Although you might be questioning the relevance of business cards in the digital age, we’re here to tell you that those tiny marketing tools remain as relevant as ever, with all the big stats to back up that bold claim.

So, stick with us as we take you through the current business card statistics you didn’t even know about!


5 Business Card Facts Infographic Containing The Information In The Post Below


Now, let’s dig a little deeper into the business card world, from essentiality to memorability, and find out why, based on the latest data and trends, business cards are here to stay.


Essentiality


As quoted in CreditDonkey’s most recent global business card survey, “The corporate world is still filled with business cards. It’s the number one networking tool. It’s the icebreaker during a meeting and the branding when you part”. And it seems small businesses are no exception to this rule, with business cards noted as giving small businesses a more professional appearance, letting prospective clients and customers know that the business is ‘real’.

Amongst 2023’s chatter of Instant Information Exchange knocking business cards off the perch on which they’ve comfortably sat since the 15th century, our findings prove somewhat contradictory. According to 2023 research by Tapni, 57% of business owners believe that printed business cards are critical to the success of their company’s marketing efforts. And while the average website has a conversion rate of 2.35%, a business card’s average is a whopping 12%, which is why 34% of e-commerce businesses now include business cards in dispatched orders and 20% of our customers are actively trying to hand out more business cards.

As for sales of business cards, while our 2021 research showed a huge increase of 13% based on the previous year, Covid undoubtably halted growth with an estimated global drop of 70% in the months that followed the pandemic according to Tapni. Rest assured that the trusty business card is fighting back though, with the business card market expected to reach $232.3 million by 2027, growing at an enormous rate of 11.2% between 2021-2027. In fact, in Japanese business card etiquette, you’re expected to carry at least 100 business cards for a 1-week business trip, handing out 3-4 cards at a small meeting and 10-12 cards at a larger meeting, with over 100 expected to be distributed at a trade show.

In support of Japan’s commitment to the business card, according to the LinkedIn article “15 Reasons to Use a Business Card in 2022”, when you’re speaking with someone face-to-face, no digital alternative can replace the act of physically handing them something to remind them of the meeting. The return on this face-to-face interaction is supported by Neps, who found that a company’s sales increase 2.5% for every 2,000 business cards distributed. Now if we put that in the context of a multi-million dollar company, that return could equal thousands more dollars for a stack of cards. Even better, our research shows that that percentage increases with the level of finishing, so adding special touches such as laminates, foiled business cards, and painted edges are always worth considering.


The number of business cards per order increase by 13%


Longevity


Did you know that almost 88% of business cards are thrown away each week? According to a survey by CreditDonkey, this percentage has remained relatively stable over the past few years, with 63% of business card recipients admitting to throwing away business cards because they simply do not require the service. “People live in the moment. They throw away business cards because they don’t need the service now. Unfortunately, 63% of people feel this way”.

The solution? Well, it’s important to consider your customer base before handing out business cards willy-nilly, considering the likelihood of conversion when giving away your precious marketing materials. There’s no way every recipient is going to take you up on your products and services, however don’t go handing out your Butcher business cards at a Vegan bake sale – that’s simply not your audience.

When considering that 88% throw-away rate, the remaining 12% may make its way into someone’s contact list, the bottom of a drawer, or the recycling bin (or so we hope). With an estimated 12,000 tonnes of business cards thrown away each year, and an estimated average of 7.2 million trees required to keep up with business card demand annually, our survey found that 54% of customers card about printing their business cards on recycled media. Speaking of which, Aura Print now have introduced 6x post-consumer recycled paper stocks for business cards that show natural fibres, putting a sustainable spin on traditional paper for business cards.


The environmental impact of business cards

· The weight of 1-years worth of printed business cards equates to 13,611,111kg to 13,611 tonnes of paper

· We estimate an eyewatering 12,000 tonnes of business cards are thrown away each year

· Anywhere between 120,000-240,000 trees are hopefully recycled each year in the business card production process

· 54% of customers care about printing on recycled media


Production


With a pre-pandemic production estimate of 27 million business cards printed daily, it’s no surprise that the industry is pushing for sustainable alternatives to coated papers. This daily average equates to a staggering annual average of 7-10 billion business cards according to CreditDonkey, and this is expected to rise year-on-year.

Based on our 2022 statistics, 9% of customers opted for a recycled stock, however with the 2023 introduction of 4 brand-new eco-stocks, including Cannabis, Wheat, Rag, and Cotton, we expect this to increase into 2024. On the other end of the sustainability spectrum, 8% of customers opted for less eco-friendly plastic business cards, which is still deemed a must-have in many areas of fitness and wellness, entertainment and nightlife, and hospitality and tourism.

As we head into memorability, there’s no denying the catch-22 of sustainability vs. memorability, with many components of a memorable business card resulting in a less eco-friendly one, but that’s for consumers to weigh in on.


27 million business cards are printed everyday


Memorability


Our own customer survey has shown some staggering insights into the importance of a memorable business card, including:

· 82% of customers think it’s important to make your business card stand out in a stack of cards

· 86% of our customers agree that a thicker business card looks more professional

· 78% of recipients find a coloured card more memorable

· 79% of customers opted for luxury business cards in 2022 vs. 58% in 2021

According to recent feedback from CreditDonkey, “The cardinal rule of business cards is to keep it simple. Overcrowd it and clients will throw it away. You want balance, readability, and comprehension. Each of these is only obtained with the right amount of white space, even if it’s not “white”.Tapni take this one step further, finding that people are 10x more likely to keep a coloured business card rather than a white one, proving that less isn’t always more. Creating a memorable business card can be as simple as adding a photo, with statistics also showing that photo business cards are less likely to be thrown away.

Recent surveys show that 72% of people judge a business based on the quality of their business card, so stick with us to find out why.


Judgement


The most common business card mistake, according to CreditDonkey, is choosing cheap paper. “People judge you on your business card. It’s often their first impression of your business. If you choose low-quality paper, they may assume you provide cheap quality products/services”. 39% of people would go as far as to decidedly not do business with someone who has a “cheap-looking” business card..

Our 2022 customers chose to avoid judgement and make their business cards more memorable than ever, with record-breaking customisation statistics proving that customers are keen to make a great impression with their business cards:

· 79% of customer opted to laminate their business cards using matt, gloss, or soft-touch

· 55% of customers embellished their business card with metallic foil

· 37% of customers chose to double the thickness of their business cards

· 19% of customers chose custom shaped business cards, from rounded corners to custom shapes

· 4% of customers chose to level up their double-thick cards by choosing business cards with painted edges


78% of recipients found a coloured business card more memorable


Inspired? If we’ve managed to convince you of the importance of business cards, we can help! With state-of-the-art print tech, a huge range of specially selected paper stocks and customisation galore, we can create anything from soft-touch business cards to gold foil business cards.

Perhaps you’re looking to update some standard-sized cards, or maybe you’d like to try our square business cards out for size, with some of the largest offerings of paper types in the UK, we can make a card that will be cherished.