Posts tagged VDP Variable Data Printing

Mail Print Expands Facilities in Kansas City, Missouri

bulldozer 250x187 Mail Print Expands Facilities in Kansas City, Missouri Mail Print, a full-service printing and direct marketing company, is nearly doubling its Kansas City, Missouri facility from 40,000 square feet to 70,000 square feet in the Hunt Midwest Subtropolis located in the northeast region of Kansas City. The expansion is designed to support the merger completed earlier this year with Graphic Services Printing and L & L Manufacturing. The firm said its expansion includes a significant investment in equipment and technology and plans to create over 40 full-time jobs.

“We are excited about the future of print and integrated direct marketing services. The merger and addition of Larry Wittmeyer to our ownership group shows our commitment to growth and the future. ”Gina M. Danner, company CEO goes on to share, “Many people think that print is dead, but our experience shows that when print is integrated with online efforts like email, video, mobile and social media, organizations are able to drive more prospect and customer engagement. We know that when done right, integrated direct marketing makes our customers money.”

The state’s Department of Economic Development assisted Mail Print with its expansion plan, the Department of Economic Development and the City of Kansas City authorized a strategic economic incentive package that the company can receive if it meets strict job creation and investment criteria.

Larry Wittmeyer, Vice President of Manufacturing at Mail Print goes on to say, “The EDC and Hunt Midwest were both instrumental in helping us navigate through the expansion plan. We are very excited to participate in the growth of our community.”

Expansion and reinvestment are not new to the company. In 2012 Mail Print underwent a $3 million round of equipment and technology investment and is looking at an investment round this year of similar size. Wittmeyer shares the vision, “Our goal is to create a leading edge organization that redefines the printed page in this region. By building on the vision set forth over the last 25 years by the Danner family, we are creating a company that drives customer engagement and delivers value to clients and team members.”

Mail Print is owned by Eric C. Danner, Gina M. Danner and Larry Wittmeyer, and today employs 90 team members.

About Mail Print

Mail Print specializes in the execution and delivery of complex, data-driven multi-channel direct marketing. Mail Print is a premier partner and test site for a number of equipment manufacturers and a variety of software providers. The company is also an industry leader in the latest direct marketing technologies, including Variable Data Printing, Personalized URLs, Web-to-Print and Print Automation workflows. Mail Print owns and operates a state of the art integrated technology and production facility and has served the direct mail and printing needs of the Midwest for over 25 years.

 

10 Tips for a Higher R.O.I Using VDP for B2B Marketing

125162794 250x170 10 Tips for a Higher R.O.I Using VDP for B2B MarketingCreative Variable Data Printing Services

If you are looking to increase response rates and cut costs, we have some creative ideas in which you can use Variable Data Printing. Before saying something like, “We already use data printing services”, ask yourself a few questions – How well is it working for you? Are you receiving great response rates, and are you getting an enormous return on your investment? If not, then you might be missing out on something.

Getting your message across and creating a lasting impression is important. Including an element of creativity, trust, and interest in your company is vital in order to make a connection through direct marketing in variable data printing.

Using Variable Data Printing in 10 Better Ways for a Greater R.O.I.
  1. Variety – Use different content, not just different words.
  2. Emotion – Find out everything about a prospect or client. Appeal to the emotions most important to the prospect or client. Make sure that your brand triggers an emotional response.
  3. Personalize – Make sure that you include their name, company name (when b2b marketing), address, and anything else that might be relevant to your message.
  4. Build an Alliance - Let your prospect know that your company wants to be MORE than just a place to make a purchase. Many companies are looking for good partners, they are trying to make connections for networking, and are focused on power building strategies.
  5. Graphics and Color – Use pictures that are true to your brand. You will be remembered as a company who understands delivering the total package. Every company must show themselves as worthy to be remembered, and relevant graphics can help.
  6. Check Your Content - It’s so easy to push a potential client away by glorifying our own company. Make your content easy to read. Ask the reader questions, and appeal to emotion. Focus on your reader.
  7. Usefulness – What does your reader need? When does he need it? If you show that you have paid attention to his needs in the correspondence that you send, he’d be very intrigued, but he might also be inclined to put more trust in you than before. Trust is a great marketing technique.
  8. Detail - Make the recipient feel as if he was your only customer. You can send out bulk mail and tailor-make each individual piece by using specific details. Research specific information about current and potential clients, and surprise them by including it in your direct marketing techniques.
  9. Focus on Brand - Every customer/company has different personality features.These features make up their specific brand. It goes much deeper than color, design, and logo. Research the motto, mission statement, and vision statement. Tailor your content to these specific variables.
  10. Experiment – Experimentation is vital for direct marketing. Keep trying until you find the right technique. Using different color schemes and designs may help reach different people who you never expected to reach. Just because you accidentally appeal to a market that is outside of your target range, doesn’t mean you can’t continue to do so.  This strategy may lead to a whole new market segment.
Practice Makes Excellence

Practice shouldn’t ‘make perfect’, it should create excellence. If marketing techniques were ‘perfect’, then we’d never learn how to be creative. Don’t aim for perfection, aim for excellence. Expand your mind beyond what others are doing, and surpass them. You will get it just right, and then realize that it needs to be changed once again. This is part of our fast paced society and there’s no avoiding it.

 

VDP, Changing the Design of Direct Marketing

153002732 250x250 VDP, Changing the Design of Direct MarketingThe evolution of variable data printing (VDP) has significantly changed the landscape for the designers of direct marketing pieces. No longer are they forced to craft pieces that will appeal to a broad range of potential clients and hope for the best. Instead, they can utilize data captured from emails, web pages, surveys, phone calls and in-person interviews to create individualized direct marketing pieces to more accurately target the needs of their clients.

The Market – At its core, variable data printing is still a direct marketing strategy. As such, it relies on having data on your clients and prospects. This data can be self-generated by your company or purchased from third-party vendors. Lists are available in a range of options and can be tailored to your exact needs. In short, VDP combined with the right data is an excellent marketing option for clients as diverse as charitable organizations and casinos to insurance agencies and college alumni departments.

Individualized Pieces – The secret to a variable data printed piece is in how the information and artwork is integrated. While the name and address are from one database, the customers stated preferences are also utilized so that the right copy and artwork is also included. This process allows the designer to incorporate pre-written copy and preselected pictures about the best choices of product for a customer.

For instance,  a casino might know that certain customers preferred “FREE Dinner” while others wanted their hotel room comped. With non-VDP, the designer is constrained into sending the same piece to both customers with an offer for a meal and/or a room. With VDP, the designer can send two or more meal offers to one customer and room offers to the other – complete with appropriate photos.

Increased Response – As you can imagine, this type of marketing better targets potential customers and produces a superior response rate. The most basic use of the process returns double the response rate while more sophisticated campaigns can yield a response 15-20 times greater than a static direct marketing campaign.

Lowered Costs – The vast majority of work in a variable data printing campaign is in the development of the text, graphics and images so that they align with the available data. In addition, the collection of data can be time consuming. However, once this effort has been made, a VDP campaign can be customized to fit any budget.

The campaign can affordably be run over and over again to a select group of clients or to new pools of prospects as they are generated. In addition, VDP allows a marketer to experiment on a small test group before committing resources to a larger campaign. Lastly, you can even build in “fail safes” to exclude customers who have never responded to a certain number of offers.

Customized Follow-Up Campaigns – Similarly, as more data is captured on responsive clients, further enhancements to the campaign can be made. More info can be sent on selected products or the piece can be modified to address what stage of the “buy-cycle” the customer is in.

The Bottom Line – As you can see, variable data printing can have a huge effect on the direct marketing campaign of a forward looking marketer. The technology is available and your company most likely already has all the data it needs. Now, you just need to a take that leap of faith and combine the two.

 

Complex Variable Data Printing Made Easy

165493131 250x166 Complex Variable Data Printing Made EasyThe evolution of digital printing has transformed the world of direct marketing. No longer must the same static messages be sent to every customer on your mailing list. Instead, the use of customer information databases and variable data printing (VDP) allows a business to completely tailor the content of their mailing to each individual customer.

Complex variable data printing may sound difficult to implement, but with the right partner and the requisite data, it can produce an effective and profitable direct mail campaign that delivers superior response rates.

The Process

The VDP process starts with information. In fact, customer information is the real key to creating highly personal messages and delivering significantly higher results than traditional direct mail campaigns. With the use of multiple databases, a VDP campaign allows a company to combine the name, address and particulars of a customer with an ad specifically targeted to their needs and interests. The result is an ad that provokes a far higher response rate than traditional non-variable marketing pieces.

The Content

In addition to using the actual name of the recipient, VDP should also reference their geographic area, the past purchases, their buying behavior, personal interests and other specific traits.  The key is to collect a lot of information on your customers or prospects and use that information to create a personal experience for the recipient.  In this particular application, content is certainly king as it can grab the attention of the recipient and ultimately lead them to respond.

The Images

While words are the ultimate closer in a marketing piece, images are the attention grabber. Imagine that at a basic level a car dealer can send pictures of sports cars to the 18-25 demographic and sedans to the 40-50 crowd, but let’s add another layer of insight.  The car dealer sends a piece that is designed around the age, past purchase history, family status (whether children are present in the household), and income.  So now instead of just sports cars vs. sedans, we can target the right level of sedan and even offer a loan package based on general credit information.  This differentiation can mean the difference between a direct mail piece being read or being discarded – in other words, the difference between success and failure.

The Follow Up

One of the more powerful benefits of VDP is that it can be constantly updated and customized to every potential client. Each time you send a mailing and get a response, the database is updated. In other words, you are constantly qualifying the desires and needs of your clients. With enough perseverance, you will build a true image of your client and be better positioned to convert them into a paying customer.

The Bottom Line

Variable data printing is a 21st century technology that no successful business can afford to be without. Utilizing the combined power of databases and the technological advances of digital printing allows companies to select, target and market to an incredible variety of customers on a very personal level.

Don’t be left behind when contemplating your next direct marketing campaign. Whether your business targets range from banking, insurance or casinos to non-profits and educational institutions, variable data printing can provide a very focused solution that generates excellent response rates, superior conversion and a whole new set of potential clients.

 

Priceless Takeaways from Casino Marketing Award Winners – Part I

This blog post is for you if you run a casino or similar business– hotel, entertainment venue, restaurant or a retail store. You can learn something from Gold River Casino in Anadarko, Okla., and Prairie Band Casino & Resort in Mayetta, Kan., if you need people in your establishment to earn revenue.

 

river1 Priceless Takeaways from Casino Marketing Award Winners – Part I

Turning a Slow Day into a Hay Day

Gold River Casino employees used to dread Sundays because the floor was barren and therefore food and beverage sales were slow, too. To increase Sunday play, Gold River put a reusable coupon into its monthly direct mail piece.

The additional free-play offer increased revenues more than $200,000 in just one month. After three months, revenues climbed to $300,000. This translated into an increase of 30% more visitors who drove food and beverage sales up nearly 50%.

SOURCE: Casinos Hit the Jackpot with Direct Mail, March 2012. Deliver Magazine

Sunday is now one of the property’s strongest days thanks to adding a food-and-beverage offer. The food piece draws in families who encourage their friends to come with them to catch up on life on Sundays.

 

band1 Priceless Takeaways from Casino Marketing Award Winners – Part IReengaging Disengaged Customers

Prairie Band Casino & Resort used a total escape package to lure guests back into the casino who hadn’t been in to play in up to three months. The package included a free night’s stay and free-play offer.

To promote the package, Prairie Band mailed a printed luggage tag as the direct mail piece and attention grabber. The results were a 19.1% response rate, an 80.8% lift in incremental guests, and a return on investment of 670.1%.

SOURCE:Casinos Hit the Jackpot with Direct Mail, March 2012. Deliver Magazine

Is there a group of your customers you need to reengage? How about a day of the month you could use a spike in customers? Direct mail works – when executed properly.

VDP Allows Bridal Service Companies and Brides to Get Personal

When Savvi Formalwear, a group of 35 independent formal wear retailers, wanted to connect with more soon-to-be brides, it chose the print and digital trifecta — direct mail, email and personalized landing pages.

All of Savvi Formalwear’s direct mail pieces were personalized using variable data printing (VDP), with coupons or incentives such as the two free airline tickets shown in the postcard in this post and a PURL that drives brides to a landing page with a store locator and Savvi Formalwear branding.

Savvi Formalwear is using the campaign to capture more of the $1 billion formal wear industry, that like other industries, has suffered because of the 2009-2011 recession.

wedding VDP Allows Bridal Service Companies and Brides to Get Personal

 

Not coincidentally the majority of Savvi Formalwear stores are located on the west coast where nearly 20% of the formal wear transactions occur. In these 35 stores, Savvi Formalwear is trying to lure as many of the two million brides that get married every year to their stores and services as possible.

SOURCE: IBIS World Report, Formal Wear and Costume Rental in the U.S., May 2012

 

pam VDP Allows Bridal Service Companies and Brides to Get Personal

 

Savvi Formalwear’s campaign, named SavviOne, included weekly mail drops across the U.S. and Canada to promote formal wear to couples planning their weddings. Using the power of personalization, Savvi Formalwear significantly increased the engagement and conversions in its multi-channel promotional campaign, according to Mark Morrow, president of Savvi Formalwear.

SOURCE: Case Studies, www.montagedigital.com

Bride Puts Money Toward Print Pieces Not Cake or Dress

While most brides can spend the majority of their wedding budget on elaborate centerpieces, cakes and designer dresses, bride Robin Nelson, who works in the printing industry, invested her wedding dollars in a cross-media wedding campaign.

Nelson used XMPie solutions to personalize each piece of her wedding communications from engagement announcements to her wedding invitations which included QR Codes®*

Nelson said the campaign enabled her to gather more information about each of her guests to organizing the wedding to taking advantage of technologies that count RSVPs and help brides budget for dinner, drinks, the rehearsal dinner and after-ceremony reception.

SOURCE: “Happily Ever After: A Cross-Media Wedding Campaign” by Robin Nelson, XMPie Blog, Oct. 12, 2011

invitations VDP Allows Bridal Service Companies and Brides to Get Personal

 

 

 

With the use of variable data printing, there was no confusion on head count at Nelson’s wedding. Nelson attributes this to her guests who updated their RURL (Response URL also called PURL for personalized URL) especially in regards to how many children who would be coming with them).

The information Nelson got from her guests through the landing page they responded to allowed her to stay within budget, update her guest list and create a seating chart.

Nelson also downloaded the XMPie Marketing Console iPhone app that allowed her to provide final head counts and meal preferences to her caterer and vendors through report on-the-fly report technology.

So while some brides like the visual trimmings (cakes, bridesmaid’s gifts, etc.), savvy brides are tapping into VDP and digital technology to make their wedding planning less stressful and more personalized to all involved.

*QR Codes are a registered trademark of Denso Wave.

 

Are You Part of the 73%?

percent1 Are You Part of the 73%?

Source: DMNews.com

Mail is still first class in the eyes of 73% of consumers in America who still prefer to receive direct mail for brand communications. So despite all the press and pixels that social and email marketing get, direct mail is still tops in the eyes of consumers.

Despite the exposure of digital channels, direct mail is expected to grow 1.4% annually for the next five years to $13.8 billion.

Personalization Makes Direct Mail Even Hotter

Companies that gather data on customers who segment the information into relevant marketing communications delivered via variable data printing win big with double-digit responses.

If you are a marketing leader who invests in direct mail as a channel, do you consistently ensure what you send out is variably printed and designed? Consumers expect communications to be relevant across all channels, including direct mail.

Discover credit card company targets its list based on different customer attributes and then tags each piece with a personalized invitation number. “Direct mail is a great way for us to target consumers,” says Laks Vasudevan, Discover director of acquisition. “It’s our most targeted platform.”

Pull the Trigger

DSW sends personalized birthday postcards with offers to its 20 million plus rewards members. Who wouldn’t want $10 off a new pair of shoes as a gift to self?

And there’s something special about getting a real card with physical value versus a mass email with fashion tips, according to Kelly Cook, DSW’s Senior Vice President of Marketing.

When the company tested sending birthday coupons via email, it didn’t perform nearly as well as direct mail.

Give Your Customer What They Want When They Want It

Long gone are the days of sending one universal offer to everybody. For instance, I recently received a special offer for a college loan for my children from my bank. Yet, I don’t have children.  I know the marketing team at my bank and I know they have access to some very sophisticated database tools to monitor my account activity and have done a lot of data mining, they failed to connect with me as a valued customer.

Give your customers the perks they want when they want and don’t delay. With today’s 24/7 marketing automation systems, there’s no excuse.

SOURCE:Direct Mail Advertising in the U.S., October 2012, research report by IBISWorld.

SOURCE:“Direct Mail, Evolved,” by Dianna Dilworth of Direct Marketing News, March 01, 2013.

 

6 Tips to Make Sure Your Variable Marketing Project Doesn’t Crash and Burn

148132648 250x166 6 Tips to Make Sure Your Variable Marketing Project Doesn’t Crash and BurnIf your business wasn’t part of the early adopters of variable data printing, this blog post is for you. This piece will keep you far from the technical grenades that can burn you if you don’t prepare your database or file correctly for hand off to your variable partner for execution.

Data First, Creative Second

Start with the data, which seems counter intuitive to agency people and small businesses. According to Kristen Miller, of Mail Print’s Client Implementation Team, successful VDP projects begin with data and then move into the creative process.

Ideally you’ll start with an accurate customer or prospect database/mail list. Ideally the dataset has more than name and address, like age, income, presence of children in the home, purchase history, or frequency of purchases.  Next you can decide what you want to communicate and pick which data fields you’re going to drop into your communication to personalize the marketing piece.

Dear {Name}, We hope this note finds you well.  Since you recently bought {Gift #1}, we thought you would be interested in {Gift #2}.

Prospecting vs. Retaining

Often times mailing lists purchased from list providers can be a great solution when you are prospecting for new clients beyond wanting to personalize a piece simply with someone’s first name. If your marketing strategy is to get St. Louis based, women, 40 years old and older, with household incomes of at least $100,000 to come to a plastic surgery seminar, purchasing a list may make sense.

If you are a plastic surgeon who wants to get existing patients to consider a second procedure or new aesthetic service, using your customer data makes sense. Choose your segment and write your marketing copy and select your graphics to truly speak to that particular group of people.

Maximize the Power of Variable

It can be very profitable to build a marketing piece that uses different images, colors, and messages to match the targeted segment.  The true value of variable data printing comes in being able to tailor a piece to engage a particular segment of your target audience.  Simply playing the “name game” is somewhat passé.  Your goal is to create a highly relevant mail piece so the prospect can envision using your product or service in a particular way.

Beware of Capital Letter Land Mines

If you had a single person input your CRM data, you are probably in good shape consistency wise. However, if multiple people in multiple states have added to the database, you may be plagued with names that should be spelled DeAnna, but may appear as Deanna (first letter capped only) or DEANNA, which often happens off purchased mailing lists.

Fixes for Common Field Land Mines

Miller says she sees several other common “field” related problems with the two dozen large variable projects she produces for clients each month. “Some clients will want to address the prospect by the first name, but their data field is set up as a full name field. There is no clean way to segment out Mr. Glenn Smith vs. Glenn Smith versus F. Glenn Smith.”

Rosanne Kirn, who works on Miller’s team, says another common problem occurs with the company field name. If a data entry person has put Sudsy Soap LLC in the company name but the client wants the marketing piece to mail to Sudsy Soap, you have an immediate problem.

The solution is to build an extra field and name it “Pretty Company Name” or “Variable Company Name” and key in the name of the company without all the window dressing of LLC, Inc, etc.

Don’t Send Unneeded Fields in Your File

Variable data projects can quickly come to a screeching halt if too much data is sent – enough to crash a system.

Miller and Kirn once dealt with more than one million data records from a local retailer. This isn’t a huge number of records until you multiply that by the number of fields, (over 1,000 in this case) attached to that record. Then things can get ugly quick.

Miller recommends reviewing your file and only sending the data fields that are needed to produce the marketing piece. This will keep the tab delimited, .CSV, or .TXT file size manageable and prevent unnecessary delays in your project.

Why Sensory Marketing is Irresistibly Effective

sensory marketingOmniture Business Unit at Adobe pushed the sensory envelope when it mailed prospects a pie chart made out of three types of chocolate (milk, dark, and white) to drive home a point and to give them something to chew on – literally. (Adobe enjoyed an 11.6% response rate and 289% response rate. Source: Deliver Magazine, December 2010)

How many times have you stopped to smell the scratch-n-sniff ads in women’s magazines? Research in How Magazine Advertising Works shows product sample ads raise product awareness by 42% and prospects are 56% more likely to buy the cologne based on the sensory experience.

This double digit sales lift based on smell isn’t surprising according to author Martin Lindstrom’s book “Brand Sense.” According to Lindstrom 75% of our emotions are generated by what we smell.

Can the sound of music push a recording artist into a higher bracket of record sales? Yes, according to Famecount.com, Lady Gaga holds the record with over one billion YouTube views. Gaga is the most popular living person on both Facebook and Twitter.

 

How Are You Igniting Prospect Senses?

Are you relying solely on pretty images to break through the gatekeepers and get your message into the hands of the C-Suite, consumers or small business owners? In today’s competitive world, it’s going to take more than a glossy stock image to crack that door.

Get the door to swing wide open by using variable data printing (VDP) to pull images and graphs into your marketing piece that speak directly to your prospects. People respond to images or people that appeal to or look like them. Like attracts like, so it makes good strategic sense to include photographs of people who look like your prospects or like your prospects want to look after using your product or service.

Thanks to emerging technology, companies can now blend smell, sound, video, tactic and distinctive touch into their direct mail campaigns, according to Good Sense: A case study by Deliver Magazine.

 

Taste Strips Take Samples Beyond the Supermarket

When a soft drink manufacturer wanted to learn just how popular one of its most popular sodas could be, it mailed a survey to 5,000 customers with a flavor strip of the drink. Of the 1,650 who responded, 76% told the manufacturer that they would very likely be buying the product in the next week. (Source: First Flavor, a suburban Philadelphia firm)

Getting people to try your product by sending samples or getting them to try a sample is nothing new. You’ve probably been asked to sample some cheese and crackers in the store or a small tube of toothpaste inserted in your Sunday newspaper.  Product samples convert. Consider these stats:

  • 81% say they would try a product after they receive a free sample.
  • 61% say a product sample is the most effective way to get them to try a product.
  • 65% say they would prefer to have samples mailed to their home.
  • 89% say that an accompanying coupon would increase the perceived value of the mailed item.

Source: Arbitron and Edison Media Research

 

4 Ways to Maximize Sensory Engagement with Mail

According to Postal Service advertising expert Chris Frazier, engaging customers’ senses is the surest way to get them to stay longer and buy more. Frazier goes on to say companies miss the mark if they design direct mail campaigns that are only built around visuals.  Here are the four ways to stimulate more response through sensory marketing.

Give Them a Whiff. Freshly cut grass, coffee, strawberries or chocolate are engaging and memorable when sent through scented coatings, scented papers or scratch-n-sniff labels. Car dealerships can infuse the scent of a new car into their mailings and spas can use the scent of lavender in their mailings to reinforce the relaxation they provide as a benefit.

Give Them a Taste. Flavor strips are a much more affordable way to give your prospects a sample, rather than having to send an entire food or beverage sample. “A bed and breakfast that mails a maple flavored sample will not only bring an experience into the home, but will likely gain an edge over its competition,” says Frazier.

Make the Feel Unforgettable. Not every direct mail piece should be flat and smooth. One of the reasons direct mail works is because it is tactile. Companies that use varnishes, coatings and textured paper-or include sample pieces of sweaters or denim-win.

Use Video. Not only can your multi-channel campaign drive prospects to a micro-site that includes an embedded video or URL to a video, you can include wafer-thin video on your direct mail piece, too, according to Frazier. The greater the interaction, the greater the response rate.

Is Your Business Card Making the Right Impression?

Card on Fire for Blog 250x187 Is Your Business Card Making the Right Impression?

If you haven’t read Sabine Lenz’s Printing Impression guest post, “These Business Cards Are Crap,” read it now because she’s created quite a stir. Lenz is the founder of PaperSpecs.com and doesn’t mince words about the cheap, flimsy stock, off center cards she collects every time she networks.

She rightfully asks where is the quality, the beauty and the usability of cards that are UV coated on both sides, so she can’t jot notes after meeting someone. Perhaps because it’s her business to sell paper, she says she’d like to see the use of extra thick paper stock, foil stamping, unusually-sized designs, and cards with an additional fold – perhaps that touts in 10-words what the company does best.

 

Digital Haze or Just Plain Lazy?

Has social media made us go soft by not having a nice card to present our best foot forward? Are we overly considered about our Linked In page and choosing the right Facebook cover photo?

I have certainly left meetings too many times to count where professionals didn’t have cards at all – a cardinal sin just five years ago. Sure we can bump our smart phones together and share contact info or email VCards, but the tactile experience of receiving a card, looking at the name, making a visual connection between your mind, the giver’s company and the person himself is lost. We learn and remember through touch and spending a moment experiencing the interaction.

 

Bad Business Cards

So let’s not overlook the business card interaction.  This is your chance to dazzle them or bore them to death.  For example, take a look at the six cards I quickly pulled off my desk. The three on the left side underscore Lenz’s crap rant.

There is too much information on the first card. It’s not a brochure, it’s a business card. The second “bad” card has unreadable mice type on it – stick to 8 picas or large not under 6, please. The third “bad” business card is lackluster. My guess is it was designed by the doctors and not by a professional graphic designer.

 

Good Business Cards

Now take a look at the cards on the right, which show great thought, design, a QR Code®, unusual sizing, thick paper stock, color washes on the back with no UV coating so you can write notes and an overall look and feel, so you leave with an impression about the business and the individual.  These three good business cards even show off some creativity with their titles:  Director of Awesomeness, ROI Generator, and Creator.

So put it on your calendar to review your business card this month. Does it need a re-design? Do you need to add your Facebook page, Twitter handle, a QR Code or blog address?  Don’t be caught in a digital haze by ignoring what could be your best ally – your finely dressed business card.

QR Code is a registered trademark of Denso Wave.