ROI Deep Dive: How Going Digital Can Maximize Business Card Return on Investment

Are business cards worth the cost? HiHello conducted an analysis to determine the return on investment for traditional paper and digital business cards.

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Traditional paper business cards have long been an expected part of most marketing budgets, but is your company seeing a good enough return on that investment? HiHello—the leading digital business card platform for individuals and businesses—researched the return on investment (ROI) of sharing traditional paper cards vs. digital business cards

In this article, we will look at the ROI of a paper business card and why people are shifting to digital business cards to get more from their business card investments.

The Limitations of Paper Business Cards

Finding the direct monetary value of each business card you hand out isn’t a simple task. There are a number of variables that determine how effective a business card is, which in turn determines the ROI that can be achieved by that card. 

It is estimated that for every 2,000 cards that are distributed, sales will increase by 2.5%. However, this increase of 2.5% in sales assumes perfect conditions: the right information delivered to the right contact at the right time. In the real world, many factors work against a strong paper business card ROI because paper cards have serious limitations. Those common limitations include:

  • Quality control is incredibly important but lacking: 43% of people will choose not to do business with a company if there is a typo. 
  • People expect compelling and dynamic experiences. On the other hand, colorless business cards are very common, but 10X more likely to be thrown away. 
  • Over 63% of people throw business cards away because they don’t need the service right away and they don’t have a good way to store and catalog paper cards for the future.
  • Aesthetics and experience matter: 39% of people choose not to do business with a company that has cheap business cards. Do your cards pass the quality test?

Because of these common issues in paper business cards, 88% of business cards will be thrown away within a week of being exchanged.

The Impact of Digital Business Cards on ROI

A digital business card adds many ROI-generating features that can increase sales efficiency, create compelling marketing, improve brand consistency, support event outreach, and more. 

By going digital, companies can boost the ROI of every touchpoint they have with their contacts, clients, and customers. How? Digital business cards offer features that are only possible with a technology platform, including:

1. Unlimited, flexible card sharing

2. Increased contact and lead generation

3. Drive direct traffic and engagement to sales and marketing materials 

4. Find and optimize your ROI with robust analytics

5. Cut the costs of paper business cards

See the ROI of a business card

1. Unlimited, flexible card sharing

HiHello found that over 8.25 million digital business cards were shared in 2022 alone, that is equal to 16 cards every minute. Handing out more cards helps increase your odds of bringing in sales through business cards. With digital business cards, your team isn’t limited to the number of cards ordered for them. Everyone on your team can share unlimited cards and bring in an unlimited number of leads right to your customer relationship management (CRM) platform with digital business cards. 

Digital business cards are also scalable. Companies can create multiple templates with custom elements personalized to every situation, so your team can always share the right information with the right lead, customer, or connection. Organizations can further enable their teams to share any card from anywhere with multiple ways to share via QR code, email, text, virtual background, email signatures, and more. 

2. Increased contact and lead generation

While it’s important to give out your professional contact information, it’s even more important to get contact information in return. HiHello found that when a digital business card is received, 35% of people will send their contact information back to the sender, compared to about 2.5% of paper cards. This means that you are seven times more likely to receive contact information in return when sharing a digital card vs. paper. 

People are 7X more likely to follow up when they receive a digital business card.

3. Drive direct traffic and engagement to sales and marketing materials 

With digital cards, you can drive customers to the right destination, whether it be a landing page, social channel, or e-book. HiHello found that when you share a digital business card: 

  • Over 30% of card viewers will go to your website.
  • Over 20% of viewers will go to your social media pages.
  • Almost 20% of viewers will call or text the phone number on your card.

Drive direct traffic to your site

4. Find and optimize your ROI with robust analytics

If you can’t measure it, then you can’t improve it. Want to know the exact ROI of using digital business cards? HiHello’s platform offers extensive analytics—both built-in and direct integrations with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager—to break down the data about your team’s business cards. 

With HiHello, you can track how many cards your team is sharing. See card views, and analyze contacts associated with each card. Use HiHello’s analytics to track which cards are performing better to adjust card messaging and perfect your sales outreach, customer engagement, lead generation, and more. 

5. Cut the costs of digital business cards

Digital business cards offer many features that help boost the return on your business card spend, but they also help lower the initial investment, making your ROI that much better. HiHello found that businesses can save as much as 50% on business card costs by switching to digital business cards. Read our full business card cost analysis to learn how much your company could be saving by going digital. 

Learn more about how digital business cards compare to traditional paper business cards in our cost analysis and sustainability report

About HiHello

HiHello is changing how everyone—from individuals to Fortune 500 companies—manages their most important relationships. It starts with a digital business card built from the ground up to be delightful, customizable, and secure. HiHello’s digital business cards unlock new opportunities, cut the costs of traditional cards, and have a positive environmental impact. Hundreds of thousands of professionals worldwide trust HiHello to amplify the power of their network, and we’re just getting started!

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