What client wanted:
The client wanted to be able to send out personalized thank you cards to customers he had recently converted to thank them for their business. This allowed the client to add a nice personal touch to a routine part of the sales cycle.
With this project, the pre-press construction of the piece is what really sets it apart from other thank you cards. Before we could structure the thank you card, we had our client fill out a handwriting template so that we could create their handwritten font.
Once we had the client’s handwritten font(s), the next step was determining how the body copy would read. After some back and forth with the client, we were able to come up with some a strong thank you message.
The next step was to add some effects to the text to further the handwritten appearance. We’ve created some InDesign scripts to help with this part – the first jogs the baseline of the text (really, who can write in a straight line?).
The second randomizes the font (if the client chose to supply more than one font) so that all of the characters don’t look exactly alike. As an example – the n varies from lowercase to uppercase. The more times the client fills out the handwriting template, the better chance of the font appearing handwritten.
The last randomizes the color of the text by changing some characters from black to a very dark gray (this is meant to simulate pressure). The shift is so small that it’s almost impossible to notice.
In addition to these scripts, we shift the text boxes so that the initial baseline isn’t perfectly straight either. This creates a more realistic handwritten note than most of what’s out there by addressing some of the “tells” when deciphering whether a font is handwritten or printed.
There are two elements to production of the thank you cards. The first is the card itself, which prints two sides on our digital machine – the outside of the card and the variable copy on the inside.
The card is then scored on the letterpress, and folded.
The envelopes are printed with static information on the back and the variable address is printed on the front with the handwritten font.
Once both pieces are completed the cards are inserted into the envelopes, stamps applied, and the pieces are mailed.
Benefits for client:
- Personalization: Featuring the client’s own handwriting and communication style, these thank you cards provide a personalized connection with recipients. This added measure allows for increased customer satisfaction and has the potential to yield more business, whether it’s through higher conversion or referrals.
- Efficiency: In an ideal world, most people would like to send thoughtful thank you cards to their clients. However, for many, there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Through our Thank You Card program, the client was able to give their customers the attention they deserve without taking hours from the day. After a one-time effort to create their customized font and the message they wanted to send, we handled everything.
- Scalability: It may be cliché, but the possibilities are endless! Once we have a handwritten font (or fonts) on file, we can scale this project to many different applications, from handwritten letters, personalized holiday cards, postcards – the list goes on and on. And it’s not simply a matter of new pieces, either. Because the piece is completely variable, the personalization of the piece can continue to grow. For example, the client can make notes unique to each customer that can then be plugged in to the copy. If the customer has children, for example, “Hope Chance and Kristina are doing well!”