Printing Expert Interview

An interview conducted by Expert Matters takes an objective look at print marketing & design with a focus on business cards.

EM: What is your current position as it relates to our topic of business cards?

Chris: I am the owner and developer of GreatFX Printing, an online print shop offering free do-it-yourself online design. I have also written several published print marketing and design articles. In business since 2003, I've witnessed the growth and maturity of the web-to-print industry as it has happened over the years.

EM: What are some of the different types of business cards available today?

Chris: There are many unique and innovative advertising strategies for business cards. For instance, chocolate business cards can be custom made and used to promote your business. Business cards come in all shapes, sizes and materials. This includes wood, metal, plastic, paper, leather, magnetic, folded, laminated, coated, uncoated, die cut, glossy, semi-glossy, matte and more.

EM: Is one type of business card more popular than others?

Chris: Out of the products I offer, full color business cards are the most popular although raised print has seen a recent increase in popularity. I think coated cards are superior because the texture helps them stand out from plain paper cards. You get the photo quality printing that is more likely catch someone's eye. I believe that this is the best type of card for the small business owner because it portrays class without expense. Raised print business cards are ideal for professionals like lawyers and accountants where a flashy color card is just too much. A raised print card is suitable for any business owner on a budget.

EM: Is one style or design of business cards more effective than others?

Chris: Yes, I think business cards with printing on both sides are the most effective. A person should plan ahead for what content to include on the card, such as building a list of problems to solve for their clients or developing a coupon/discount offer through & and retention of the business card. All of this information can be printed on the backside of your cards, giving you more bang for your buck. Success on a budget means making your business card a valuable resource.

EM: Is there an advantage to purchasing business cards online versus offline?

Chris: Absolutely. In the print industry, low prices are in the numbers. The more cards you can print in a day, the cheaper you can offer the cards to customers. I compare it to Wal-Mart's business plan -- buy lots of food and goods in bulk for a low price per unit and pass the savings on to consumers. Thus, an online printer can almost always beat a local printer's price through sheer numbers. With the advent of online business card design technology, more and more people are coming online to order their newest business cards without leaving the office! It's convenient and hassle free.

EM: What is the biggest mistake people make when choosing business cards?

Chris: Not making the business card useful is the biggest mistake. It only takes a few minutes of brainstorming to come up with something useful that will benefit your customers. This will give you an advantage over your competition, who probably didn't take the time to create something useful for their clients. Set the standard, be the leader!

EM: What advice do you share with individuals who are interested in buying business cards?

Chris: I genuinely feel that I offer fantastic value to my customers so first I ask you to consider my company for your printing needs. If you prefer to shop around, my advice is to make sure you compare apples to apples when shopping prices or getting quotes. Some things to note and compare are materials, methods, thickness, color, ink, coatings, print quality and price.

EM: Any final thoughts?

Chris: Business cards are fascinating to me because they carry such huge and affordable potential still yet are one of the most underutilized marketing tools. I don't think people realize that a business card is a direct reflection of who they are and the business they run. An unprofessional business card conveys an unprofessional message. Get ahead of the competition and order professional business cards today!

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