paper Vs Digital Business Cards

Business cards are a necessary tool for networking events, trade shows, and making connections for business owners.

But with the rise of digital technology, there is an ongoing debate about whether paper business cards or digital business cards are more effective.

Here are 11 points to consider when choosing between paper and digital business cards:

1. Cost

Paper business cards are relatively inexpensive to produce.

All you need is a printer and some decent-quality paper.

Digital business cards, on the other hand, cost a little bit more money to create.

Related: 6 Best Digital Business Cards: [Customizable & Convenient]

You will need to invest in a good quality business card design, as well as a way to distribute them (more on that later).

2. Design

With paper business cards, your graphic design options are pretty much endless.

You can go for a simple, minimalist design or something more complex and eye-catching. Just ask your graphic designer and he’ll create your preferred design in minutes.

With digital business cards, your design options are somewhat limited by the format.

That being said, there are still plenty of beautiful and professional designs out there to choose from.

3. Distribution

This is where digital business cards have a clear advantage over paper ones. With paper business cards, you have to hand them out to people one by one physically.

With digital business cards, you can easily distribute them via a phone number, email address, QR code, or a social media platform such as LinkedIn.

You can also embed them on your website or blog so that people can download them easily if they want to.

4. Tracking

It can be difficult to track how effective paper business cards are at generating leads or driving sales because you have no way of knowing who actually keeps and uses them.

With electronic business cards, however, you can track how many views and downloads your card gets, as well as how many people click on any links that you may have included on it (such as your website or blog) in a dedicated digital business card application.

This information can be precious in assessing the effectiveness of your marketing efforts which isn’t available with the paper counterparts.

5.”Green” Factor

One argument in favor of physical business cards is that they are more environmentally friendly than their digital counterparts since they require no electricity to produce or distribute.

However, this argument doesn’t hold up when you consider the fact that most people simply throw printed business cards away after receiving them (unless they’re especially interesting or well-designed).

Electronic business cards, on the other hand, can be stored electronically on people’s computers or phones indefinitely with no negative impact on the environment whatsoever.

6. Physical Space

Paper business cards take up physical space – in your wallet, purse, or cardholder.

And if you have a lot of them, they can be tough to keep organized.

Virtual business cards take up zero physical space because they’re stored on your phone or computer. 

7. Weight

This might seem like a minor point, but it’s worth considering if you carry your business cards around with you everywhere you go.

A stack of 100 paper business cards can weigh anywhere from 2 ounces to half a pound (depending on the size and thickness).

Digital cards weigh nothing because they’re just bits and bytes on a computer or phone screen. 

8. Flexibility

With paper business cards, what you see is what you get – there’s no room for customization after they’ve been printed.

But with digital business cards, it’s easy to change things up whenever you want (without having to reprint anything).

For example, you can include links to your social media profiles or website so people can easily find more information about your company online.

9. Customizability

Paper business cards are pretty much static – you can’t change them after they’ve been printed.

Digital business cards, on the other hand, are highly customizable.

You can include links to your social media handles or website, as well as your contact information and company logo.

You can also add multimedia elements such as photos, videos, and audio files.

10. Security

If you lose a paper business card, there’s no way to track who might find it and use your information.

But if you lose a digital business card, you can simply deactivate it so that nobody else can use it.

Plus, you can password-protect digital business cards so that only those with the password can view them.

11. Sharing Capabilities

Paper business cards can only be shared one at a time, but digital business cards can be easily shared via email, social media platforms, NFC, or even text messages.

Related: How To Make NFC Business Cards Step By Step?

You can also embed them on your website or blog so that people can download them easily if they want to.

12. Size

A traditional business card is standardized to 3.5 x 2 inches, while a digital business card size can stretch or shrink to any shape/size you want or need them to be as it’s electronically stored.

If you want your digital business card to stand out, go for a unique size or shape that will make it memorable.

Paper Business Cards Pros And Cons

Pros

  • Physical and tangible, which develops a personal connection

Cons

  • Easy to lose
  • Can be easily torn or damaged
  • Not as interactive as electronic business cards
  • End up in the trash after a meeting or event
  • Not very environmentally friendly
  • Heavier cardstock is more durable but also more expensive

Digital Business Cards Pros And Cons

Pros

  • They’re eco-friendly
  • Save you money in the long run
  • Store them on your phone or in a digital wallet
  • If you lose your digital business card, you can always just send a new one to your contacts
  • Track how many people view your card 
  • Ability to include more information

Cons

  • People can misplace them
  • Not everyone has a smartphone/internet access so downloading your card to their phone, you might be out of luck
  • Some people prefer the traditional printed business card
  • More convenient to carry around

Paper Vs Digital Business Cards FAQs

general-faq
What is the difference between a paper card and a digital business card?

The main difference between a paper card and a digital business card is that an electronic business card can be accessed electronically, while a paper card must be physically handed to the recipient.
A virtual business card can also include additional information such as a resume or contact information that is not typically included on a paper business card.

Do people really use digital business cards?

Yes, digital cards are becoming more and more popular.
In fact, a study by Credify found that 79% of people would be likely to use a digital business card if it were offered to them.
And with good reason – digital business cards offer a ton of advantages over traditional paper cards.

What are the advantages of digital business cards?

The advantages of digital business cards are many.
They are easier to store and access than traditional business cards, they can be customized to include more information than a traditional business card, and they can be shared electronically with others.
Additionally, digital business cards can be updated more easily than traditional business cards, so they remain current and accurate.

What are the disadvantages of paper cards?

Paper cards have a disadvantage in that they can easily be lost or misplaced.
They can also be damaged or destroyed, which can make it difficult to retrieve the contact details that are stored on them.

Paper Vs Digital Business Cards: Which One Should You Go With?

conclusion

The bottom line is that both paper and digital business cards have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

There is no clear “winner” in this debate; it really comes down to personal preference and what will work best for you and your business.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to distribute physical copies of your card, then the paper is probably the way to go.

If you’re looking for a more efficient way to distribute your card electronically, then digital is probably the better option for you.