A Real Person Didn’t Write This? Who Knew? (The Digital Nirvana)

One of the most active online discussions I’ve ever been involved in involved real handwriting versus handwriting fonts for personalizing and addressing envelopes. Does one make a difference over the other? Both raise response rates, but is real handwriting worth the cost? Or will handwriting fonts do just as well?

Along with that discussion was a handful of tips for making letters seem truly more personal, such as using real stamps rather than metered mail, ensuring that the barcode was at the bottom of the letter rather than at the top, and so on, so that the impression of real handwriting isn’t undermined by these other “tells.”

Bad Personalization

After having been deeply engaged in this discussion over the past few weeks, I found it interesting when one of these handwriting font envelopes arrived in my mailbox yesterday.

Let’s count the ways the advertiser messed this up (name and logo have been blurred out).

  • Hideous design
  • Envelopes clearly bulk pre-printed
  • Cheap, non-realistic handwriting font
  • Barcode over the address rather than below
  • But hey, they used a real stamp!

Sorry guys, but the real stamp doesn’t make up for the brain-jarring design and the tells screaming, “This isn’t really personalized at all!”

When using handwriting fonts with your clients, do you look at the use of the font in light of the larger design? If the design undermines the intent of the font, do you speak up? How do clients respond?

Read the full article here: http://thedigitalnirvana.com/2013/04/a-real-person-didnt-write-this-who-knew/

About the author: Heidi Tolliver-Walker is an industry analyst specializing in digital, one-to-one, personalized URL, and Web-to-print applications. Her Marketer’s Primer Series, availalbe through Digital Printing Reports, includes “Digital Printing: Transforming Business and Marketing Models,” 1:1 (Personalized) Printing: Boosting Profits Through Relevance,” “Personalized URLs: Beyond the Hype,” and “Web-to-Print: Transforming Document Management and Marketing.”

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