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The Benefits of Using Physical Business Cards vs. Virtual

The internet completely changed how many businesses functioned. The rise of smartphones and increasingly digital options, from virtual menus to telehealth doctor visits, has changed the business world even more. While many of these changes have improved businesses and allowed business owners and employees better to reach their desired audience, not all virtual options are best. For example, most of the time, virtual business cards aren’t better than physical ones. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of using those physical business cards and how they can help your business even in this digital age.

No Internet Needed

Most people take the internet for granted these days. So many businesses provide Wi-Fi, and so many internet and phone providers offer Wi-Fi hot spots that we default to expecting internet service everywhere we go. Most smartphones can easily switch over to data when the internet fails, so we can stay connected no matter what.

While these connections are great, they’re not guaranteed. Sometimes the internet isn’t available. Occasionally we can’t even use data, depending on our area and the service available. If you only offer virtual business cards, lack of internet and data means you can’t share them at all. This prevents you from giving your cards to your intended audience and can hurt your business in the long run. Physical cards always work, however. No internet needed.

Guaranteed Accessibility

As we mentioned above, physical business cards always work. You don’t need the internet or anything else to access a physical card quickly. In addition to not needing the internet, you don’t even need a smart device to access physical cards. Anyone with any or no smart devices can walk up to you and leave with a physical card. This guaranteed accessibility is great at conferences where someone might forget their phone or when working with older people who may not own smart devices. Always keep a few physical business cards on you for these circumstances and others where you need a physical card.

More Affordable

Business cards cost money, whether they’re paper or virtual. Many think virtual cards are probably more affordable since they don’t require paper, ink, or shipping. However, the opposite is often the case. When you design virtual business cards, you usually purchase the URL for those cards. URLs come at various price points depending on what’s available, which can cost you much more than a single paper card order. Additionally, you may have to pay an annual fee for your URL in addition to the creation of your virtual cards. If so, those fees can quickly add up to more than the cost of physical cards. While that URL will last forever and physical cards don’t, those physical cards can save you money in the short and long term.

Obvious Quality

You want people to perceive you and your business as an expert in the field. When you provide a high-quality business card, people trust that all the other aspects of your business feature the same quality and are carefully planned. The problem with virtual business cards is that it’s difficult to discern their quality. Recipients can’t feel the weight of high-quality paper or appreciate the effect of a shiny foil in natural light. Physical cards use those elements and others to display an unmistakable quality that sets the right tone for all future business transactions with the card recipient.

Better Aesthetics

If you and your business partner pull up the same website on different phones, that website can look different. Sometimes that difference comes from an element you can change, such as the screen’s brightness, but sometimes the difference stems from the phone’s manufacturing and software.

These visual variables can affect how people view your virtual business cards. Even if you pour lots of time and money into your virtual cards to ensure they’re beautiful and high-quality, you still depend on the variable of someone’s phone for how that card gets perceived. If the recipient has low brightness and doesn’t want to change it, they may not appreciate the aesthetic details you add to your card. If they own an older smartphone that doesn’t load images well, they may not see your logo!

The aesthetics of physical cards always remain the same. Someone might have to turn on an extra light to see the fine print, or a person with a visual impairment may need someone else to read the card to them, but you never have to worry about the card itself.

Great First Impression

The apparent quality and better aesthetics of your physical cards provide a great first impression. As soon as someone touches and looks at your business card, they know you’re serious about what you do. This assures potential customers that it’s worth their money when they purchase your product or service. Potential partners or investors will trust that you’re an expert in your field and committed to doing your best in every way. Conversations and business meetings can provide similar reassurances and establish trust, but nothing else will replace your business’s first impression. Make sure it’s a great one with unique die-cut cards.

Best of Both Worlds

One of the top benefits of using physical business cards vs. virtual ones is that you can create the best of both worlds. Physical cards can contain all your necessary business information, and you can print a QR code on them. The QR code can take the cardholder to a virtual business card with additional information, or anywhere else you choose. You can add QR codes to any physical card you want if there’s room for the code and your other information. This means the tech-savvy can enjoy all the digital benefits of your card while those who prefer physical cards can still easily access all the information they need.

Many aspects of the business world are changing thanks to the popularity of the internet and smartphones. Something that shouldn’t change is the use of physical business cards. They offer many benefits over their virtual counterparts, including the ability to provide access to a virtual card with a QR code. If your business is trying to decide whether physical cards are worth the purchase, they are. Reach out to SilkCards to order beautiful cards you’ll proudly hand out at the next opportunity.

The Benefits of Using Physical Business Cards vs. Virtual

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Ways To Protect Your Business From Gift Card Fraud

The winter holiday season is an exciting time for many businesses. Unfortunately, this time of year often brings thieves and scammers out of the woodwork. Gift cards are a popular target of this fraud. Luckily, there are ways to protect your business. Keep reading to learn how to keep your business safe from potential thieves and scams.

Educate Customers

A popular gift card scam is for criminals to create a story in which someone needs to send them the numbers from a loaded gift card in exchange for something. Sometimes, these criminals try to do the same with employees, but their target is often average, naïve shoppers. While you can’t control your customers or protect them from all kinds of fraud, you can help educate them. Place signs near your gift cards reminding them that no legitimate business or person will ask for gift cards in exchange for something else. If someone is purchasing an exceptionally large gift card, politely ask about their intention with it and make sure they haven’t fallen for a scam. Some people will ignore the signs and dodge the conversation, but if you can prevent others from losing money, your efforts will be worth it.

Monitor Strange Activity

You can’t have eyes everywhere all the time, even on just your gift cards. Adding a security system helps you put electronic eyes out. You can look for strange activity from employees trying to sneak out some extra money or fake customers trying to rip you off. Focus the security system on your gift cards, expensive merchandise, and registers. While you may worry that you’re spying on your employees and customers, what you’re really doing is protecting yourself and your business, which is best for all honest people.

Add a Pin

Some gift card manufacturers, including us here at Silk Cards, allow you to customize your gift cards in various ways. One customization option is a scratch-off portion hiding a pin. Adding this pin adds extra security to your card because no one can just take a picture of an unused card and then try to use the numbers in online purchases. They’ll need to scratch off the covering to see the pin, which lets your business know that someone has tampered with it. From there, you can shut down that card, preventing fraud.

From educating customers to getting custom gift cards with extra security, many ways to protect your business from gift card fraud exist. Educate yourself, your employees, and your customers on what gift card fraud looks like so that everyone can appropriately protect themselves from potential thieves and scammers.

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3 Signs It’s Time To Update Your Business Cards

Business cards are big investments, which means many people print them once and want to use them forever. While you should try to use your business cards as much as possible, you might not use them all before it’s time to upgrade. Keep reading to learn about three signs to look for when it’s time to update your business cards.

Old Information

When you give out your business card, every piece of information on it should be accurate and easy to read. If you’ve had a change in your business, whether someone got married and changed their last name or you’ve redesigned your logo, then you need to update your business card. These changes may seem small, especially since they don’t affect your business’s contact information, so they shouldn’t warrant new business cards. If the card recipient learns that one thing on your cards is outdated or inconsistent, they may doubt your professionalism and other aspects of your business. Update your business cards whenever something changes.

Old Designs

Graphic designers continue to push the boundaries of design and create newer, cooler designs all the time. Printers are also learning how to implement these creative designs with features like die-cut designs and foil printing. Unfortunately, that means business cards without these new designs and features will look old and outdated through no fault of yours. If you’re worried that your cards are suffering this fate, then seek out a professional. Many business card printers offer custom graphic design services so you can get the help you need to create something unique.

Old Customers

Loyal customers are proof that your business is doing something right. However, if you’re only seeing familiar faces, your business cards might be doing something wrong. They should attract new customers or at least new inquiries about your business. If you’re not experiencing any interest after handing out cards, then they might not be hitting the right spot. There are various causes for this, from using a small font that people struggle to read to the potential inconvenience of your business’s location. Do some research about your competitors’ business cards and find out what they look like and how they draw customers in. Then, apply similar principles and start seeing new faces as well as the old ones!

Old information, designs, and customers are three signs it’s time to update your business cards. What worked in the past for your business may not work later on, so you need to upgrade your cards to meet the future. Our foil embossed business cards are part of that future and will give your cards the unique detail they need to stand out and look great!

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Details You Shouldn’t Put On Your Business Cards

You can never undo or change a first impression, so you must get it right. In social situations, the stress of a first impression can cause anxiety. In professional situations, you can relax and let your business card make your first impression. If your card has the right design and information, you’ll leave the person with a useful card and a great impression of you and your business. However, if your card doesn’t have the correct information and is overwhelming to look at, you may not leave them with a good impression. Keep reading to learn about the details you shouldn’t put on your business cards so you can leave recipients eager to contact you.

Inaccurate or Old Information

After you’ve designed your first business card, it’s easy to copy and paste the information every time you need to print more cards. However, that habit can sometimes lead card recipients astray. If you forget to add your new phone number or update that your office no longer has a fax machine, you’ll accidentally give out misinformation. This is frustrating for people who want to contact you and frustrating for you as well. You’re putting the work in to go out, meet people, and hand out cards. Reap the rewards of that work by ensuring everything on your card is accurate and up to date.

Unnecessary Information

If the entirety of the first impression comes down to your business card, you may feel that you need to fill it with every piece of information imaginable about your business. Card recipients may find all this information overwhelming, so it’s better to stick to the basics. Include your company’s name, physical or mailing address, website, and general contact information. If the business card is specific to you, include your name and contact information, along with a picture, so recipients can remember who you are.

If you have space, you can include your company’s tagline or social media handles, but that information isn’t necessary. Ask yourself what a potential customer needs to know about your business. If the information you want to include isn’t something they need to know or something you’d only share with an acquaintance or friend, then don’t include it.

Overwhelming Designs

Your card should catch the recipient’s eye to help you stand out. There’s a fine line between eye-catching and visually overwhelming, however. Find the balance with a color scheme that’s bright but not flashy. For example, you can design a metal business card with a colorful logo. The metal material will help dull the color, so it’s still bright but not overpowering. You can also order die-cut cards in muted colors so the unique shape stands out without overwhelming the viewer with color too.

The details you shouldn’t put on your business cards are inaccurate, old, and unnecessary pieces of information. You also shouldn’t overwhelm card recipients with too many design elements. Visually balance your card for a great first impression.

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5 Aspects of Memorable Business Card Designs

Business cards are a great way to share who you are and what you do. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to share it for very long if your business card looks like everyone else’s and gets lost in a pile on a desk. If you want to avoid this business card fatality, you need to learn about the five aspects of memorable business card designs. Keep reading to learn about these designs and how you can use them the next time you order business cards.

Choose Different Shapes

The most common business card shape in the United States is 3.5 x 2 inches, about the same dimensions as a bank card. While this shape is ideal for easily fitting into wallets and pockets, it also means that you can’t always differentiate one from the other when a stack of cards forms.

Avoid this problem by choosing a business card design in a unique shape that’s relevant to your business. For example, if you’re an eye doctor, order oval-shaped cards to remind people of eyes. If you can’t think of a relevant shape for your business, consider circles, squares, triangles, and leaves. These classic shapes can hold plenty of information while still separating you from the rectangular crowd.

Use Both Sides

Most business cards squish all the pertinent information onto one side and leave the other blank. While the blank side can be useful for the card-giver or recipient to write down a special note, it’s a waste of space most of the time. Print information on both sides of your cards to use every inch available to share who you are and what you do without the risk of overcrowding.

Add Color

If you look at the collection of business cards you’ve received, you’ll probably see an ocean of white cards with black print. This simple design gets the point across but isn’t memorable. Instead, choose background and text colors that will be easy to read, but set you apart. You can select colors from your company’s logo or use color theory to signal what your business stands for, like using green to symbolize health.

Have Special Details

Another aspect of memorable business cards is the special details. Print QR codes and pictures onto the card or incorporate aesthetic elements like foil and gloss. Giving card recipients something special to look at or feel will make your card stick out in their minds. It may even become a reference for when they want to order unique business cards themselves.

Don’t Use Paper

Are none of these memorable card ideas enough for you? If you’re worried that even with these unique details, your paper card will end up forgotten with all the others, then break the mold even more and ditch paper cards altogether. This will make them even more durable and quite memorable. Create metal, wood, or plastic cards so that as soon as a recipient touches your card, they know you and your business are something special.

The five aspects of memorable business card designs are choosing different shapes, using both sides, adding color, having special details, and using materials other than paper. If you want to use any or all of these ideas, take advantage of our custom business card printing. At SilkCards, we offer remarkable cards for remarkable businesses and ensure that whatever you order will showcase the best of your business.

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4 Ways Custom Gift Cards Can Increase Your Revenue and Loyalty

Increasing revenue is always a good thing in business. Add in a loyal following from customers and you’ve got the perfect blend for a successful company. In this article, we’ll discuss the four ways custom gift cards can increase your revenue and loyalty. They’re a simple tool that’s often overlooked.

Holiday Gifts

For some people, the holiday season is the greatest time of the year. For others, the thought brings instant stress into their lives. The long list of gifts that need to be bought can feel overwhelming. That’s where your business’s gift cards come in.

Offering gift cards makes it easy for your customers to give gifts not only through the holiday season but all season long. They enjoy your services, so they’ll naturally enjoy sharing them with others. One stack of gift cards will cover a shopper for months.

Customers Spend More

There’s a secret to gift cards—they make people spend money. If you’ve ever used a gift card, there’s a good chance you spent more than the gift card amount. Once a customer uses the gift card, there’s a good chance they’ll spend above and beyond what the gift card allows.

Promotes Visits

Maybe one of the best ways custom gift cards can increase your revenue and loyalty is by the way they promote visits from customers. Not only does a customer visit online or stop in to purchase gift cards, but then they visit your store to use it. The time they spend in your store could inspire them to return in the future.

Track Your Performance

Use gift cards to track how the business is doing. Are the cards purchased being used, and how often? Keep track of how much is spent over the amount of the gift card. Are the gift card users new customers? Do they become repeat customers?

Answering all those questions is an easy way to find out if custom gift cards are worth your time.

As a business owner, you’re always looking for ways to increase revenue and build a loyal following. Custom gift cards are a helpful way to make those things happen.

At Silk Cards we offer custom membership cards as well as gift cards and many unique business cards. Browse our convenient online store or contact us for more information. We’re here to help your business grow.


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5 Clever Ways To Make Your Business Stand Out

You know that your business stands out among the rest, but do your potential customers? Make it clear with our five clever ways to make your business stand out, so every time they need a service like yours, they know where to go.

Address Complaints

When a customer complains, you can do one of two things: ignore it or address the issue. Complaints are one of the toughest parts of owning a business. You want your customers’ trust and loyalty; it’s tough to hear someone say they aren’t satisfied.

Listen closely when a customer is upset. Repeat what they’ve said so you understand and can handle it properly. Let them know you’re upset as well and intend to remedy the situation immediately. This gives customers confidence that you want to fix the problem.

Get Creative

One of the best ways to make your business stand out is by using creativity. Think outside the box and purposefully make your business unique compared to the competition.

Gather your team, put away the phones, tablets, and computers, and do some good old-fashioned brainstorming together. Discuss what your competitors do to attract customers, then start jotting down any ideas that pop into your heads that will outdo the competition. Brainstorming leads from one idea to another. Before you know it, you’ll have the most creative business in your market.

Socialize

When you get social, you get noticed. Attend every community event possible. Business always comes up in conversation when meeting new people. Networking events are the best ways to become known through word-of-mouth. Never leave home without business cards. Hand them your unique business card when they ask the age-old question, what is it you do?

Pinpoint Your Specialty

If your services are all over the board, chances are you’ll stretch yourself thin and not give 100 percent to everything. Instead, focus on what customers are flocking to in your business. What do they feel is your best attribute? Pinpoint where your business flourishes and stick to that route.

Market Your Business

Every business utilizes marketing, so make sure you use it as one of the ways to make your business stand out. Social media is a great avenue to get creative with your ads and posts to market your business. Let friends know what you’re up to and invite them to share your services with others. Create a business page and a website, so customers can see what you have to offer.

Your business means the world to you, and it will stand the test of time with the right strategy. At Silk Cards, we understand the importance of standing out as a business. We specialize in uniqueness, from our plastic loyalty cards to our elegantly designed business cards. Whatever your business card needs, we have you covered. Contact Silk Cards or shop our online store for clever ideas and solutions.

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Barcode vs. Magnetic Stripe Gift Cards: Which One To Choose?

You really can’t go wrong with giving a gift card as a gift. It’s a way to say thank you or congratulations that allows someone to use the gift in their own way. It also encourages repeat business and loyalty to a company. With so many options, choosing a gift card is overwhelming, so in this article, we’ll discuss how to choose between barcode or magnetic stripe gift cards. Both are useful and work well but have a few differences.

Barcodes

Let’s look at barcodes first, including how they work, equipment needed to use them, ease of use, whether or not they’re secure, and how durable they are.

How a Barcode Works

Data is encoded by interpreting the data into the visual barcode, using varied width lines and spaces.

Equipment Needed for Barcodes

A handheld or built-in scanner reads the barcode, importing it into the company’s POS (point of sale).

Barcode Ease of Use

Customers tend to prefer barcodes because they are so easy to use. They swipe easily and don’t require assistance the way magnetic stripes sometimes do.

Security of Barcodes

When it comes to security, barcodes, unfortunately, are easy to reproduce. For most of us, we wouldn’t realize it, but barcode interpreting programs are easy to come by, and barcodes are easily copied, making them a bit less secure if not treated carefully.

Durability of Barcodes

Barcodes are exposed, and that means scratches easily happen, making the barcode difficult to read.

Magnetic Stripes

Now let’s take the same look at magnetic stripe gift cards:

How a Magnetic Stripe Works

Magnetic stripe gift cards store data magnetically within the stripe of the card.

Equipment Needed To Read a Magnetic Stripe

A magnetic stripe reader imports the data into the company’s POS (point of sale). We see these readers at stores when using credit cards.

Magnetic Stripe Ease of Use

Magnetic stripes often require personnel to do the swiping, making them a bit less friendly for customers.

Security With Magnetic Stripe

The security with magnetic stripes is excellent since the stripe hides the encoding. The encoding can’t be seen, making it tougher to copy.

Durability of Magnetic Stripes

Magnetic stripes are susceptible to being erased when near another magnet. This destroys all of the data. Thankfully, it’s a rare occurrence. Magnetic stripes are tough to destroy. Even when scratched, they are often still readable.

We hope our list of the pros and cons of both types of gift cards helps when you are choosing between barcode or magnetic stripe gift cards. Both are great options. It’s up to you to decide what works best for your customers. At Silk Cards, we specialize in custom logo gift cards and offer both barcode and magnetic stripe cards. Contact us for more information or browse our online store. Gift cards are a great option for your business, and we’re here to help.

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What’s the Difference Between Brand Identity and Brand Strategy?

In order for a company to get off of the ground, they will need a brand. Whether engaging a company for just high end custom design services or consulting with a marketing agency, everyone in business talks brands and logos almost all of the time. It appears that a brand can make or break a company depending on the execution.

But is it important to use one?

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How to Sell Your Clothing Line to Local Boutiques

So you’re an artist. A designer. Maybe you still have a day job, but you’ve been toiling nights and weekends on a new clothing line that you – and all your friends – know the market is going to love. You’ve got your concept developed, tested, and refined. You’ve jumped through hoops and taken it from concept to finished product: you’ve found a manufacturer, studied the key metrics of the industry, maybe even created a company brand with matching marketing collateral such as custom hang tags.

Now you’re ready to unleash it on the market.

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What’s the Difference Between Typeface and Font?

A lot of people use the term “font” incorrectly without realizing it, especially when it comes to designing marketing collateral for their business. It’s an easy mistake to make in the digital age. What many people refer to as “font” is actually a “typeface.” These two terms tend to meld into each other, as one (font) often stands in for the other (typeface).

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Why Brand Culture Matters in an Organization and How to Kill It

Today a brand is more than just a name of a product, and a company that has a strong brand identity will be more effective in reaching its desired market. Further, those with great brand cultures will have the workforce necessary to overcome challenges and grow.

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11 Great Designs for Business Card Layout Inspiration

With the oversaturation of poorly designed business cards, it’s so easy to get yours lost in the shuffle, especially if it fails to make a great first impression. If it’s time to get out of the humdrum of your boring template, we’ve got some advice to give you when it comes to business card layout inspiration.

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12 Mouth-Wateringly Creative Restaurant Business Cards

Whether you run a 5-star restaurant, low-key bar & grill, upscale catering service, or some other food company, you’ll encounter the same struggle of branding your business and enticing foodies to come and sample your delicious meals. It doesn’t matter if your brand is luxurious, modern, or down-home; we have the capability of creating the perfect restaurant business card to showcase your style, and we’ll prove it!

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The Issues of Pricing: A Thorn in Every Tattoo Shop’s Side

“You get what you pay for” is a necessary caveat in the tattoo world. People prefer discount prices all while you are striving for a profitable business. Nonetheless, you’re a respected artist who just wants to be fair to your customers as well as your bottom line.