We received a beautifully addressed holiday card from a vendor last week, and I was totally blown away when I heard a machine holding a pen had addressed it. The writing looks like a person created it, and even has variation in the letters, unlike standard print typefaces. The system can write notes, signatures, and just about anything else as well, you can see a quick clip of it in action here.
When did you last receive a hand written anything? In today’s uniformly printed society, the small human touches we receive mean more because they are much less frequent. As a result, they make a much bigger impression on us, we pay better attention to them, and this provides marketers an opportunity to make a real impact. Having a recipient feel like a person rather than a record creates a bond with target audiences, whether from showing appreciation such as thanking a customer for a purchase or requesting an action such as calling for an appointment. And that is an excellent reason to evaluate how you can add a personal touch to your marketing.
Hand addressing, whether by person or machine, is just one way to stand out. Variable data lets you add personalized information to print or e-mail materials (I get reminders from my vet with my pet’s name and photo on them), a personalized URL, or pURL, can help you deliver tailored information in an individualized website, and the list goes on. Using a personal touch, for both current clients and when soliciting for new business, yields positive results, which is something we should all look forward to in 2012.