People are hardwired to lend feelings of loyalty and trust to other human beings, not to processes, technologies or even well-known corporate logos.

As a marketer in the financial services industry, you might be think: “But I never meet a vast majority of my cardholders face-to-face. When they call my service center, it’s usually to discuss a crisis regarding lost cards, stolen cards, fraudulent charges, or declined transactions. How do I make a brand-building human connection with my cardholders? And how can I make it compelling enough that it drives up card usage and long-term loyalty?”

To improve metrics with existing cardholders, leverage the main branding platforms you already have in place — your cards and your mailings.

Imagine you are a cardholder and you receive a credit or debit card featuring a full-color image of your favorite vacation spot or picture of your family pet or a photo of your kids (or grandkids). Every time you remove that card from your wallet or purse, you probably can’t help to think — consciously or subconsciously — “this company knows me.”

The same holds true for a card mailing. Again, put yourself in the cardholder’s shoes and imagine opening a mailing that speaks directly to you. Depending on your financial circumstances and stage of life, the messaging may talk about how this card — and other financial services from your issuing bank — can help you achieve your goals. For some, it may be building credit for the first time, buying a car, saving money or finding and furnishing a home. For others, the messaging can speak to building a family, acquiring vacation property, rebuilding credit or planning for retirement.

Entrust Datacard offers technology that makes it easy and economical to print highly personalized cards, card labels and card carrier packages. The impact of these technologies on current cardholder bases has been compelling — and measurable.

Research shows that printing personalized images and text has a proven impact on the bottom line: activation rates improve by 54% and transaction volumes grow 15-20%. Adding personalization also increases customer retention, which in turn drives revenue. For example, a 5% increase in customer retention produces more than a 25% increase in profit.

Card and card carrier personalization are all examples of how you can bring the human side of your brand to life and establish deeper connections with your cardholders. It’s golden real estate to capture cardholder attention. Read more about why personalization matters here >>.

Of course, there is also a long list of practical reasons for improved card program metrics. For example, printing personalized offers and activation incentives on labels creates a connection with cardholders instantly. A surprising 40% of people who receive cards never activate them. Custom messaging affixed directly to the card is likely to overcome at least some of those activation barriers.

One final thought about printing highly personalized cards, labels and card carriers — it’s easy and economical. Chances are your bureau operations are built around Entrust Datacard issuance systems. A vast majority of the world’s financial cards are personalized and packaged using our systems. The digital printing technologies we’ve developed to enable this kind of personalization of cards, labels and card carriers will extend your marketing right into your customers’ fingertips.

Learn more about our print-on demand technologies here. >>

Dan Good

Dan Good is the vice president of bureau solutions at Entrust Datacard. He has more than 30 years of experience in product marketing, R&D and business incubation. Before joining Entrust Datacard, Good held senior leadership positions at CyberOptics, Storage Genetics, Seagate Technology, Western Digital and IBM. He received his Master of Science from University of Minnesota’s Management of Technology program and holds a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from North Dakota State University.