Are Business Cards Dead?

Although you might think "are business cards dead?" in a digital age, you couldn’t be farther from the truth. Business cards are still relevant in today's business world no matter if you’re a small business, Etsy shop or a huge global business.

The business card is an established social building block of meeting new clients and building new relationships. That's why, when asked "are business cards obsolete?", 57% of business owners responded that business cards are essential to the promotion of their goods or services.


To find out ourselves, we performed a customer survey and gathered that the number of business cards being purchased per order has actually increased 13% from 2020 to 2021. As for how customers use their cards, 34% of customers have started to include their business cards with their orders.


Are Business Cards Obsolete?

The handing over of a card is one of the expected stepping stones in exchanging contact details in a business setting. The culture of this is just one reason why business cards are still important.

In Japan, for example, the exchange of business cards is highly regarded as culturally significant, so much so that getting the exchange wrong can cause serious offence. We have a blog all about exchanging business cards in Japan if you want to learn more about that.

With millions of cards printed, produced and exchanged each year, one study from Adobe found that for every 2000 business cards handed out, a company's sales increased on average by 2.5%.

When surveyed, our customers told us that 20% are actively trying to hand out more business cards as they think it helps their sales.

Still unsure of why are business cards important? Put simply, the data gathered over the years suggests that they are expected.

How Many Business Cards Are Printed Each Year?

Have you ever wondered how many business cards are printed each year? If you were to guess in the millions then you’d actually be way off. Amazingly, around 27 million are printed each day.

If we multiply that by just the working days in a year, that would equate to over 7 billion business cards are printed each year at a very low estimate.


Are Business Cards An Advertising Expense?

So, are business cards considered advertising? Yes and no, while we wholeheartedly believe, and the data backs up that handing out cards can increase your sales, it all comes down to whom you hand your cards to.

Handing them out to cold clients on the street is much less likely to get you business compared to handing out your business card at trade shows. You can budget in your advertising costs for this, but make sure that you go the extra mile to be selective to whom you give your cards.

Are Business Cards Worth It?

If you're questioning are business cards worth it, we may have bad news, almost 88% of business cards are thrown away in less than a week. However, our unique business card offerings such as painted edge business cards or triplex business cards can help you beat these odds by making your business cards too nice to simply throw away.

From our customer survey, 82% of customers think it's important to make your business card stand out in a stack of cards.

Another interesting stat is that 63% of people throw away a card because they do not require the service at that point. We think the key to getting around this is making your card as interesting and attractive as possible so that even if a client doesn’t need your services right now, the design still makes them happy and they don’t feel it’s a waste to hold onto it. The client will then still have your details when they do need you.


Our customers seem to have the answer, from our survey, 58% of customers opted for a luxury business card so their customers will notice the attention to detail.

Use Coloured Business Cards

Coloured business cards typically last 10 times longer than plain white ones. We think this is because 78% of recipients find a coloured card more memorable. It makes sound financial sense therefore to invest in a quality colour contact card, right?


How Critical Is A Good Looking Business Card?

Market research shows 72% of people judge you on the quality of your business card. So, cheap business cards are really a false economy. In fact, 39% would go as far as to not do business with someone who has a cheap business card!

The assumption might be, if you choose to hand out a cheap card, your product or service is poor quality also. Remember, it’s all about showing your professionalism. Having your cards always at hand to use shows you are serious about your enterprise, especially at trade shows.


Interestingly, a thick business card seems to be a sure fire way to look professional to your customers as our survey results show 86% of customers agree than thicker business cards look more professional.

The Environmental Impact Of Business Cards

Following on from how many business cards are printed each year, we can estimate how much paper is used to create all of these business cards. Roughly 180 business cards weigh 350 grams or 0.35kg. That means that if 7 billion business cards are printed each year, the weight of all of those business cards equates to 13,611,111kg or 13611 tonnes of paper.

We can also estimate how much paper is wasted since we know how many business cards get thrown away. We estimate that an eyewatering 12000 tonnes of business cards are thrown away each year.

Going deeper down this rabbit hole, Conservatree estimates anywhere between 10 to 20 trees make 1 ton of paper, so that's anywhere between 120,000 and 240,000 trees hopefully getting recycled each year!

This may lead you to question if in today's eco-conscious environment are business cards still relevant. We still believe so but if you're wanting to reduce your carbon footprint you can always opt to print recycled business cards instead. Our survey does show that 54% of customers care about printing on recycled media.

How Can I Get A Custom Business Card?

Inspired? If you are now convinced why business cards are still important, we can help! With our new machines, we can create lots of really impressive finishes such as soft-touch or even metallic foil cards.

Perhaps you're looking to update some standard-sized cards, or maybe you'd like to try square cardss for something out of the ordinary? With one of the largest offerings of paper types in the UK too, we can make a card that whoever receives it will cherish.

As always, if you’ve got your heart set on a new card but you’re not too sure where to start, get in touch as we’re only a phone call or an email away. We focus on providing high-quality print, and we love to help our customers.

Business Card Facts Infographic