Why Embossed Cards are Still Relevant in a Digital World

by admin

Embossed plastic cards have been around since the 1961, when Diners Club International decided to switch from using a cardboard “credit card” to a plastic card.  Today, 55 years later, embossed cards are still a part of our lives.  Sure, many bank cards (VISA, MC, etc.) are now using more modern print techniques, such as DOD inkjet printing, however, there is still a place in our culture for embossed cards – – and they are being used more than you may think.

Embossed cards

So, why is Embossing Still Relevant?

One word (or two) – direct mail.  After years of using digital advertising, marketers are now realizing that using this medium alone is not as effective as it once was.  For instance, response rates for direct mail vs. email are substantially better (3.7% vs. .62%) and email response rates have plummeted by 57% since 2004. The problem? Digital clutter. On average, U.S. consumers receive around 100 emails each day.  On top of that, they are bombarded by online and mobile advertising daily.  Messages get lost, emails get deleted (or sent directly to the spam folder) and a substantial amount of digital advertising goes unnoticed.  Knowing this, marketers have shifted strategies to an omnichannel approach – one which incorporates both digital and traditional marketing tactics, including direct mail.  In fact, direct mail has seen a resurgence over the last several years.  A study by International Communications Research found that 73% of consumers actually prefer direct mail over other advertising methods.  And the most digitally-integrated generation, the millennials, feel that the direct mail they receive is valuable – 92% of them say direct mail influences their buying decisions.

With stats like this, marketers have upped their direct mail spend and, to drive lift, they are including embossed cards as part of the package.

How Embossed Cards Can Help with Direct Mail Lift

Embossed cards can help improve lift and increase response rates in a number of ways:

  • It increases the perceived value of the direct mail piece.  The feel of a plastic card inside an envelope entices the consumer to open it because it may be an important business correspondence.
  • Serves as a teaser.  A plastic card peeking through the edge of the envelope window makes the recipient aware that there is something of importance inside – a bank card or maybe a membership card. They won’t know until they open it!
  • Improves engagement.  An embossed card that is personalized helps to improve engagement with the recipient. In an InfoTrends Future of Direct Mail study, 56% of consumers prefer personalized direct mail.
  • Helps recruit members.  An embossed card with the recipient’s name can help the prospect visualize what their actual membership card will look like, if they choose to join.

Embossed cards have been a part of our lives for a long time – for some people, their whole life.  They have etched a place in our society and will not easily go away and will, most likely, stay with us for many more years.


Can CPS Cards help with your embossing needs? Contact us or call 888.817.8121 to request a free quote.

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