Digital Business Card

Digital Business Card vs Paper: Cost Analysis

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Paper business card vs. digital business card ROI and Cost Analysis

Paper business cards made their first appearance in the 1600s. Little changed until the emergence of digital business cards in the 2000s.

the benefits of a digital business card are clear when it comes to cost savings and so much more


Despite nearly every other part of our professional lives going digital, we’ve held onto these literal relics of the past in spite of the fact that using a digital business card is more efficient, costs less and offers better ROI than their paper.

But just how much better are custom digital business cards than paper? Let’s explore.

Important Stats

Here's the stats to know about paper and digital business cards.

What Does a Digital Business Card do?

A digital business card, similar to a paper one, is a way for professionals to quickly connect. It also has the owner’s name, phone number, email, company and title. But because it’s not limited to three and a half by two inches, it offers a more robust introduction and experience.

Your basic contact information is just the starting point for a digital business card. But it goes much deeper than this. 

You can include social media profiles, links to important information, even a text box description of your business on your digital business card. 

This information is immediately shared with your contact. They have immediate access to your info and can contact you or delve deeper just by clicking a link. Information can immediately be downloaded into their contacts or CRM, allowing you to cut the line. 

It’s more than just extra information though. 

Networking is about leaving a mark. Connecting with your Popl custom business cards is pretty-much guaranteed to start a conversation about the technology. You’re making an impression that goes deep and when they tell people about your digital business card, it’s impossible to do so without thinking about, and hopefully talking about, you.

A paper business card, on the other hand, shares far less information and isn’t as user-friendly. At most you’ve shared your name, company, role, phone number, email and maybe a url.

Digital Business Cards by the Numbers

Data doesn't lie and the data is clear: digital business cards cost less and offer a far better return on investment than traditional cards.

Reach of a Digital Business Card

The first thing to know about reach when it comes to a digital business card is that 87% of professionals prefer exchanging contact information digitally.

The second thing to know is that 88% of business cards handed out get thrown away the same day.

Custom business cards guarantees your information staying with the person you give it to. 0% of these cards are thrown away, since they automatically land in your contact’s phone. 

Cost of a Digital Business Card

Skipping Popl’s free option, let’s look at a few possible costs for switching to a digital business card. Individuals can get Popl’s most-popular digital business card subscription (Pro) for $77.88 annually.

A basic business card, purchased in quantities of 1,000 (the anticipated amount needed in a year) is $250. At face value, using a digital business card saves $172.12 over traditional cards. That’s a 33% savings.

The pack of 1,000 business cards is finite, whereas a digital business card never has to be reprinted.

Most people use about 1,000 cards per year. Using that number a Popl digital business card used 1,000 times a year costs 8 cents a pop. This is a nice savings over the 25 cents per card we’re printing. That said, with 880 of our 1,000 cards ending up in the trash, the actual cost per card is $2.08 – or 723% more than a digital business card.

There’s also always the chance that something on your business card will change like your title or phone number. When this happens, you have to reprint your paper cards and cannot use the remaining ones. A digital business card can be updated instantly with any changes.

The Intrinsic Value of a Digital Business Card 

Any time costs are being weighed, it’s important to think about the intrinsic value that’s impossible to calculate. Your digital business card brings value far beyond its cost effectiveness and much more impressive features than paper.

  • It’s better for the environment. The amount of trees felled for outdated paper cards is shocking. Especially considering how many get thrown out almost immediately. Digital cards are sustainable!
  • It allows for deeper conversation. No more patting around looking for a card and then launching into your same old intro. Offer to share your info via Popl and show off the links that matter.
  • You’ll never run out or forget it. Running low on business cards or having zero to bring with you to an event doesn’t make a great first impression. Forgetting them is something we’ve all done. But you’re never without your phone which means you always have a digital business card on hand.
  • It offers analytics. The most-popular Popl card, Pro, offers insights and analytics at under $80/year. No paper card can do this. Learn what’s working, move things around to capture more engagement and watch that ROI grow.
  • It can be the center of strategic marketing, goal setting and more. With Popl Teams you can harness the power of insights and analytics as part of your marketing strategy and more.

The Final Word on the Cost of a Digital Business Card

Numbers don’t lie. The case for the digital business card is clear. Reduced costs, increased reach and ROI and the intrinsic value of a digital business card speak for themselves. But we’ve also made a simple chart to break it down.

Popl Digital Business Card Traditional Card
Cost for 1 Year $80 $250
Cost per Card $0.08 2
Amount for 1 Year unlimited 1,000
Offers Insights and Analytics ✔️ 🚫
Changed/Edited On The Spot ✔️ 🚫

Get started with Popl today, either as an individual or learn about how you can transition to a digital business card for every member of your team.

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