A Complete Guide to Digital Contact Cards: Conduct ROI-Driven Networking
Paper business card use is currently on the decline due to its various networking limitations. Digital contact cards are now replacing traditional business cards as a more effective alternative. Learn how digital contact cards can positively impact your networking ROI.
Business cards are as vital to professional networking today as they have been for decades.
But as the world became increasingly digital, paper business cards started dwindling in their usage. Why? Paper business cards have drawbacks limiting your ability to compete in today’s fast-paced networking.
These cards are non-interactive, limit you with insufficient content space, and restrict you to physical distribution.
This widespread shift is hardly surprising as digital contact cards offer invaluable benefits that complement today’s tech-driven networking. This article explores the key benefits of digital contact cards and their application across multiple industries. You will also learn the different contactless sharing methods available when you opt for a digital contact card.
A digital contact card (a digital business card) is a modern and instant means of sharing individual or business information.
In contrast to their paper-based counterparts, digital contact cards allow you to share your phone numbers, address, website, and all of your value-adding digital content in a safe, convenient, and contactless manner.
Digital contact cards safely store your contact information in a .vcf (virtual contact file) format. Hence, you can share it in numerous ways—via a wallet pass (Apple or Google) or as a business card QR Code embedded across email signatures or social media channels.
8 Ways digital contact cards benefit your networking
Digital contact cards offer numerous advantages over their traditional counterparts. The following benefits enable ROI-driven networking while letting you leave memorable impressions on your prospects and clients:
#1 Digital contact cards are key to contactless card sharing
The widespread adoption of contactless technologies has made various business practices outdated. One such practice is networking using paper-based business cards. As you know, paper business cards are limited to face-to-face, physical sharing.
Digital contact cards, on the other hand, can be shared in various contactless ways—through Apple or Google Wallet, email signature, social media, or URL. These contactless business card distribution methods significantly broaden your reach while allowing you to network more professionally.
You might want to know: Many consider NFC-based business cards a contactless networking solution.
While these business cards can be created digitally, you still need to print and share physical NFC cards–which a client taps using a mobile device. As you can probably tell, this is not a truly 100% contactless solution.
To achieve 100% contact-free networking, create a digital contact card you can share digitally as an Apple or Google Wallet pass.
#2 Digital contact cards are extremely easy to access and save on any device
Each piece of information you share in your digital contact card is interactive, making it easy to access and save on any device.
For instance, you share your digital contact card as an Apple or Google Wallet pass. Once your client scans the business card QR Code on the wallet pass, they can interact with your digital contact card in two ways:
Save your digital contact card in its entirety on their mobile device
Access each piece of information—phone numbers, addresses, web URLs—in real-time
#3 Digital contact cards let you share more information than paper-based cards
Paper business cards restrict your information sharing to a small piece of paper—usually 3” x 5” in size. More often than not, this content space is not enough to convey your complete value proposition.
#4 Your digital contact card always stays up-to-date
You already know that you can include as much information as you need with digital contact cards.
But did you know you can also update these pieces of information anytime you wish?
Digital contact cards allow you to make back-end updates to each business card element you incorporate.
You can change/add phone numbers, emails, URLs, and social icons as and when required. These updates will reflect on your live digital contact card in real-time.
This flexibility means you don’t have to spend on reprinting—as you would with paper business cards—whenever you need to update your contact information.
#5 Your digital contact cards let you conduct two-way contact sharing
Upon sharing your digital contact card with a prospect, acquiring their contact information becomes effortless. This is because digital contact cards allow two-way contact-sharing—a capability that lets recipients submit their contact information directly through your card.
For instance, once your prospect becomes warm, you can immediately share your digital contactcard and ask them to share their contact details using the form on the card.
Once your prospect submits their contact details, the details will automatically appear in your digital address book (a list of leads on your digital business card provider’s platform). This digital address book lets you view and manage your collected leads and export them to your company’s CRM software.
As a result, this feature enables instant and convenient lead collection and management through your digital contact card.
#6 Digital contact cards help you avoid card printing costs
The average annual cost to print paper business cards can go as high as $194 per employee. If your workforce consists of hundreds or thousands of client-facing team members, you would be looking at thousands of dollars in card printing expenses each year.
Opting for digital contact cards lets you network paperlessly, eliminating physical card printing and its coinciding expenses.
Moreover, since you can virtually update your digital contact card, you will not incur reprinting expenses when changing your business card information.
#7 You can customize a digital contact card’s aesthetics to suit your brand design
Choose from a wide range of beautiful layouts, add your brand logo, and customize specific colors and fonts.
With this capability, you can tailor your digital business card aesthetics to match your brand design.
#8 Conduct 100% sustainable and eco-friendly networking with digital contact cards
Digital contact cards do not require printing or paper usage. So in addition to significantly cutting down on card printing costs, digital contact cards allow you to network in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner.
To learn more about what makes a business card truly eco-friendly and sustainable, check out our article on eco-friendly business cards.
How do I create a digital contact card?
The above benefits of a digital contact card work in unison for modern, contactless, and ROI-driven networking. After knowing these benefits, you might wish to switch to digital contact cards to enhance your networking efforts.
This is when we recommend choosing a robust and feature-rich digital business card solution. A dedicated solution provides everything you need to create, manage, and distribute digital contact cards—at scale.
#1 Share your digital contact card as an Apple or Google Wallet pass
You can share your digital contact card directly from your mobile device as an Apple or Google Wallet pass.
To do so, simply open your wallet pass and present your digital contact card to your recipient. Your recipient can scan the QR Code within to instantly access and save your card.
Sharing your digital contact card via a virtual wallet eliminates relying on paper business cards. As a result, you get to network 100% paperless and contact-free. Moreover, the absence of paper usage means you significantly reduce business card creation costs.
#2 Share your digital contact card as a business card QR Code
Each digital contact card you create can be conveniently embedded in a QR Code. Once embedded, you can distribute this business card QR Code on multiple channels, including your email signature, social media, or even during virtual meetings.
a. Share your business card QR Code in your email signature
Email signatures are compact by nature. Sometimes, you wish to share more information than your email signature can accommodate.
By embedding your business card QR Code into your email signature, you allow your email recipients to dig deeper into your full value proposition.
b. Sharing your business card QR Code through social media
You can use your digital contact card to leverage the power of social media and reach multiple people quickly. As with your email signature, why not embed your business card QR Code in your social profiles and relevant posts? Doing so allows your digital contact card to gain more exposure—helping you win more business.
c. Sharing your business card QR Code during virtual events
Another popular way to share business card QR Codes is during virtual events and meetings. Virtual events are often great networking opportunities. Professionals leverage these events to share their digital contact cards via QR Codes—which they display on-screen. A potential client can scan this QR Code for complete access to your digital business card.
#3 Share your digital contact card as a URL
In addition to sharing your digital contact card as a QR Code, you can also share it as a bare URL.
This method is ideal for certain networking scenarios:
URLs come in handy if you need to quickly provide access to your card inside an SMS or instant message.
You may also want to anchor this URL to a specific call-to-action text.
You may even anchor it on your business card QR Code so it becomes simultaneously clickable and scannable.
Each digital contact card you create with Beaconstac will have its unique URL. To access this URL, go to the dashboard and click QR Codes in the left panel. Each digital business card will have its URL labeled as Link, as shown below:
Applications of digital contact cards: 5 popular industry use-cases
Realtors rely heavily on business cards for networking, generating leads, and attracting home buyers. For this reason, realtors can significantly benefit from switching to digital contact cards for their networking efforts.
Realtors can showcase more than their basic contact details on a digital contact card. In addition to a phone number, office address, and email, they can add any multimedia content. For instance, a realtor’s digital business card can conveniently link to an available property listing. Simultaneously, it can link to content displaying social proof.
#2 For lawyers
Lawyers can use digital contact cards to directly guide recipients to content that helps them build trust and authority, such as a testimonial page or social media profile.
While building trust can prove to be an effective lead-generation strategy, lawyers, at times, must qualify their leads carefully to ensure a clean caseload.
To implement a good lead qualification process, a lawyer’s digital business card can redirect potential clients to a survey site, such as Google Forms. This allows them to set up screening questions to qualify leads appropriately.
#3 For healthcare professionals
Healthcare professionals can utilize digital contact cards in various ways. Since digital contact cards are interactive, they are extremely beneficial when establishing a direct line of communication between a doctor and a patient.
Upon saving your digital contact card to their mobile device, patients can simply click on a contact detail to instantly use it. Moreover, the card allows patients to conveniently schedule appointments anytime using schedulers such as Calendly.
According to a recent report, nearly 3 in 5 Americans are looking for professional financial advice. To stand out as a finance professional, you must employ innovative marketing solutions, especially in your lead generation and professional networking.
A digital contact card can help you instantly direct your card recipients to any lead generation campaign you run. Your recipients can also instantly save your digital contact card on their devices, allowing them to access it conveniently when ready to work with you.
#5 For insurance agents
An insurance sale signifies a long-term relationship between you and a client. And for this reason, insurance buyers tend to choose their agents carefully. One of the ways you can make a great first impression during a prospect interaction is by handing out a digital contact card.
Digital contact card sharing is entirely paperless and contactless making your networking appear modern and professional. Moreover, once you secure a new client, they can immediately begin using your card to access essential information—such as policy details and your firm’s claim filing facility.
Create digital contact cards with the best digital business card solution
Now that you know the benefits of digital contact cards—including their practicality in various applications—it is recommended to choose a specialized digital business card solution to create the best possible cards.
Through Beaconstac, you can create, share and centrally manage digital contact cards—which you can track for meaningful engagement metrics.
You can conduct the entire process—from creation to distribution to scan tracking—at scale and without downloading an app. Furthermore, Beaconstac’s industry-leading enterprise-grade security features safeguard your networking activities.
Frequently asked questions
1. What are the top benefits of digital contact cards?
Digital contact cards provide the following networking benefits:
Use multiple contactless sharing methods to widen your reach.
Get your recipients to access and store your digital contact card on their mobile devices with a few clicks.
Eliminate content space issues and share as much information as you need.
Update your digital contact cards as and when required—without reprinting.
Significantly cut down on annual card-printing costs.
Customize your digital contact cards to suit your brand visuals.
Paperless usage equates to 100% sustainable and eco-friendly networking.
Reuben is a Content Marketer who helps businesses drive audience engagement and conversions through compelling content narratives. Currently, he explores the profound impact of simple yet innovative business tools, such as digital business cards, on organizational ROI.