The High Cost of Cheap Business Cards

A Cheap Business Card Doesn’t Mean Inexpensive

By Rich Lewis at Burlington Press |

Every time you hand out your business card, you are making an impression. That little 3½ inch by 2 inch piece of paper has a big job. It is the introduction of your brand, your image and your message to a prospect. So why sabotage your efforts with a business card that undermines what you’re trying to achieve?

What Does A Cheap Business Card Cost?
Cheap business cards may cost as little as $10.00, or possibly be free. Before you pat yourself on the back for having saved a little money on this important item, you should ask, “What does that cheap business card really cost?” You can define that cost by what one client, customer, or donor is worth. Let’s say that a client will give you $1000 worth a business each year, and you would like to retain them for a minimum of 25 years. That equals $25,000.

What if one of your competitors meets that same prospective client, customer or donor and hands them a professionally designed and printed business card that costs $150? Will that card alone sway them away from you? Probably not, but it will plant a seed of confidence in your competitor when your prospect compares their business card to your cheap business card.

Now the math: You saved $140.00 on business cards. Congratulations. You also lost $24,990 in revenue. Whoops.

What do you mean by A Cheap Business Card Doesn’t Mean Inexpensive?

Good question. Let’s define what a cheap business card is:

  1. A business card that is not professionally designed.
  2. A business card that is made from a template online, one that hundreds, perhaps thousands of other businesses have used.
  3. Poor quality, inconsistent color, inferior paper, etc.

Of course, there is more, but you get the idea. Basically, a cheap business card is one that gives the impression you aren’t serious enough about your business or organization to invest in your image.

A great business card doesn’t need to be expensive. You can pay a lot for a business card with all the bells and whistles, but a card that is professionally designed, and printed to state your brand and message can cost as about $150.00 using modern printing techniques and a talented graphic designer.

The best place to get a great business card at the most reasonable price is a local printer with graphic designers on staff. That combination provides all of the skills you need under one roof. A good in-house graphic designer will understand your needs and know their printing company’s capabilities. You will get a business card that not only looks good and reinforces your brand, but it will be printed in the most cost effective manner. By using a local printing company with graphic design services you also avoid paying a designer’s mark-up for printing while benefitting from a single, local point of contact to address your questions and concerns.

Cheap business cards may initially save you some money, but ultimately will cost you plenty in lost business. A business card is more than a little piece of paper. It is a powerful tool to create a lasting impression. Don’t trust the creation of that tool to a printing company that thinks cheap is your best marketing strategy.

Get 500 professionally designed and printed business cards, a $150.00 value for $99.00 by mentioning this blog post.  CALL 609-387-0030 or email us


About marketingfocus

I've been in the print marketing and direct mail business for over 30 years. I guess that means I'm old, but it also means that I bring a certain level of experience and expertise into a business relationship. My company, Burlington Press, specializes in printing and direct mail along a wide range of marketing services including web site design and development, email marketing and video production. For marketing to be effective it needs to be well rounded and use all channels available that make sense.
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