Despite the prevalence of paperless communication in today’s society, business cards are still the best way to create a strong first impression, stand out from the crowd and display your professionalism.

1. Strong First Impression

Which do you remember more vividly: Your last conversation or the last email you received? Yes, you can send your contact information over your phone and network on LinkedIn. However, a face-to-face conversation with an exchange of physical business cards has a much higher chance of yielding results.

Even if your new connection forgets the exchange, the next time they open their wallet and see your card is sure to jog their memory.

Why do many people prefer real books to e-books? They enjoy flipping the pages, catching a whiff of ink and paper and holding a solid book in their hand rather than a plastic tablet. People are inherently hands-on.

A business card that can be bent and flicked is more memorable than a jumble of phone number digits on a screen.

2. Stand Out From the Crowd

Business cards are a great opportunity to showcase your personality and differentiate your company from the competition. From bright colors to unique shapes to eyecatching graphics, business cards offer designers an infinite amount of possibilities.

As the hard-copy vehicle for communication between a company and its clients, a unique business card comes with an extra bonus—your connections are likely to show it to their friends and coworkers.

While original business cards should be encouraged, don’t go overboard. A few years ago, I picked up an attractive business card from a graphic designer in the shape of a hexagon. The only problem—the card didn’t fit in my wallet. Don’t sacrifice functionality for the sake of creativity.

3. Display Professionalism

No smartphone app or online networking tool will ever replace the oldschool nonchalance of handing a new connection your business card. As a reference tool, smart phones and tablets are a great complement to the business card.

As a symbol of legitimacy, however, the card is still king As a symbol of legitimacy, however, the card is still king.

No matter how much has changed in the business world, professionals still ask each other for their cards. Pulling out an eye-catching business card is a great way to exude professionalism and make a lasting impression.