E-cards from CTI Colour Print

Bridging the gap between paper business cards and the digital world, Sydney trade outfit CTI Colour Print is set to offer e-business cards that download contact details direct to your smartphone.

The application can also link to a website, creating an easy path to purchase for customers.

CTI chief executive Tim Lu says the new venture is a diversification for the business, which he hopes will boost sales for his clients as the digital world encroaches on print.

He says the popularity of smartphones is unlikely to go away, and believes bringing paper business cards into the 21st century is one strategy to future-proof print.

He says, “I believe the whole industry needs to support each other. We have seen the print market reduce and companies go out of business. CTI is looking for long term partnerships, we want to support the industry and help these businesses to make a living, so we are expanding our services to include new products that suit today’s market.”

The product works via a printed QR code on the front or back of the card, which is linked to a profile page that can be accessed on a smartphone or tablet. The profile includes all the regular contact information as well as digital links, so customers can easily access further information if they please.

Lu says the technology means users will no longer have to take the extra step of typing contact information into their phone, they can transfer it to their contacts with a QR reader app, while still keeping the physical card.

He says, “This is an exciting opportunity for us, the chance to link new technology with our printing industry, to benefit print. Everyone is working hard to find a way to sell print. For our generation printed business cards are still preferred, but with the e-cards you can have the best of both worlds.”

CTI customers will generate their own designs through a portal linked to an independent e-card app developer, with CTI fronting the cost of the design. An e-card will therefore cost no more to print than regular business cards.

The trade customer’s logo and url can also be included at the bottom of the digital profile, to encourage repeat business. Lu says this is another way for CTI to support its customers.

He says, “We look after the small guys, providing small quantities, with different product ideas, at a reasonable price. We are not looking for large volumes, which makes us a flexible business.

“Our team has worked together for many years, looking after our customers, who are mostly SMEs. We also try to use local suppliers as much as possible, to support the local industry.

“Our customer base is stable and growing all the time, with a 10 to 20 per cent increase every year.”

The QR codes will be available in several colours. CTI offers standard, double and round corner business cards in a range of sizes, produced at its Fairfield facility in NSW.

Lu says he will offer a free three month e-card membership for customers who order 500 business cards, and six months for orders of 1000. The e-card service will be available from October.

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