Business cards are sometimes the only connection to a prospect. When reviewing business cards, many prospects will only reach out to a few contacts. A well-made and thoughtful business card can make a significant impression. If your business card doesn’t stand out, then you may well be overlooked.

Many businesses look for the cheapest and quickest option for business cards, not realizing that a business card may be one of their most important marketing tools. An eye-catching and easy-to-read design, paired with a high-quality stock and interesting texture, could make all the difference in the world between a brand new client and radio silence.

Here are some creative ways to make your business cards stand out in a crowd.

1. Use a unique material

There are a million different types of paper out there, and yet most business cards use your standard white card stock. Try looking at heavier weights of paper that will make your card feel more stable (these are also easier to slide into a wallet and less likely to bend). Look at different colors – white isn’t the only option! Papers come in a variety of colors, textures and subtle patterns that can make or break a design. And who said you even needed to use paper? Business cards have come a long way in recent years, and many can be found made of lightweight plastic, cotton, wood and even metal!

2. Create texture through technique

Humans are tactile creatures, so adding texture to your business card with unique papers (#1) or through printing techniques can really elevate the design. Embossing your company logo on the back of the card or using letterpress engraving are all ways to make your card feel different in the hands of a prospect. This will almost guarantee getting a second look and standing out.

3. Try a different shape or dimension

All business cards don’t have to be the standard 3.5” x 2” rectangle. Do something different by adding rounded corners or making them a unique size. You could even create a completely custom shape. If you can incorporate the shape of the company’s logo or an element of the brand, you could really differentiate your company from your competitors.

And if you are willing to spend a little more, then making your business card three-dimensional is a great way to have it stand out.

4. Clear, concise information

Ultimately, your business card needs to serve the purpose of clearly providing contact information. Legible typography with a clear hierarchy of content should be a given. And if you want to urge prospects to contact you in a certain manner, then let that detail standout (i.e. bold your main phone number).

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While you may not be able to get 5,000 cards for $5, spending a little extra money on a unique business card could mean beating out your competition by getting the first call from a prospect. Having an interesting business card shows a potential client that you pay attention to detail, have a creative eye and put out high-quality work – all the way down to your business cards.