What’s on the Back of Your Business Card?


Just as some of our design clients want us to fill up every available square inch of white space (“I paid for that!”), several business card printers want us to fill up the back of our card. They say we’re wasting a valuable opportunity to “keep your customer’s attention.”

Hey! If you need a brochure, print one.

The blank back of your business card can be used for personal notes made in your personal handwriting. Don’t force a bunch of superfluous information onto a business card that was never designed for that purpose to begin with.

Often, other people use the space on the back of your card to make notes about you: where they met you, what you do, impressions (nice! witty! charming! knows Alex! call immediately regarding Smith project!). Leave them the space, don’t squeeze them out.

Personal handwriting of any sort is personal. It is an especially charming and powerful gesture in a world of arms-length, text-based communication like duplicate proposals, email and business letters.

The back of your business card can:

  • Create a sense of urgency for your proposal. The prospect probably already has your card. Here’s a chance to put it in his hand yet again, at the end of the meeting, with a personal message to him that he watches you write: “Saturday until 2”, “Ask for Lisa RE: extra inserts”, “Add’l copies 2K until Thursday.”
  • Share “For Your Eyes Only” information. “Fax 801-555-1212”, “Direct Line 928-555-2323.” Will the recipient of this private information feel special? Yes.

If you attend networking meetings (I know…yawn) you can use the back of your business card to make a powerful impression with someone you would like to do business with. The majority of these meetings follow a similar format: whipping through the room as fast as possible, smiling, gathering business cards and making surface chit-chat. Everyone intends to follow up with everyone, but few people follow up with anyone. Stories are forgotten (including yours) long before people reach the parking lot.

Here’s the rule with networking: First impressions count, but second impressions stick. After the first burst of card exchanges and chit-chat, identify the two or three people in the room that you can still remember and would like to do business with. Write on the back of your card: “Great meeting you, Sharon — I’ll call you Wednesday.” Now, catch them before they leave and hand them your card note-side up. Say those same words to them. There’s no need to linger. Smile, say good-bye. Call them WEDNESDAY. They will remember.

Try it! Let me know what happens.


Images courtesy kevinzim & nate steiner; assembled by Dan Turner, used under a Creative Commons license.

2 Responses to “What’s on the Back of Your Business Card?”

  1. Designer MarketplaceNo Gravatar says:

    Well, honestly i learned something useful from your tips, its true that “First impressions count, but second impressions stick” It would be very much helpful in building good networks.

  2. StephanieCooperNo Gravatar says:

    I must say that, I never thought that on the back of my business card I can express my personal ideas or notes.I think your post is very helpful and I’ll think about my card in another way from now on.

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