Marketing your business and building a relationship with your audience has become much easier thanks to the internet. Through different channels like social media and email, you can help drive more customers and increase your profit.

However, the developments in digital marketing should never downplay the importance of tradition marketing. While using different online channels to reach out to potential clients has been effective for most, there’s no replacing face-to-face interactions with people.

Whether it’s a seminar or conference, you need to put your best forward, and what better way to make an impression on your audience than business cards.

“When you meet someone that could potentially be a great prospect or connection, don’t you want him or her to walk away with a great first impression,” asks Market Domination founder Jonathan Long. “A memorable business card does a lot more than just pass on an email address or phone number.”

However, just like any other form of self-promotion, you need to observe unspoken rules about conducting yourself with business cards. By taking business card etiquette to heart, you treat people whom you’re sharing your card with respect, which helps make you stand out in their minds.

Below are practices that you need to observe when sharing your business cards.

Give out your card only if they want it

You never want to be that person who, just seconds after meeting someone in person, gives out business cards like candy. “It leaves a bad impression on potential customers or business partners because they might not be interested with your card,” says Digital Communications Manager Yousif Hazboun of GotPrint. “Also, it shows that you only want to promote yourself without hearing what they have to say.”

Therefore, you need to talk and get to know the people first and give them a reason why they should take your card.

Give and take business cards with two hands

The practice of using two hands is prevalent in Asian countries like Japan and China. A lot of business people hand their card out by holding it on both ends with their hands. Also, the card should be facing the individuals who will receive the card so they can read the content of the card.

At the same time, if you are to receive a card, make sure to take with both hands as well.

The practice is not universally observed, but it doesn’t hurt that you incorporate it in your business card etiquette.

Read the card first

The Lost Art of Business Card Etiquette

Since the person would still be in front of you after receiving his or her card, it is best to read the content of the card first before keeping it. You can use some of the information in the business card as conversation starters like their job title, card design, and web page, to name a few.

Store it in a card holder

Your wallet may not be the best place where you should store business cards. To most, their wallet is where they put their cash and credit cards.

Putting business cards in your wallet may cause creases and dents on their corners. More importantly, you make the person who just gave you their card feel unimportant. Lumping their card

Therefore, it is best to have a dedicated card holder for business cards of your potential clients and partners. Storing their cards in a holder gives them the impression that you approach networking in a very professional manner.

Other practices you need to observe

  • Choose thick stocks for your cards – The sturdier your business cards, the more authoritative it looks and feels. Printing your cards on thick stock (at least 14 pt.) makes your business impressive to people receiving them.
  • Make sure that your design reflects your branding– Your business card design should align with your branding. Using your company logo, font, and colors across all your print materials consistently allow people to identify your business visually. Also, you may need to consider your business card size if you want to distinguish yourself from your contemporaries.
  • Use both sides of the card– Leaving the other side of your business card blank is considered “wasted real estate.” Create unique designs for both card sides to fully introduce your business to people. For example, one side shares your contact details, and the other side shows an attractive design and a short description about your business.


Your business card etiquette determines whether or not you can convert the people you meet at conferences and seminars into customers or partners. All of the tips mentioned above focuses on paying respect to people.

The courtesy and grace you treat them with reflect on the impression they will have of you, depending on how you give and receive business cards. Therefore, you need to make the most out of your business cards to make the most out of traditional marketing for your business.