Last Updated on September 21, 2022
I think we can all agree that the business landscape has dramatically changed in the last few years. With more of us opting to work from home, taking meetings through Zoom calls, and attending conferences digitally, the way we network must move digitally to keep up. That’s where a digital business card comes into play.
What is a Digital Business Card?
Unlike traditional paper cards that you need to remember to always have on hand to give out, a digital business card allows you to exchange information in person and share it digitally. Some of the best features of a digital card are:
- Eco-friendly: Minimize your business’s carbon footprint.
- Cost-Saving: If you’re a business with tens or hundreds of employees, save yourself money by purchasing just one card for your team members. No reprinting necessary.
- Updateable: You can add or change information as needed- no reprinting necessary!
- Digital Tracking: You can see how often your business information has been viewed and track your networking efforts.
- No Size Constraints: You can add as much or as little information as possible without worrying about the card looking cluttered, including social media platforms and videos.
I was curious about this new way of networking, so I decided to try out Popl, a digital business card service, for myself. You can see my full list of digital business cards, NFC business cards, and my digital business card checklist. Here’s everything you need to know.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.
Table of Contents
1. What is Popl?
Popl is a digital business card company that utilizes NFC technology to easily share your contact information (the same technology used when tapping your card for payment at the cash register).
It comes as a card (think like a debit card) that you can pull out, tap a potential client or customer’s phone, and your profile pops up via the internet on their phone. They can save your information in their contacts (I will walk through this below) and they do NOT need the app to receive information.
You can create a digital business profile with your name, title, company, website, social media links, and headshot. Not to mention videos, awards, and many custom links.
Are you networking virtually? No problem. You can also share your card via text, email, or even a QR code.
And I’m just getting started. Popl developed not only a digital business card but a client lead analytic and connections platform. Let’s check it all out.
What Products Popl They Offer
If you’re not someone who usually has their wallet on hand, there are many different options for you to choose from.
Popl Flats or Popl Tags
This is a Popl tag or little sticker you put on the back of your phone, laptop, or anywhere that works best for you. You can choose from their standard template flats or customize them with your company’s logo.
My biggest concern with this was that I have a gorgeous phone case, and I didn’t want the sticker to cover up the back. But looking through their FAQ’s it says you can place it on the back of your phone, underneath the cover, and it should still work. I haven’t tested this out for myself, so I can’t verify this.
Also, something to keep in mind is that mention they don’t stick well to leather or silicone cases, which can be a huge bummer.
For those with charging phone cases like MagSafe, you need to place the sticker AWAY from the charging ring.
This is going to be the option that’s closest to the “feel” of a physical business card. I purchased the white standard option, and as you can see, you have the Popl logo on the front.
The back of the card has a QR code if someone has an outdated phone, or for some reason the NFC function isn’t working.
Badges, Keychains, Wristbands, Smart Phone Cases & Stands
They also offer badges, keychains, and wristbands. These are great if you’re a large company and want to provide these for your employees for large networking events.
The wristbands are pretty nice too.
Who Is Popl Best For?
Popl is great for anyone, and you pay for the more functions you need.
- Solopreneurs: the Popl card with the app’s free version is substantial for my needs. The Popl Pro version unlocks certain features (like adding videos), which is great if you want to level up your networking game.
- Small Businesses: If you have less than five employees, this is best purchased individually for your team members.
- Large Businesses or Corporations: If you’re a large business with employees, then Teams is the way to go. You can manage the logos, change employee titles, and update them as needed. This is way better than continually printing out new business cards.
How Popl Works
Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, it’s time to watch the card in action.
Step 1: Active Popl Tags or Cards
This part is easy. Hold your tag or card up to your phone once it’s delivered, and hit Activate. If you already have a Popl profile, you can do this from Settings.
Step 2: Create Your Perfect Digital Profile
Next, create your ultimate digital profile. As you can see from a preview of my personal profile, you can insert your headshot, logo, and background image. There’s also a spot for a business description.
The fun part is the tons of links towards the bottom, but I just added a few to start so you could see (my website link, phone number, and email).
Step 3: Share Your Profile with NFC Technology
Now it’s time to take your card or flat. Instantly share contact info with just a single tap on the back of their phone like below.
As you can see above, it will prompt the user to open up the profile in Safari for iPhones or the default internet on an Android phone.
Once you open it, the user can click “Exchange Contact” if they don’t have the Popl app.
Once they hit this button, it will add all of your business information to their Contact list.
And there you are! You’ve swapped business information in a few seconds.
Now, after using this for a little bit, sometimes unfortunately it doesn’t work. I usually tell them to lock their phone and then it works. Then last effort, I just use the QR code. But I feel like an idiot when it doesn’t work the first time.
Custom Popl QR Code
Now, in the event that one of your clients doesn’t have a smartphone or if you are on a conference call and would like to exchange information remotely, there are multiple ways to do it. You can send your QR code or your profile link via email, text, or social media platforms, pretty much in any way you need to.
Full Popl Review and Breakdown
Now that you’re familiar with the basic functions, let’s explore the app and its features.
After downloading Popl and opening up the app, you’ll see five tabs at the bottom: Profile, Connections, Share, Insights, and Settings.
Let’s take a look at each one of these tabs individually.
Tab 1: Popl Profile
The Profile tab will let you completely modify and create your personal and business information with ease.
Now, if you have the free version, you’ll only have access to the Personal side, but the Pro version gives you access to all of the features and the Business side as well. Everything that requires Pro subscription is clearly marked on the app.
If you click Edit Profile, that’s where you will fill out all of your basic information like Name, Title, Location, a Business Description. This is where you will also add your background photo, personal photo, and logo.
You can also change the profile color themes (you can see I chose yellow in my profile preview from before).
Next, if you click Add Links and Contact Info, this is where the magic happens. I was pretty impressed by the high amount of custom links you could add, such as Etsy accounts, payment methods, music, and videos. Here’s a small snip-it:
Overall, I really have zero complaints about this process. It’s extremely customizable, and the interface is very user-friendly. The only con I see is that you have to purchase the Pro version to get access to all of the features.
Tab 2: Popl Connections
For me, it took a little while to understand this fully. But once I got over my learning curve, then it made a lot more sense.
First, you have a list of your “Connections,” or essentially your contacts. I’m not quite sure how these are organized; it looks like more recent is on top instead of alphabetical. I wasn’t super excited about that.
At the top, you can scan paper business cards which is a great feature. You can also export this contact information to multiple platforms, which is a huge bonus for companies looking to export their leads.
Lastly, if you have the Pro version, you can organize all of your contacts into “Groups,” or basically folders. For someone like me who likes to stay organized, this is a must.
So that’s pretty much my overall take on Connections. I love how you can categorize them, but wish the names were in there alphabetically. But they do have a search function, so you can easily find connections. As like I mentioned before, many of the functions are only available to Popl Pro users.
Tab 3: Popl Share
Now, we’re going to move on to the Share tab. Surprisingly, there are a lot of cool features on this as well.
As you can see, you can create a custom QR code with a unique color and add your logo. I do wish they had a few more color options, as none of them was a perfect match for my logo, but it’s still a nice bonus.
As you can see, if you don’t have your tag or Popl, it’s super easy to share your business information by clicking into your app, clicking Share, and then just a tap with any of these options.
They even allow you to add your QR code to your wallet app or create a widget (icon on your phone) for quicker access.
Tab 4: Popl Insights
The Insights tab allows you to access applicable data and details on your networking efforts. Let’s take a look at the different link analytics offered on the Pro analytics page:
- Pops: The number of times your business card is viewed.
- Link Taps: The number of times someone specifically tapped via your link. This is great if you’re sending this information via email or social media platforms.
- New Connections: How many new people you’ve added in the last week.
- Tap Through Rate: This is the ratio of how many people looked at your profile vs. those that actually clicked on a link like your website. The goal of this is to see how many conversions you’re actually making.
The Engagement Profile gives you a look at which links people are going to the most, which will allow you to customize or reposition links to convert your leads.
Tab 5: Popl Settings
Last but not least, we have a few notable features you can access in your settings.
Many of us are involved in many emails, such as cold outreach to generate new leads. Here, you can add a custom email signature with your Popl links that people can gain access to.
Lead Capture is just what it sounds like… a way to capture your leads. If you turn this on, any time you give your information to somebody, they fill out a quick pop-up. This saves it to your Connections under “Leads”, which you can then export and keep track of. This will help you follow up with potential clients and increase your conversion rates.
Basically, it keeps track of everyone you share your business card with.
Popl Teams for Businesses
Now for most people, the products and Popl Pro version will give you everything you need.
If you have a small or large business with more than five employees or partners, then the Teams functions may be a much better option for you.
Here are some of the Popl Teams features:
The Popl products range in price depending on what you purchase. At the time I’m writing this, a standard card is only $14.99, and custom cards are $29.99. I think they give discounts if you order in bulk, but you have to reach out to the team for your special pricing.
You can go all out and purchase the 24K Gold card for $199.99.
As I mentioned, the purchase of these products comes with the free version of the app, but if you want access to advanced features, you will need to upgrade to the Pro for a $7.99 monthly fee.
Popl Pros and Cons
Overall, here are the things I really love about Popl:
Some Things I Don’t Love
Overall Conclusions on Popl Digital Business Cards
In my honest opinion, Popl is a great company. I was a bit worried because there’s nothing more exciting than designing a physical card and handing it over to someone. I was concerned that the personal connection would be missed. But it was quite the opposite.
You can personalize your card, personalize your profile, and personalize the themes. So in actuality, it feels like you’re taking much thought and intention with how you present your brand.
As I’ve used it, people are SO impressed and immediately ask about the product. But, when it occasionally doesn’t work (which has happened a few times), then you’re embarassed. I’m sure digital business cards will be mainstream in a few years, but until then, I’ll enjoy the edge while I have it.