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Building an email list with business card capture

Building an email list so that your business can effectively communicate with customers and prospects is a highly worthwhile and often profitable activity.  And while texting and messaging apps seem to get all of the glory these days, email hasn’t lost much ground in terms of its overall usage and pervasiveness with consumers (business and retail).

Some recent statistics on email use to consider:

  • 89.45% of Americans over the age of 15 use email
  • Ninety percent of users aged 15 to 24 use email
  • 93.6% of those aged 25 to 44
  • At age 45 to 64, usage drops back to 90% (still by far the vast majority of U.S. adults)
  • at over 65, the email use rate is 84.1%

So email is far from an obsolete tool to use for marketing tactics.  In fact, many small businesses are only beginning to explore how they can leverage email for customer communications and marketing communications.  But whether you are new to email marketing or a seasoned expert, one of the biggest challenges is building a high-quality email list. There are a number of ways to build an email list.  One of the most effective ways  is by capturing a business card from a customer or consumer.

How can a small business benefit from email marketing?

Email can be an effective and formal way to stay in touch with contacts. It is highly effective at communicating with customers.  Smart businesses build out customer experience communication programs that regularly send email communications to their clients. These emails provide vital information about products and services as well as upcoming events, sales…etc.  Businesses that do this well tend to see higher levels of customer loyalty and repeat sales.  Email communication is not least it doesn’t have to be.  The hardest part is getting the names and then deciding on logical ways to message those names.

Some common email campaigns include

  • Customer Welcome Emails
  • Monthly newsletter
  • New product/service announcement
  • Discounts, sales and specials

These are all highly relevant communications that should be well received by customers and prospects alike.

Tips For Getting Started

Any business can make email marketing work for them with the right approach. If you want to leave a good impression, keep these helpful tips in mind:

  1. Utilize email marketing services like MailChimp or Constant Contact which allows you to set up a network of emails to send automatically based on the recipient’s interactions.
  2. Build a high quality email list of  opt-in contacts
  3. Create a regular cadence to email marketing and make sure your communications Have Purpose!

Methods for Gathering Business Cards

If you want to build a substantial mailing list in a short amount of time, there’s an efficient way to do so. Whether you attend a business event or plan one out yourself, drawing attention amongst a large group of people gives you more opportunities to gather business cards. Attract future contacts while making a great first impression with these creative ideas:

Promote a Business Card Raffle | Fishbowl

If you’re a small business with a physical location, a business card fishbowl is an easy, passive method for accumulating business cards.  This Slow and Steady method works best when there is a prize/raffle of some sort associated with it.  It’s hard to pass up the opportunity to win free stuff, especially when the requirements are simple.   A free meal, percentage off next purchase or free product/service, there’s a number of simple prizes you can promote at your check out counter to encourage people to put their business card in the bowl.

Make a Business Card Dart Board

Similar to a raffle (in the sense that there’s a winner chosen at random), you can bring a large corkboard to the event and have people pin their business cards to it. The board will eventually start to look like a mural made up of an array of unique and colorful cards. When it’s time to choose a winner, just throw a dart and see where it lands! This is another game that you can livestream in an attempt to gain more followers on your social pages.

Exchange Business Cards for Discounts or Prizes

If games or drawings aren’t your style, you can still encourage people to drop off their business cards with the promise of coupons, discounts, or instant prizes. Almost like paying in cash, people would just need to hand you their card and pick their free item. You can easily turn this into another marketing opportunity by having the redeemable prizes feature your company’s logo and contact information on them.

How Ambir Makes It Easy to Collect Contact Information

Depending on the event’s success, you might end up with more cards than you can physically handle. If you don’t want to spend hours manually entering each client’s info into your computer one by one, the AmbirScan Business Card Scanner can easily turn a two-hour job into a five-minute one. Just pass the card through the scanner, and it will convert all of the data onto your preferred digital platform. This makes it easy to build your contacts on email marketing services like MailChimp or CRM platforms like, or Microsoft programs like Outlook and Excel.

With fun and creative ways to gather business cards and an easy way to convert the information from those cards onto a digital landscape, you can grow your business with the power of connections!  AMBIR business card scanning solutions make importing business card data simple and easy.


AMBIR is a manufacturer of digital capture solutions for businesses and consumers. Headquartered in Chicago, IL and founded over 25 years ago on the premise of creating the highest quality hardware backed by hands-on support. AMBIR provides a variety of document and card scanners, eSignature pads and barcode scanners for various industries including healthcare, financial services, legal and more. We are known for being a hands-on organization who supports its clients with an internal team of dedicated professionals who know their clients by name. AMBIR is considered a market leading solution in the healthcare space due to it’s wide selection of products that integrate with leading EMR/EHR systems.