Security in print is a big subject and not something to be casual about. How do you minimise the risk of someone trying to rip you off, is a question that should be high on your list when thinking about vouchers, payslip mailers, tickets, visitor passes and more?
In this article, we will talk mainly about security print that can cost you money either directly or through theft, if copying or counterfeiting is easy to do.
Technology the Double-Edged Sword of Security Print
As technology advances, we come up with ever more creative ways of making it more difficult to counterfeit and then comes the other side where technology makes it easier to copy.
It started with the copying or Xerox copier, where knowing that printing a red background made any copy come out black, as the Xerox machine saw red as black, helped to make your voucher more secure. Today adding technology that can store data or introducing holograms can all make it more difficult to copy, but as the cost of producing this comes down it still opens the doors counterfeiting and so we have the double-edged sword.
Counter the counterfeiters
Only issuing the cards or vouchers at source helps safeguard the user, so you buy a gift card for someone at the business where it will be used, where a unique number identifies the card or voucher and ensures it can only be used the once.
Personalisation is ever increasingly used and makes it much more difficult for the counterfeiter. Personalisation also helps generate more sales and build relationships with the customers and technology is moving us further along this path as the cost and ability to do this in ever more innovative ways increases, so tapping into this with your vouchers, cards and any other printed matter can help you win even more business and build stronger relationships with your customers.
Ensure Your Staff are Your Staff at Events
Of course, with the many situations that have occurred in recent times, security has become very high profile and checking any incoming people should be high on the list of points that need to be considered.
One area, that can easily be underestimated, is that internal badges enable someone to enter an area, where theft can be carried out.
Sometimes simple solutions can be best, such as, having badges that are pre-printed with a combination of high-quality fine printed images and foil or holographs can make it both easy for someone to spot a counterfeit badge as well as make it difficult to copy should be considered where the potential loss is high.
Cards of today can include electronic security features for additional security, but it should always be remembered that these security features are unseen, so will not be apparent to the human eye.
Most companies that do this sort of thing on a regular basis will take these points in their stride, but if you’re new to events, then you need to look at this aspect very seriously.
If you’re running events, then this is a document issued by the Home Office that you need to read.
Personalised Personalised Personalised!
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last few years, you’ll know that personalisation has become the order of the day, whether online or offline.
If you want to talk to someone and you call out “Hey You”, you’re not likely to get an optimum response, but once you’ve established a relationship with someone you can use their name and we all know if you speak to someone by name, you gain improved engagement with your company.
Ensuring your printed matter is only used by the person it’s been allocated to or is only used once, has become easier as technology makes personalisation, not only simpler but more cost-effective.
A database of names and customer details can easily be used to create personalised vouchers, tickets, badges and material where you want to cross your audience from offline to online. By sending them something personal in the post, that they activate online, you build a stronger and more personal relationship, as well as reduce the chance of any counterfeiting, because they are not in your database.
When You Want People to Copy
Sometimes, you want people to share your voucher, as it just wins you more customers. In this instance, you want to make it easy for people to share, so you might send to known good customers, multiple vouchers and ask them to share, telling them they’ll win additional discount as friends use the vouchers. Counterfeiters won’t be interested if there’s nothing in it for them.
Print is No Longer Just Print
The first thing to know – print is far from dead. Digital ads are passing eyeballs and never being remembered. Give someone physical printed matter and you’ll get more attention and if you consider some of the above ideas in making it personal you’ll see improved engagement. Another aspect of printed matter – it helps build trust because it’s something physical.
Printed matter can now bring together different technologies and if you’re not already doing so you need to re-look at print as we’re seeing a swing away from digital back to print, where the two are being combined to work together.