Where to put business cards?

Business cards are a great way to promote your site. However, where’s the best place to put them where people might actually look at them? Do you conserve them and only hand them out to people you meet? Or do you throw them everywhere you go? I personally think you should only hand them to people you meet… the rest are about as good as throwing them in a fishbowl.


I have business cards that I carry with me so I can give them to someone when they ask, or if I want them to call me about something else. It’s just easier then carrying a pen around.

I haven’t ever bothered leaving them around for people to pick up, seems like a waste of money to me. Although someone else might have had some success with that. Stranger things have happened. :slight_smile:

Last year I printed 500 mini business cards (about half the size of a normal business card) with my printer. Cost was almost zero but the design was very attractive. More like a mini brochure for my webiste than a business card.

Then I took them to probably the best show in the world regarding my website, which probably gets 2-3 millions visitors in a week.

I was just leaving 10 at time at random locations…

To tell you the truth I am sure 90% didn’t reach anyone.

But the good side to the story is that traffic to my website increased about a quarter after about a week.

I will be doing the same this year, but I will invest some money and print some professional cards with holders. Then I’ll just leave the card holders with 25 cards at random locations.

To the best of my knowledge I am not breaking any laws…and the results are the best I’ve had so far.


Not sure what this means. Do you mean you took them to a trade show or business expo and left them around? If so I imagine that’s probably frowned upon since other businesses are paying a lot of money to hand out their business cards there.

As inexpensive as business cards are, I say leave them everywhere you (legally) can, because you never know who might pick up one because they could use your services or they might know someone else who does.

Leave some at the bank ATM next time you get cash

Leave two with your tip the next time you go out to eat (and leave a nice tip if you really want the waiter/waitress to remember you!)

Why not stick one or two in with the bills that you mail out each month?

How about the next sporting event (baseball, hockey game…whatever) you go to? You could throw a handfull up in the air each time your team scores!

I’ll stop now 'cause I’m sure you get my drift, but I’d say give 'em out where ever you can!


In library books with subjects appropriate to your business:)

Never tried it myself, just read that somewhere.

Do you think that would be legal? It is a very cheacky way however, can the library sue for something like that.

How much does a business card cost? $0.01? What percentage of people who see the cards will visit your site? 5%? 10%? 20%? How much do you make per visitor? 5 cents? 10 cents? Will a random person be interested in your site or will they just go because they see the card and leave after one page view? You gotta do a cost/benefit analysis to make sure it makes sense.

I’d venture to say that for 99% of sites, it’s a waste of money. If you run a site advertising MLM programs, and you leave your card in a book or at a show about MLM programs, you’ll do quite well. But except when you place it in a very targeted location, I just can’t see it working.


Offline advertising is generally too expensive to make sense for most sites. If you site is targeted for your local market it may be a good idea, but for most general sites it can be a total waste of money. Either you won’t make the money back or you could buy the visitors cheaper online.

I have to agree with Owens fears here. Has anyone actually done an ROI analysis on this before and after doing it? I doubt that. I fail to see how this is superior to say, cheap banner advertising.

Well , almost every 3 months i print 1000 business cards for my office …
What do i do with them ? Well I just put them in my pocket , and when ever i see some one is interisted ( even if his intrist is 1% ) i give him my business card …
It may seems weerd , but my sales duplicated in the last 7 months :wink:

"In library books with subjects appropriate to your business

Never tried it myself, just read that somewhere."

I think that might have been me :slight_smile: i did it for a club I was starting up once. The results were outstanding.

What kind of club was it?

Book club. :smiley:

Fight club. :smiley:

But then he couldn’t talk about it :p.

Better yet, just throw your money up in the air. I honestly doubt that the stadium janitors will take time to read all the trash that accumulates on the floors.

I’d rather give biz cards out somewhere someone may be interested - even if it is small. I honestly doubt that just handing them out to everyone and anyone would amount to anything.

It would amount to you annoying and alienating almost everyone you came into contact with.

It reminds me a quote from Mitch Hedberg. When someone hands me a flyer on the street its like they’re saying … “Here, you throw this away.”

We have cards in stands at various businesses around town - one is a baker - a lady picked up a card from there and contacted us about maintaining her website. We’ve since done a full redesign, and she’s referred much more business to us since - probably 3 or 4 other websites, not to mention business cards and other things.

So for us, it was worth it!!

Business cards are cheap, and even if they don’t directly translate into a phone call, they can help to build awareness. Ever given someone your card, and after looking at it, they say something like, “I’ve heard of you guys” or “I’ve seen this before”. It makes them feel like you’re not a complete stranger or a newbie.

Having said that, be thoughtful about where you put them, don’t just toss them around like rubbish. That could easily have the opposite effect! Swap cards with other local businesses, sorta like a banner exchange for business cards. “I’ll put yours on my desk, you put mine on your counter.”

Depending on where you are, different strokes work for different folks. If I was in a crowded city, I’d think mass saturation is the best way to get your card or name out there and in smaller suburban areas direct contact with people would be the best way to go for handing out my business cards.

I would give my card out to anyone in my target market who might be interested. Those are the people I would want to have my card anyway, not the janitor cleaning the streets.

If I had a larger area to cover and get my message or name out there I would choose another medium with a better reach to cost ratio.