Why I Don't Put my eMail Address on my Business Cards

By Ian Fernando

Last week was adtech NY and I go each time it is in NY. This year seemed smaller and I went to catch up with friends and ofcourse meetings throughout the day. I have learned over the past years of networking and even testing, that it is all about connections.

... the question is what type of connections are you making.

When someone asks me for my card, I actually am hesitant to give it out. Just because we have a conversation, doesn't mean we will be doing business. People actually feel offended by this and ask why not. My quick answer is if I have the need for your business I will contact you.

Business cards is a transaction, that is the way I see it. I do not see it as a piece of high end piece of paper. It needs to generate me revenue of some sort. Prior, I would give my card to everyone, my strategy back then was different, to be socially known. I grew my brand then and I continue to grow it now with restriction. I invested in this piece of paper to generate me some revenue, so it needs to convert.

Now, when I decide to give my limited high end mini cards to someone, I expect a follow up. My strategy is very different, I purposely took off my email address. I have a specific reason for this and it is to see how serious of a sales person/rep they will be to me. I did this after this amazing clip from the Wolf of Wall Street movie...


... btw here is an image of my first business card when I came into this industry.

If I give you my personal business card, I expect a follow up. I do not want an email, I want them to pick up the phone and start dialing my number. I want to immediately create the relationship over the phone, have a sense of the seriousness, the feeling of "will they take care of me". I do not want to be another client, I want to be the one where we can share ideas and converse about the industry.

When adding your email to your business card, it is robotic. I literally did a test at one affiliate summit with 2 different cards, the difference was in emails. I remember going to a booth and giving my business card to a rep and I assume their manager. Two days later, I got an email from the company, 2 emails to be precise - 2 exact emails! A copy and paste email, the only difference was the signature.

When I found that out, I didn't even bother with the company. There is no personality, nor authenticity when a company does that. I understand that they have a lot to catch up on but why even waste efforts on those that you know will not have the potential to do business with you in the first place?

This is why I do not put my email address on my business card. I would rather have someone that is serious to go a head and contact me me via a phone number. If I miss the call and they left a voicemail, I would feel obligated to cal back. Especially if it is a service or vendor I was looking forward to for some information or even to do business together.

A business card is a transaction to connect and create a relationship. It isn't just a piece of paper to distribute, it is about negotiating terms to increase your revenue, it is about creating a lasting relationship, to help you with your business, to expand your knowledge, to help others, to show others what you are an expert at. A card isn't just a card, there is always an ROI towards your actions and a business card is just a small part of it.

So that is the reason why I do not put my email on my business card, pick up the phone and start dialing!

Ian Fernando
Involved in the internet space since 2002 and have been through the ups and downs of this online industry. I am a traveling digital nomad, media buyer, online strategist, and many more online titles.

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