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Small Business Digest


Creating Highly Personalized Marketing Pieces Leads To Better Marketing

Conventional personalized marketing pieces have become impersonal.

When’s the last time people received a direct mailer with their name on it that felt personal? Or, how about the branded pens, coffee mugs and other trinkets that are personalized to the company trying to sell something -- not to the person receiving it?
Thanks to the technological advances brought about by digital label printing, it’s now possible to personalize items that a recipient will value, without spending a fortune. Personal value -- when communicated to the customer through a meaningful gesture -- is a message much more likely to garner business for the company than a generic statement.
Imagine getting an elegant bottle of wine or tin of cookies with a personalized label that says, "Created with care for [name of recipient] from [name of company]." That's going to have much more impact than the standard item accompanied by a card. It becomes something to display on one’s desk, not just consume. And, of course, the company’s brand is also prominent, reminding the prospect of the thoughtfulness.
To get started, just develop a prospect list, contact the seller of an item you want to buy, and locate a printer that can deliver personalized digital labels. To find printers, ask the item seller for recommendations and/or type "digital label printing" in a search engine.
Besides pricing and timeframes, make sure the prospective printer has experience working with personalized product labels and can offer quick turnaround regardless of workload. Also, request a press proof to see exactly what the finished order will look like before okaying the print run. 
For a reasonable cost, a company can develop a very eye-catching, artfully designed label with each recipient’s name, branded to the company, and complete the fulfillment process through delivery.
State-of the-art digital printing enables one-on-one personalization in quantities of hundreds up to thousands. Companies can even do "limited edition" labeling (e.g., 1 of 500, 2 of 500, and so forth) to make the product more individualized and special. Print quality is even better than traditional label printing.
Unlike traditional printing presses where plates and inks are loaded before any labels are printed, a time-consuming and rigid process that produces roll after roll of identical labels, digital label printing requires no plates and every label potentially can be different.
Because digital label printing allows economical customization of every label, companies could design label images or icons to reflect the prospect’s location or type of business as well as provide a personal recipient message.
And digital printing carries no hefty upfront production charge -- as does offset printing -- so companies could do a pilot personalized program in just about any quantity. Per-unit costs are very reasonable in quantities of 250 on up. Based on positive results, they could then do subsequent rounds without paying a premium.
Want to save money and expand reach at the same time? Partner with a promotionally-minded product manufacturer looking to expand its market cost-effectively -- possibly an up-and-coming winery or coffee supplier. By combining forces -- and sharing costs -- they could develop a personalized prospecting program that brands both companies.
With or without a strategic partner, companies can keep costs under control. Say they want to target 500 prospects with their own "private label" wine or hot sauce. Figure $12 for the wine, $6 for shipping and only about 95 cents for a personalized label -- the turnkey package costs in the neighborhood of $18.95.
For hot sauce, plan on a turnkey cost of $10.70 -- $6 product, $4 shipping, 70 cents digital label printing.
If companies are seeking novel, meaningful ways to impact prospects this New Year, they can stop scratching their head and start clicking their mouse on digital label printing.

Article by Peter Renton, founder of Lightning Labels, Inc. For more information, visit

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