Top 15 Places to Leave Your Business Cards To Get New Clients

Fernando Alvarez Jr.
October 18, 2021
Places to leave your business cards.

Although business cards are a traditional marketing material, they are incredibly important for obtaining new business. They reach people out in the real world, away from their screens and social media feeds.

They are also useful because, unlike digital marketing and advertising, business cards allow the consumer to choose if and when they seek out your information rather than bombarding them with messages they don’t want.

It can be tricky to know how to distribute business cards if you’re a new business or simply new to the promotional advertising game.

Luckily, there are a variety of valuable places to leave business cards that will allow you to reach a large audience and introduce your business or services to people who might not otherwise find you.

This post will go over the top 15 places to leave your business cards and explain why each place is a great spot to leave them.

Top 15 Places to Leave Business Cards

Handing out business cards to potential clients you’ve already met is a standard business practice. However, it is wise to embrace leaving your business card in new places as a method of advertising rather than just a means of contact.

There are several items to consider when leaving your business cards in new places.

First, you must carry at least a few of your business cards in your wallet or purse at all times. After all, you can’t leave cards in strategic places if you don’t have them on hand.

You should also always get permission to leave your business card with the owner of a business or facility. They might have rules or requirements for leaving cards, or they might not allow them at all.

Finally, make sure your business card has a creative and well-thought-out design that will be both eye-catching and informational. You want to find a good balance between unique and easy-to-read.

With these things in mind, here are the 15 best places to leave your business cards:

  • Libraries
  • Malls and shopping centers
  • Public bulletin boards
  • Restaurants
  • Affiliate businesses
  • Schools and colleges
  • Community centers
  • Salons
  • Banks
  • Hotels
  • Gyms and Yoga Studios
  • Networking events
  • Relevant books and magazines
  • Churches
  • Past clients

Let's dive into each spot individually.

Libraries

Libraries are an excellent spot to leave your business card because they are the go-to place for seeking and finding information.

People come from all over town to take classes, attend lectures, and check out books, movies, and video games at the library. As such, it is an excellent market to reach new potential customers who may not have found your business anywhere else.

Your local library will likely have a place for advertising community events and businesses, like a bulletin board. This bulletin board will be in a high-traffic area and easily found, so you can be sure that your business card will be seen.

Malls and Shopping Centers

Malls are particularly clever places to leave business cards because of the diverse types of people that frequent them. They are a hang-out spot for everyone from teenagers on dates to holiday shopping crowds to grandparents shopping for their grandchildren.

You can leave your business card on tables at the food court, on the counters in the bathroom, on benches or lounge areas, or even with willing vendors or stores. Any high-traffic area that people may happen upon during their shopping trip.

Public Bulletin Boards

You cannot go wrong with tacking your business card on a public bulletin board.

Although bulletin boards can appear a bit cluttered with other people’s flyers and business cards, it is important to note that bulletin boards are places where people know to go to find the services they’re looking for. It’s also free to do so.

From computer repair and house cleaning services to bakers and contractors, all manner of businesses can be found on a public bulletin board by the exact customer you’re trying to reach.

Bulletin boards are also widely available in a variety of high-traffic public places, including:

  • Libraries
  • Churches
  • Grocery Stores
  • Laundromats
  • Coffee Shops
  • The Post Office

Restaurants

If you’re wondering where to leave your business cards, consider restaurants and popular dining establishments. These are facilities that see hundreds of people come through their doors daily, and who reach professionals in a wide range of fields.

It is also wise to leave your business card when you sign the bill or leave it with your tip after a meal. It could find its way back to the manager or owner that way.

Affiliate Businesses

An excellent way to expand your business reach is by leaving your business card at affiliate businesses. This could be a non-competing business within the same industry, or perhaps a partnership in which you and another business owner have agreed to promote each other’s businesses.

Schools and Colleges

To gain maximum exposure for your business, you should also consider leaving your business card at colleges. Leave a stack at the library or on tables at the student union, where your target audience will be spending a lot of time.

Community Centers

Community centers are gathering places for people from all walks of life. They bring together the young and old, parents and children, businesswomen and artisans, of all races and ethnicities.

The number of people you can reach at a community center makes it an excellent place to leave your business card.

Depending on your business, it may also make sense to leave your card with the manager or staff at the community center. They may need your services for things like general building maintenance to teaching a group class on your field of expertise.

Salons

Leaving your business card at local salons is a great way to attract customers with extra cash to your business. Salons also have lobbies filled with people waiting for their appointments. Leaving a stack of cards near the magazine rack or on the reception desk is a smart way to grab a new customer’s attention.

Banks

Almost everyone uses a bank. Even with the introduction of online banking, there are still hundreds of people who walk through their local bank or credit union’s doors every week. You are practically guaranteed new business with people who make thoughtful financial decisions if you leave your card here.

Hotels

Hotels are full to the brim with people; people who are temporarily lodging in your town and might benefit from what your business is selling but would have no way of finding you otherwise.

If your business offers anything a traveler might enjoy, such as fun local attractions, affordable dining options, transportation, or shopping, a hotel is a perfect place to leave your card. Consider leaving your card in places like the hotel lobby for maximum exposure.

Gyms and Yoga Studios

Gyms, yoga studios, and other exercise facilities are unique places to leave your business card. Request permission from the gym owner to leave a stack in the locker rooms or at the front desk where people sign in and out for maximum visibility.

Networking Events

This may sound a bit obvious, but you should bring your business cards with you to networking events.

These events are designed specifically to meet and connect with new people in your industry. Swapping business cards allows you to exchange contact information and build your network, while simultaneously getting your name and business offerings out to people who can bring you new customers.

Relevant Books and Magazines

If you find yourself browsing at the bookstore or poking through magazines in the check-out line at the grocery store, consider leaving a business card tucked between the pages of relevant publications.

That way, when people who are interested in the same book or magazine topic open it, they will find your contact information waiting for them.

For example, if you are a contractor, you might leave your card in between the pages of a home improvement magazine. A qualified lead interested in redesigning rooms in their home will stumble across your card when they flip through the magazine and have a name and number in mind when it comes time to begin their renovations.

Churches

Churches are similar to Community Centers in that they are a gathering place for a diverse group of people. As a community location, churches often have bulletin boards or places within their walls dedicated to sharing information and advertising local services.

Past Clients

When it comes to business card marketing, don’t forget your past clients!

Previous customers who love your business and have been satisfied with your service make excellent referrals. You can hand over a few cards and ask past clients to give them out to friends and family when appropriate.

If new business comes in because of a past client’s referral, you could always thank them with a referral rewards program, like a gift card or a coupon for future services.

What to Consider Before Distributing Your Business Cards

As nice as it is to leave your business cards around town for advertising purposes, you mustn’t leave them anywhere you’re not supposed to.

Is it illegal to put business cards in mailboxes?

In short, yes. Placing anything other than official U.S. mail inside a mailbox is against the law. Just opening someone else’s mailbox can be considered tampering, which comes with a host of fines and legal ramifications.

However, it is not illegal to attach your business card to the outside of a mailbox or slide it between the flag and the box. This isn’t the best practice as it could blow away in the wind or become ruined by inclement weather. It also may simply irritate your potential customers and end up getting thrown away.

Is it illegal to put business cards on cars?

It is perfectly legal to place business cards on cars. You can slip the card under the wiper blades or tuck it into the driver’s side window so the owner will be sure to see it when they return to their vehicle.

Keep in mind you should never use tape, glue, or other adhesives to stick your business card on a car. Doing so could damage the car and end up costing you some money in repairs.

Can I leave business cards on doors?

You can leave your business card on doors. Similar to leaving it on a car, although legal, you should avoid using tape or glue to adhere it to the door. This could potentially cause some damage to the door, frustrate the homeowner, and land you with bad press.

Is leaving a business card soliciting?

Technically, leaving a business card is not soliciting. This is because you are not selling a service. You are simply offering contact information for a business or service should the customer need it in the future. You are also not usually speaking to anyone when you leave a card.

That being said, you should be mindful of leaving your business card in a place with clearly posted signs stating “no soliciting.” Always remember to be polite and respectful.

Summary

Let’s recap what we’ve learned so far.

Business cards are a tried and true way to advertise your business. To advertise successfully, your business card should be easy-to-read and have an aesthetically pleasing design that helps it stand out from other business cards.  

As for where to leave your business cards, there are many wonderful public places to do so, including churches, community centers, gyms, salons, and libraries. However, what strategy works for one business might not work for another.

The best places to leave business cards are locations that attract a diverse group of people and are high-traffic areas. This will ensure you are broadening your audience and successfully expanding your customer base.

Keep in mind that not all places are appropriate to leave a business card, and you should always be respectful of state and federal laws as well as homeowner solicitation notices.

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