Card Embossing: More Than Meets the Eye
At CPS Cards we do a lot of embossing work. In fact, we have the highest embossing capacity in the country between our two facilities and, not to toot our own horn, but we have developed a reputation for being one of the best. Toot! Toot! So our team understands how to personalize cards the right way. They know what to look for, how to troubleshoot and how to produce a quality product. Unfortunately, not every card manufacturer or personalization bureau does. So, to help you select an experienced card provider, we’ve put together a few tips to help!
Embossed credit cards have been around for decades, so it would be natural to think that every card vendor offers embossing. Not true. Many companies have shifted to other forms of card personalization and some vendors only offer secure card (VISA, MasterCard, etc.) products, so if you are looking to include a card in your direct mail marketing, the number of experienced card vendors greatly reduces. So, our first tip is:
Look for a vendor that has experience with “cards in the mail.”
Most embossed card work today is for non-secure “cards in the mail.” You’ll want to select a company that is experienced in this type of direct mail/solicitation program – one that can emboss the cards, match and attach the cards to a letter carrier, and then insert the piece into an envelope. Some companies can do this in one pass, which means less room for error and a faster turn time.
Using a card, especially an embossed one, in your direct mail piece will help boost lift. The feel of a 30mil (credit card thickness) card will be perceived as an important correspondence and quickly get your envelope opened.
Ask for Recommendations.
If you work with marketing agencies, commercial printers or direct mail companies, ask if they know any reputable card printers. We work with a number of channel partners, and have done so for a number of years. More than likely, these types of companies have worked with more than one card vendor, so they can steer you towards on that will meet your specific needs.
Ask for Samples
Before working with any card printers, ask for samples. Card samples will allow you to see the types of customers the vendor typically works with, the quality of their product and possibly provide you with some creative ideas.
In the samples below, you can see that the first card has inferior embossing, as the numbers jump up and down across the line, whereas the second card displays superior embossing in which the numbers line up perfectly straight. A quality card printing will have quality control checks in place to prevent such issues.
Ask About Their Quality Control Process
More goes into personalizing cards than meets the eye. A good card vendor will have controls in place to prevent any mismatching of personalized cards to personalized carriers. How embarrassing would it be for your prospect to receive a card with someone else’s name on it? Ask your vendor about the safeguards that they have established to prevent this type of error.
Look for a Reputation of Great Customer Service
Nobody wants to be “just a number.” Do your research and find vendors that have a great rep when it comes to customer service. Here at CPS, we assign each client a customer account manager that stays with them for the life of their program. This allows our customers to have an advocate on their side – someone to guide them through the entire process and help them make cost and time efficient decisions in producing their cards.
Although card embossing is a long-standing personalization technique, it requires knowledge and expertise to get it just right. As direct mail begins to gain in popularity again, particularly with millennials, we can expect to see a resurgence in the use of embossed cards in the mail. Who will you choose to get your program right?