Do People Throw Away Business Cards?

There’s no doubt that people do throw away business cards – especially if they didn’t ask for them in the first place. In fact, it is estimated that around 63% of people who receive business cards throw them away because they don’t think that they need the service right now.
The good news is that there are things that you can do which can increase your chances of prospects saving your cards, rather than tossing them out.
By reading on, you’ll discover the top reasons why people throw away business cards. We’ll also share our top tips on designing an impressive business card that nobody will want to throw away.

The Top 6 Reasons People Throw Away Business Cards

The first thing to address is that not every business card is going to get thrown away. Obviously, no-one would bother using business cards if nobody ever kept them.
There are several distinguishing features of business cards that make it more likely that prospects will discard the cards, instead of giving them a proper read over. Without further ado, here are the top six reasons why people throw away business cards.

1. The Design is Unprofessional

Easily one of the biggest reasons why people throw out business cards is because the design looks unprofessional. It’s easy to try to save money by doing some generic or very basic business card. However, you need to invest in a business card that is well-designed to represent your business. With a generic, unprofessional design, your card won’t stand out against the other companies out there. A memorable business card, one that is well-designed and visually appealing, won’t just get tossed aside.

2. It Doesn’t Stand Out

If your business card is printed in a basic black-and-white design, in a traditional serif font with centralised text and absolutely no distinguishing features, it’s not going to stand out. It will blend in with every other business card your peer or client has ever seen, and will not grab their attention.
This means they’re more likely to throw it away, or toss it in the back of a drawer where it’s never seen again. You can find plenty of eye-catching full colour templates here at 123Print.

3. Bad Printing

Business cards that you use for your company should not just be printed on any old printer at the office. When you do, you end up with a whole slew of problems that can have a negative impact on how people view you. For example:

1. Printed on low-gsm (thin) cardstock, giving it a flimsy feeling
2. Low-resolution or grainy images
3. Uneven text or borders
4. Variations in ink colour or quality
5. Sharp or uneven edges to the card

All of the above issues can cause people to perceive your business as unprofessional, making it less likely that they will want to work with you.

4. Lack of Added Value

Business cards are supposed to show your value to prospects. If yours doesn’t, prospects will toss your business card aside. Many businesses don’t take the opportunity to ensure that their cards are made for building up relationships with prospects.

For instance, they don’t take advantage of the back of the card, which can be used for a variety of different purposes. The backs of the cards can be used to offer discounts to prospects for checking out your business or some other appealing offer. This will ensure that prospects keep your card in a safe spot.

5. It Has Incorrect Information or Typos

If a prospect tries to get a hold of you through the contact information on your card and can’t because the information is wrong, they will throw away the card. A card with incorrect information is no good to anyone. Typographical errors and spelling mistakes will also be instantly off-putting – it makes you seem incompetent and unprofessional.
This is why it’s so important to make sure that all of the information on your cards are correct, and that you update your business cards with any new contact information. Always double- and triple-check the proof before ordering your business cards.

6. Poor Presentation of the Cards

If you don’t care about your business cards, how can you expect your prospects to? Where do you store your business cards?

Are they safely stored on you for when you need them – in a protective case, for example – or are they just tossed in your back pocket? When you pull out business cards that are folded, dirty, or wrinkled, people will not get the best impression of you. It won’t give them much reason to keep your card on hand.

How to Design a Business Card People Won’t Throw Away

The main take away from that last section is that business cards are representative of who you are as a business. This means that you need to take a great deal of care when designing your business cards. Create a design that will appeal to your prospects, so that your business cards stand out, and there’s more incentive to keep them.
Here are our top tips for creating eye-catching and professional business cards that your contacts will want to keep.

Be Creative

Don’t just design a generic business card, because you’re not going to be memorable. Memorable cards make their way on the fridge or bulletin board. Boring cards find their way in the trash. The most important thing is to be memorable and to leave a positive first impression.
You want to take the time to really come up with a creative idea that will make your business card visually appealing and leave an impact on your prospects. For example, experiment with bright and bold colour schemes that will stand out from the crowd.

Vary the Shape

You’ve probably only seen the standard rectangle business cards. But, you can do so much and have such an impact if you decide to experiment with the shapes of the cards. Rectangles may be the easiest option, but is it the best option? You can make your card a part of your brand identity by going a more creative route.
Maybe you could just go with a rectangle with rounded corners, so that it feels different in the hand. Or, perhaps choose a vertical business card, so that the recipient will have to hold it a different way to read it – this will catch their attention a lot better than a traditional horizontal card.

Add Pictures

Photos and images have a great way of adding value to business cards as they give something for people to look at on the card. These pictures could be professional headshots of you or your products, or stylistic images related to your profession. A more visually interesting card is less likely to get thrown away.
It’s really important that you take the time and money to get high quality pictures if this is the route that you’re going to take. Use a professional service like 123Print rather than attempting to print images on your office printer – it’s well worth the difference in quality.

Add Interesting Texture or Feeling

Adding textural elements to the business card is another way that you can make your business card more appealing. Interesting textures or feelings to the card can make your business card stand out.

There are different options that you can choose from, including adding embossed elements or by going with a thicker cardstock that will feel nicer in the recipient’s hand. Making your business card look and feel more interesting can inspire people to notice your business card.

Add an Incentive for Keeping the Card

Another way to guarantee that contacts will keep your business card is by adding some incentive for keeping it. This is particularly easy if you sell physical products, or you run an establishment such as a café or hair salon. Here are some ideas:
• Include a section on the card where customers can collect loyalty stamps
• Add a voucher code for 10% off their next visit – they’ll need to keep the card so that they can bring it with them
You should also add a call to action: a phrase that’s tells the reader to do something, such as “check out our full range of products here”.

Triple-Check for Mistakes

A major reason why people throw away business cards is because of the mistakes on the cards. This could be typos, or it could be mistakes with your address or contact information.
Double- and triple-check your cards to make sure that any contact information is updated and correct. It’s also important to make sure that there aren’t any misprints as this could reflect poorly on your business. Get someone else to take a look before you order – a pair of fresh eyes can be helpful.
At 123Print, we aim to dispatch all orders within 48 working hours of customer proof approval. So, within a few days, you’ll be holding your brand new business cards! Browse our full range of templates today and start perfecting your design.


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