If you’re anything like most businesses and entrepreneurs, you’ll have a laser focus on all things digital – from email marketing and web copy to online advertising and, most likely, online sales.

You’ll probably send an email over picking up the phone and use a PDF in place of a printed report.

The overwhelming move away from the physical to the virtual world when it comes to doing business is undeniable but do all of these advances render the traditional business card obsolete?

Absolutely not!

Here are just five reasons why you still need business cards, whether you’re an entrepreneur just starting out or an executive considering ditching your traditional card altogether.

1. Physical business cards are more personal

The move towards electronic everything means that it’s easy to lack a personal touch.

How often have you read an email or a WhatsApp message and struggled to determine the context?

A business card bridges that gap and makes a much more personal connection with the recipient.

It’s a physical reminder of an actual conversation – which can be invaluable when you’re looking to deepen the relationship or seal the deal.

2. A business card creates an unmistakable brand impression

However long and hard you have slaved over your company logo and web content, a physical business card is an unmistakable and long lasting impression of your brand.

A physical card opens up a whole world of opportunity to use texture, colour and materials in a way that isn’t always possible online.

You don’t have to be limited to paper either – if your brand is high-tech, why not invest in metal business cards that are hard to ignore?

Creative firms can use finishing touches such as gold foil and embossing to truly make a strong brand statement.

3. They are a sign of organisation

Have you ever been offered a business card when sitting down or leaving a meeting and felt woefully under prepared or disorganised when you admit to not having one of your own to hand?

Being ready to hand out a card at the start or end of a conversation shows that you’re not just organised you’re prepared too, and that’s a powerful impression to leave someone with when you’re hoping to do business.

4. Cards get shared

When you leave someone with your business card, you’re leaving them with a physical reminder of you, your brand and your skill set.

Creative, professional cards are much more likely to be shared and passed along than an impersonal name and number in a smartphone address book.

5. They are underused direct marketing heroes

Nothing beats word of mouth marketing and, while SEO and email marketing can all bring you sales, an actual conversation with a contact is often much more fruitful.

At the end of that meeting, a handshake and swapping of business cards is a powerful, potentially lucrative direct marketing method that increasingly few utilise in a digital world.