Direct Mail Technology: Real Hand Written Fonts

By: Andrew Glover
September 13, 2018

Direct mail strategies have continued to change and evolve. Organizations want their marketing endeavors to be successful and efficient. The targeted audience continues to develop which is why marketing goals need to grow with the change. When people check their mail, they are more likely to open a letter that is handwritten instead of computer generated. There’s an element of a handwritten address that appeals to people. Handwritten messages feel more personal than a typed response. The written aspect makes it feel like the sender went above and beyond to personalize their greeting and message.

With the introduction of MyFont technology, marketers can now mimic handwritten notes in never before seen ways.

What are MyFont Handwritten Fonts from Valtim?

MyFont is a new technology that allows organizations to personalize their direct mail with real hand written fonts. MyFont is specifically used by mail inserters equipped with special high-speed ink-jet heads and software, which personalize the outside of an envelope or postcard with a custom font that mimics human handwriting. What differentiates MyFont from other font applications is that in addition to using a hand written font style, the software will randomly select 1 of 4 characters for each letter and change out that letter based on the surrounding contextual information. This gives the font a more realistic appearance by highlighting the subtleties in the different ways the same person can write the same letter.

The process starts with the sending organization either selecting a pre-created font type, or choosing to create their own font using their own handwriting. If the marketer wishes to create their own font, it involves writing the alphabet four times in a special template that is provided to the marketing agency. Once the font has either been selected or created the mail house or marketing agency will then incorporate that font into the mail piece design the same way that graphic artists work with other font files. At the time of inserting the specially designed ink-jet heads and software recognize the MyFont as a variable font type, and will start its randomization engine. Each character printed will then be randomly selected and changed on the fly.

MyFont Example
MyFont Example – Click to enlarge

Why Choose MyFont Handwritten Fonts?

Most people ignore emails that appear to be mass generated. Likewise receiving physical mail that seems mass-produced and impersonal has the same response. Often these generic letters and envelopes are quickly identified as “junk mail” and tend to be forgotten or thrown away without a second thought. MyFont can help avoid that reaction by looking genuine and personal and allow your organization’s mission to be viewed more often. Every organization wants their message to reach the right audience and receive responses from their audience.

Mail only works if the letter is noticed by the recipient. A personalized address and/or note will grab an individual’s attention. The handwritten will intrigue the receiver. The intrigue will allow your mail to be noticed and opened. The goal of all marketing campaigns is to grab the attention of the receivers. The last thing an organization wants is for direct mail receivers to toss out their mail without opening the message. Using an application like MyFont helps achieve an organization’s marketing goals by adding the opportunity to personalize direct mail.

MyFont is Affordable

MyFont is an affordable option. Up until now, organizations have had two options for handwritten addressing. The first was for the organization to hire individuals to hand write addresses manually. This tends to be not only slow, but extremely expensive. Additionally this manual method also generated more waste, and had large quality control issues. These rates could be anywhere from $.25 / piece up to $0.75 per piece depending on the complexity, and whether the organization did the addressing “in house’ or used a marketing firm’s services.

More recently marketers have worked with vendors who own “plotting machines” (some times branded as “real pen” machines). These machines use mechanical actuators to manipulate the pen across the envelope or paper. Unfortunately, while faster and more accurate than the manual method, this processes is still to slow for bulk mail applications. Furthermore depending on the vendor the message could only be personalized, instead of individualized. We have seen rates between $0.15 and $0.50 per piece using this method depending on volume and complexity.

MyFont is exceptionally easier, faster, and more cost effective than hiring individual people to write every piece of mail, or using limited plotting machines. Prices range between $0.02 and $0.05 each piece! Additionally because the technology is digital, variable messaging can be uses for a truly individualized mail piece that is sure to stand out!

MyFont Handwritten Fonts Increase Response Rates

Handwritten addresses have proven to provide an increase to response rates. Marketing materials are looked at more often when they appear handwritten. Since the materials are more readily received, the response rates are dramatically increased compared to computer typed materials.

Valtim and MyFont

Nothing says “personal” like a hand-addressed letter. With Valtim’s new “MyFont” application, you can use in-line print heads on our inserting machines to create a truly realistic handwritten font almost indistinguishable from the real thing. Give us a call, and we’ll help level up your next direct mail campaign.

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