Leaving the back of your business cards empty is similar to being awarded advertising space on two billboards on a central highway and using only one because, well, you could fit all your information on there.
And using the back of your business cards simply to repeat your logo from the front of the card with no particular reasoning or strategy may be even worse. Because that’s the same as using your prime advertising real estate on the highway to repeat the same ad side by side, rather than creatively and strategically utilizing the entirety of the available space.
It may seem odd to compare the lowly business cards and premium-priced highway billboards, but the comparison isn’t that far-fetched. When you hand someone your business card, you’re putting your business and your brand in that person’s hands, quite literally.
Prospects spend more time examining the business card you hand to them than they do glancing at a billboard while zooming down the highway. What’s more, a business card adds a personal and tactile aspect to the connection you make with each person that no billboard could ever offer you.
So what information should you put on the back of your business cards?
Beyond Business Card Info: What Impression Are You Making?
When prospects get your card, read it, and turn it over—as it’s human nature to explore what we hold in our hands—what sort of messages are they receiving about your business and your brand beyond your standard business card information? If there’s nothing stunning or intriguing about the design of your card, then “boring,” “repetitive,” “bland” “same ol’ same ol’” are just a few of the characteristics they may be associating with your business.
Now imagine the look of surprise and delight on the faces of prospects who turn your card over to find something different, unique, and creative on the back of the business card. Imagine also the positive impression you’ll be making on those prospects who’ll save your card with a delighted smile on their face.
Life is full of little moments, most of which we later forget about. But moments of delight and surprise always stand out in our minds. Which means that getting creative with the back of your business cards can be a game changer for your business. Adding a personal touch to the tool everyone uses during networking can help you stand out from the crowd of sameness and make a memorable impression on prospects.
5 Ways to Use the Back of Your Business Cards
Here are a handful of back of business card ideas, so you can answer the question of what to put on the back of a business card? We'll consider business card backgrounds, creative ways to showcase your skills on the back of a business card, promotional offers, and other incentives to get prospects to visit your websites and follow up with you—after you've handed off your card!
1. Choose Meaningful Business Card Backgrounds
I’m sure you’ve seen business cards that use colorful backgrounds, but how many of those backgrounds actually added something to the information on the card? And how many do you remember in particular? Probably not many, if any at all.
Pretty colors and cute swirls may be nice to look at, but they’re as bad as (if not worse than) a blank back of a card when it comes to the representation of your brand. If you’re happy with the information on the front of your card and don’t want to add any more text on the back of it, then use that space creatively to visually enhance your brand image and personality.
Are you all serious and business-like when it comes to your work? Do you tend to punctuate everything with a bit of humor? Are you more whimsical and lighthearted? The business card background you choose can say a lot about you beyond your basic business card info.
Take a look for example at the creative business card template shown below, which features a business card background of internet-related icons. What’s great about this template is that you can change the background to just one icon (rather than all four as shown in the image below), as well as change the background color to match your personality and style.
This business card would be ideal for a coder or a web developer. When prospects get home after a networking event and pull out from their pockets all the business cards they collected, a card like this one would immediately stand out and instantly remind them what you do and how you can help them.
2. Showcase Your Skills
Another good way to use the back of business cards is by showcasing your skills. Instead of choosing a background that reflects your industry, you could use that space to display your work.
This business card background idea can work particularly well for professionals in the visual arts, such as photographers, graphic designers, and illustrators. But it can also work for other industries from architects to decorators, hairdressers, clothing or jewelry designers, chefs, and many others.
Take for example the elegant business card template for photographers shown below. In the space of the headshot, you could add a photo of yourself that you took, especially if you happen to specialize in portrait photography.
But you can also get more creative than that. There’s no rule saying that you must use your headshot. Instead, you can use your best professional photos that shows prospects the sort of images you can take for them.
Not a photographer or visual artist? Not a problem! Just take glamor shots of your best work (a wedding you decorated, an amazing cake you baked, a funky haircut you did) and feature that on the back of your business card.
If you find the template shown above restrictive in the size of its image, you can always opt for a template like this photography business card template that allows you to use the entire back of the card to showcase your work, or like this photo business card to create a mosaic with several of your best pieces.
The choices are endless. And the impression will be as spectacular as your work! With this feature, when prospects pick up your card from a pile, they’ll immediately see the results you can provide them.
3. Show a Video
You can add video to a business card? Well, maybe not yet, though I’m sure that in a few years video-playing business cards will be as common as color-printed business cards are today. For now, the way to add video to the back of your business card is through a link or a QR code.
Why would you want to add video to your business cards? Not just because it looks cool. Your decision should have more strategic thinking behind it than that.
Videos are great for people working in the digitally animated industries such as videographers, video editors, and animators. But they can also score points for people with a brand built around their personality. What better way to show your personal style and communicate your enthusiasm to prospects than with a short introductory video?
This social business card template, for example, (also shown below) has a nice placeholder for a QR code. If you prefer to use a link, make sure it’s short and simple because we’re all too lazy these days to type out long and complicated URLs by hand.
For example, if you’re an animator working on cartoons, you might say “Experience magic!” and take people to a mini animated film you made about a boy under a spell or living in a magical world. If, on the other end of the spectrum, you’re a video editor creating corporate videos you can say something like: “Let’s move your business to the top of your industry.” Now you’ve got a much higher chance of people watching your video because what prospect wouldn’t want to take their business to the top?
A final piece of advice about this idea: if the thought of sitting in front of a camera and speaking to strangers makes you sweat profusely, then maybe making and promoting a video on your card isn't the best idea for you. Choose what fits your brand and personality best.
4. Promote Your Email List
The good thing about personal networking is that you make a real and immediate connection with prospects. The bad thing about personal networking is that the connection you make is as instant and ephemeral as it is immediate.
What happens after you exchange cards and shake hands? Will you ever be in touch with those prospects again? Will you have the chance of building long-term relationship with them?
Your business card information can make the difference between “connection lost forever” and “connection strongly established.”
The best way to cultivate long-term relationships with prospects and clients these days is through your email list. So how can your business card help you grow your email list?
Easy! Offer prospects something they want on the back of your business card. As in the idea above, you’ll need to use a QR code or a simple link that directs prospects to a landing page where they can enter their name and email in exchange for the information you promise.
Also with the idea above, you don’t want to display the link or QR code on its own, nor do you want to say anything as uninteresting as “Visit my website to download a free report.” You want to give people a reason to go through the trouble of getting to your website by highlighting what’s in it for them.
For example, a web developer who specializes in ecommerce could say: “Learn the 5 common website mistakes that cost most businesses 60% of potential online sales and how to avoid them.” Hand that card to business owners with online stores and they’ll be dying to get home and check your site to find out whether they’re killing their online sales with these mistakes.
5. Give a Special Offer
Prefer to encourage people to buy one of your products or services in a more direct way than showcasing your work or sending them to your sign-up page? Then use the back of your business cards to make them an offer they can’t refuse!
Give people a 10% discount on your first project together. Offer a special bundle of your products or services at a special rate. Or even a one-plus-one-free type of deal.
There are countless offers you can make depending on the model of your business and the type of products or services you provide. The important thing to note is to clarify in your wording that the offer is exclusively available to those holding your business card and not any old offer you make to every person that walks into your shop or lands on your website.
If you're looking for a professional business card template, we have a ton of creative options to browse through. Many of these templates are double-sided, so you can make the best use of both the front and back of your business card:
What Will You Put on the Back of Your Business Cards?
With a little creativity and imagination, the back of your business cards can go from that awkward empty space you never knew what to do with, to a noteworthy marketing tool that can help you connect with prospects at a deeper level.
How do you use the back of your business cards? Have you seen any other noteworthy ideas for using the back of business cards that I haven’t covered here? If so, share them in the comments!