Monthly Archives: January 2017

Loyalty Cards – Why do you need them?


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Why get Loyalty Cards Printed?

Most of the major retailers in this country operate a loyalty scheme. Typically, this involves the customer signing up for a loyalty card. This is usually done by giving a certain amount of personal information to the retailer in question in exchange for the card.

Loyalty cards with companies both large (national or international) and small (as small as your local corner shop or even plumber!) are using loyalty cards as a way to both increase profits and customer loyalty/retention. They also find that they are more inclined to recommend a company to their friends or family if they operate a loyalty card scheme.

Having received the loyalty card, the customer can either take advantage of discounted prices, special offer or exclusive details on items in the shop or they can build up ‘reward points’ through their spending. When a certain number of reward points have been acquired, they can be exchanged for the goods or vouchers.

There are two benefits for retailers. Firstly, it encourages the customer to return to their shop in search of discounts or reward points. Secondly, the data recorded through the use of the card can give an insight into customer buying habits, telling the retailer what products are popular with what customers.

You might think that these loyalty card schemes are limited to major retailers, but that’s not the case. Loyalty card printing is available for everyone. Cards can be made in relatively small numbers with signature panels and account numbers on them. They can also be produced with magnetic strips for use with swipe card readers or even with bar codes.

Have a look through your own purse or wallet and see how many different loyalty cards you have, you may be surprises!

If you feel your business could benefit from a loyalty card scheme, get some printed today.

more details on loyalty card printing

loyalty cards

Plastic Card Printing and their uses


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Plastic Cards

Over the last few weeks we have been receiving more requests for smaller quantities of plastic cards (around 100 or less).

This is because lots of smaller companies are looking to implement loyalty card schemes. This is to assist them in these difficult financial times to win customers.

plastic card printing

more details on plastic cards and their uses

Loyalty Cards

Some of the loyalty cards are very simple. They sometimes say nothing more than 10% discount when shown at time of purchase. It just goes to show that you don’t necessarily need a barcode or magnetic strip card type system for it to be successful.

plastic loyalty cards

Plastic Business Cards

We have found an increase in plastic business cards sales over the last few weeks. This is despite the current economic climate. A lot of the current card sales have been for loyalty cards. This is an attempt from our customers are hoping to gain more increased customer loyalty in these difficult financial times.

membership cards

Loyalty cards can reward loyal customers. At the moment customers will be less likely to spend what money they have unless special offers or discounts are available. Without a loyalty card incentive the customer, especially within the current economic climate will shop around more for a better deal.

On 1st January 2009 plastic cards will assist people in the Manchester Area with weight loss. Residents who goto keep-fit classes or weight loss clubs or go for a jog in the local park will be eligible to receive rewards. The rewards will be given as points added to a plastic loyalty card. Similar to a plastic video store card or a supermarket loyalty card. The points can then be redeemed against healthy food, sports equipment or sessions in a gym. If the scheme is successful in Manchester it will be extended across the UK. Even walking children to the bus stop or train station is awarded with points.

In this present climate of carbon awareness, it is all too easy to overlook the green credentials of the plastic card. It would be easy to consider that plastic as a product degrades slowly and should therefore be avoided, but no, that is not so with plastic cards.

The initial use for the card is to pass on information. A simple messenger fulfils it’s duty as hired, then what? A plastic card will carry it’s message through rain and snow without losing meaning. A plastic card is durable and long lasting. A plastic card impresses when the message is delivered.

Once the initial purpose of a plastic card is done, what next? The possibilities for using discarded plastic cards are endless. It is only limited by the imagination. As a simple applicator of wall filler, plastic cards are ideal, with their size, smooth edges and flexibility combining to produce an extremely useful tool.

black plastic business cards with metallic foiling

Consideration of further uses for plastic cards will appear later.

Feel free to contribute your own ideas for plastic cards and sticky back plastic tape.

With plastic cards, especially loyalty and membership cards becoming increasing popular, companies are ordering thinner (420 microns thick) plastic cards so their customer can more easily carry them in their wallets.

The thinner plastic cards are just as durable as the thicker 760 or 680 microns thick plastic cards. However they are around the same thickness as a good quality normal card based business card.
The only downside the the thinner cards is it is not possible to emboss or to add a magnetic strip to the 420 microns thick cards.

Unfortunately for our frosted translucent clear plastic cards which are foiled printed with metallic foils, we are unable to apply magnetic strips or emboss the cards.

frosted translucent clear plastic business cards

We are looking to increase our range of products to assist customers who are looking for loyalty cards. This will include barcode systems, specifically ones which will help people with members to keep a track of activity. This includes payment history, renewals and identification by swiping the loyalty card

We are in the very early stages of looking in to the options available. Additional to this different equipment will be needed. As we would like the software and hardware to be as easy as possible to use and set up.

more details on loyalty cards

The advantage of a implementing a barcode system include:

Keeping track of customer activity.

Ensuring all of the customer’s data is located in one central location.

Exporting the information which may help with mailings.

Payment information – who has paid there subscription and who hasn’t paid.

Ex-members database to allow special offer targeting for customers.

Identification of different membership categories and types.

Watch this space for more information!

loyalty cards

Matt Black Plastic Cards


plastic cards special offer

Dazzle prospective customers with matt black plastic business cards.

Metallic Gold foil can be printed on our matt black plastic cards them which shines and gives great contrast to the matt black background. No other printing process can match metallic foiled plastic cards.

In the present economic climate you need extra help to stand out from the crowd. When you attend that breakfast meeting and hand out your lavishly crafted plastic card who could fail to be impressed? You won’t just stand out from the crowd, you will tower head and shoulders above it.

The exceptionally high quality of your plastic card will reflect the quality of your own product or service, drawing customers towards you like ball bearings to a neodymium magnet.
Contact us today and let us help you to succeed where others are falling to make the right impression.

more details on matt black plastic cards

Matt Black Plastic Card Printing

We can suggest combinations of plastic card and printed foil which best reflects your business and which will undoubtedly help you to be remembered.

Browse our website for an insight into how effective Gold foiled plastic cards appear.

matt black plastic business cards

various matt black plastic cards

Nice to make people happy with plastic cards


plastic cards special offer

Fast Turnaround for plastic cards

Hi All,

A customer emailed the other day about an order for plastic cards. Their email was received on a Wednesday.

Good afternoon,

I phoned earlier this afternoon to make enquiries on my plastic cards order status.
What cost would be incurred if I required the cards in advance of Friday if at all possible?

The reason I ask is that my first photography exhibition starts tonight. It would really make a difference if I was in receipt of the business cards as soon as possible.

I appreciate your help in this matter.

Best regards

Brian

We managed to dispatch the order on Thursday for delivery Friday (no additional costs to the customer). Unfortunately not in advance of Friday as the customer ideally wanted. However, as we were not provided with a deadline when the order was placed I would like to think that we dispatched as promptly as we could.

We have not received an email from the customer yet to say thank you however I am sure it will come in due course.

Bye for now

more details on plastic cards

plastic cards

Plastic cards for epos systems and pos systems

Plastic Cards for EPOS Systems

plastic cards special offer

If you are after looking for plastic cards, loyalty cards or membership cards to be used with your EPOS system, contact us.

We can even replicate the design on your existing card, see our Free Artwork Service for details.

We produce plastic cards with magnetic strips, embossing, barcodes, sequential numbering etc.

Our plastic cards will make you stand out, we have lots of designs on our website that can give you inspiration and you can use our free design service to create your design based on one of them. Using our free design services we will work in partnership with you to create a plastic card that not only you can be proud of but also benefits your business.

Choose from a range of features that support your business processes such as magnetic strips that can be connected to your office systems and pull up information on the card holder when swiped. Or to further enhance your professional image you can include the embossing of words or numbers on the card.

more details on plastic cards for epos systems

Plastic cards with magnetic strips


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Plastic cards with magnetic strips

Plastic cards with magnetic strips / stripes

Below you will find lots of useful information on plastic cards with magnetic strips / stripes which include:

What are magnetic strips?

The advantages of magnetic strips

The disadvantages of magnetic strips

more details on plastic cards with magnetic strips


Plastic cards with magnetic strips

So, here is the first topic – what are magnetic strips?

To start of I think it is important to mention that we offer one product with magnetic strips. This is the full colour solid plastic 760 micron card. Plastic cards with magnetic strips are often used for loyalty and membership schemes. Often they are also used as business cards to make them look similar to a credit card.

Magnetic strips are usually positioned on the reverse of a plastic cards at the top. There are a few pictures/photos on our website should you wish to view a visual of this.

Magnetic strips are placed on the plastic cards in the form of magnetic tape. There are two different types of magnetic strip tape which we use. They are called High Coercivity (HICO) or Low Coercivity (LOCO). The Coercivity defines how strong the magnetic field is and how immune the data on the magnetic strip is to being damaged. This is quite a technical area so I will not dwell on it any further. Most of our customers tend to use a LOCO magnetic strip but if in doubt please check with the company who provided your magnetic strip reader. As a very very rough guide HICO magnetic strips are often black in colour where LOCO ones are brown, please be wary though as this is not always the case. Some magnetic strip readers can read both HICO & LOCO magnetic strips but again if unsure please check with your provider.

The magnetic strip itself has three tracks or lines within it. These tracks are used to record data otherwise known as encoding data. The different tracks can hold different information, this again depends on customer requirements but as a general rule:

Track 1: Alpha numeric (letters & numbers) max characters: 78

Track 2: Numeric max characters: 37

Track 3: Numeric max characters: 103

We can encode on to just one track or multiple tracks if required. Again, If in doubt, as usual, please check with your provider.

We can produce plastic cards with magnetic strips which are encoded or not encoded. The choice is down to individual customers needs. For example some customers ask us to encode a sequential number and they link this number to new members when they join. Other customer have the ability to encode the magnetic strips themselves. Just let us know what you require.

As with any data recoding system you will need a reader (magnetic strip reader in this case) and software to compliment it.

There are vast amounts of information surrounding magnetic strips available on the internet. however I hope that the above provide a basic overview.

As a bit of guidance and summary to this blog, I have put together a few questions regarding magnetic strips. These may be useful to ask customers if you are looking to supply magnetic strip cards / loyalty cards / membership cards for the first time:

1) Do you require a HICO or LOCO magnetic strips?

2) Do you require the magnetic strips to be encoded?

3) If encoding is required, please clarify which track the encoding needs to be on and whether any prefixes are required for your machinery to read/see the magnetic strip.

Plastic cards with magnetic strips


plastic card with magnetic strip

Plastic cards with magnetic strips are a well established and well used method of member identification hence there is a lot of information and support available.

Due to the availability of products the cost of magnetic strip equipment is relatively cost effective.

The data encoded onto the magnetic strip can be rewritten or modified (subject to you having the required equipment to do this)

Plastic cards with magnetic strips are not easily damaged with water or dirt.

The magnetic strips we produce are part of the plastic card and hence do not come off or away from the cards.

There are probably many more advantages but I just wanted to point out some of the mains ones. Hopefully this will be useful if you are considering the implementation of magnetic strips for a loyalty card or membership card. We can obviously incorporate magnetic strips on to any type of card for example some customer like to make their business cards look like credit cards.

The magnetic strips must be in close proximity to the reader to allow it to be read.

If the magnetic strip is placed near to a magnetic field the encoded data can be damaged.

Some people may consider that as the magnetic strips does not have a human readable element that this may be a disadvantage. Please note however with our cards, if we are encoding them for you we can print information on the other side of the cards for you. For example if you want a membership number encoded we can then include a member name on the other side. This can be embossed so a professional image is achieved. Just pop the require information in an excel file and we will work directly form this).

At the moment this is all I can come up with any more disadvantages! I am sure there are some more, so as always if you have any let me know and I will update the list!

Plastic cards barcodes


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Plastic cards barcodes

Information can be found below on plastic cards with barcodes. It will show both the advantages and disadvantages of barcodes as these are often used in conjunction with plastic cards (membership cards, loyalty cards, key cards etc).

Examples of benefits of a plastic cards with barcodes include storing relevant customer information to help with future membership offers or subscriptions. Generally understanding your customers and the prompting of when a customer needs to re-new membership subscriptions. There are lots and lots of benefits to installing a recording system/software package to monitor members.

Unfortunately I am unable to comment further at the moment on software packages. This is because this is quite an in-depth area. There are hundreds of packages on the market. I would suggest having a good search around the interest and contact a few companies to find out what is best for your company.

more details on plastic cards with barcodes

Barcode printing, plastic cards

A membership plastic card example which is numbered and has barcodes

We can offer barcodes on the following products:

Full colour solid plastic cards (760, 680 and 420 microns in thickness) measure 86mm x 54mm

Full colour solid plastic key cards measuring 24 x 54mm

Barcodes are often used for membership and loyalty schemes and help organization’s record important data regarding customers.

Now on to a little more technical information. Barcodes are made up of parallel lines. The barcode is made up of different numbers and/or letters (this is depicted by the customer but generally is a number, the number can be sequential or provided in an excel file from the customer). Please note that other variations of barcodes (such as barcodes hidden within illustrations) do exist. However for loyalty cards and membership cards we have found parallel lines to be the most effective and easy to use hence this is the option we offer.

Barcodes are scanned and read by optical scanners otherwise knows as barcode readers. The lines on the cards contain data which a machine can read. The barcode scanner can be handheld or it can be built into a counter like at a supermarket. A software package will usually be present which enables the scanned information/data to be sent to a computer. If for example the barcode is a number, this can be linked to a customer. Once scanned it will bring up the customers information when it is scanned or it could be a system where points are added each time it is used. The uses of barcodes are vast – too many to mention right now.

Barcodes can be placed on our plastic cards in any location and any size. Please bear in mind not to make the area for the barcode too small as your scanner may have trouble recognizing a very small barcode. Quite often we have found that a white box around the barcode area helps the scanner to identify it as a barcode. Obviously we produce postal proofs for any plastic cards ordered with a barcode, this enables you to test the barcode before we print your full order. We like to ensure our customers have peace of mind.

There are a number of different barcodes types/standards in use, examples include code39, code128A, EAN2, EAN5, CPC Binary, Telepen & MSI. Some of these barcode types are used for multiple products/organisations others are specific to certain industries or users. For example CPC Binary is used by the post office and Telepen is often used by Libraries. Here at Colour Plastic Cards we produce a number of barcode standards/types (list to follow).

I believe that most barcode scanners can read and scan a variety of standards/barcode types. However as already mentioned we do produce a postal proof (actual finished card) with barcode for testing before we print your full order. If in any doubt please check with the provider of your barcode scanner for the barcode standard you require. Also ask for any technical information such as optimal size etc.

membership cards magnetic strips and embossing

Barcodes on plastic cards

The barcode hardware is relatively cost effective and hence business friendly in the current economic climate.

There are numerous software packages available, you will be hard pressed not to find one which meets your needs.

Barcodes provide accurate identification of members as well as other information (mentioned in a previous blog in more details).

It takes very little time to scan a barcode hence saving time in the long run.

Possibly less chance of failure than other scanning/swiping methods as magnetic charges are not able to disable the actual barcode on the cards.

Our barcodes are positioned behind a plastic laminate e.g. within the plastic card, which means that will not come off/become scratched over time.

They are easy to identify on the plastic cards for the staff member to scan.

Barcodes are a relatively easy concept to understand and use.

Its quite easy to set up a barcode scanning system to help streamline a business or loyalty/membership scheme.

Barcode scanners can be portable enabling ease of use -you can take the scanner to the card rather then the other way around – very useful for membership schemes.

Hope these advantages help a little, if anyone has any other advantages please feel free to let us know and any relevant ones will be added to our list.

Disadvantages of barcodes

Here we go, a little list of some disadvantages for using barcodes:

Scratched barcodes can cause problems scanning (our barcodes are positioned under plastic so them becoming scratched off is not possible).

Although the cost and time of setting up a barcode system is relatively low, some money & time output is still required. One option would be to charge customer a little for a membership card or build the cost into the membership fee. It may also be an option to charge customer for replacement cards should they be lost. I would try to steer away for charging a small fortune for replacement card as this may annoy members and cause tension.

A little time and accuracy needs to be taken when inputting a new member into the system to enable accurate recording and reporting. What is that saying? ……rubbish in = rubbish out!

The software system will need to be maintained and managed to get the optimum results – not necessarily a disadvantage but be prepared to utilise your system as much as you can, you should be getting more out of it than you put in.

The Durability of the actual barcode scanners can be an issue – just make sure you research your options carefully and select a scanner which is fit for purpose.

A general point which applies to all computer systems (not just barcodes)…MAKE SURE YOU BACK UP YOUR DATA! Please don’t waste your time installing an all singing all dancing system and forget to back up. Imagine how you would feel should all your valuable data go up in smoke – not very amused!

Please remember that the above disadvantages should be out weighed by the advantages, provided the system is maintained properly and any investment should be repaid within a matter of months.

plastic cards with barcodes

Clear Business Cards and the ink colours available


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Clear Business Cards

We have a stunning range of metallic and non metallic ink colours that we can print onto our frosted plastic cards. We find our customers often miss the lovely photos we have on our website so I thought I would put this page together to help raise awareness of the ink colours.

Metallic Ink Colours

The beauty of hot foil printing is the ability to print dazzling metallic ink colours. A lot of our customers choose a metallic ink colour either as the sole ink colour or to compliment other colours.

For example, for the best possibly clarity and ease of reading black ink can be selected for the writing and contact details and metallic gold or metallic silver (or both) for graphic aspects of the design or the logo or part of the logo to really make the card stand out and get noticed.

more details on frosted plastic cards

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with metallic gold ink

Metallic Gold Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with metallic silver ink

Metallic Silver Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with metallic copper ink

Metallic Copper Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with metallic dark blue ink

Metallic Dark Blue Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with metallic green ink

Metallic Green Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with metallic green ink

Metallic Light Blue Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with metallic pink ink

Metallic Pink Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with metallic purple ink

Metallic Purple Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with metallic red ink

Metallic Red Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with metallic turquoise ink

Metallic Turquoise Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with bright yellow ink

Bright Yellow Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with burgundy ink

Burgundy Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with clear ink

Clear Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with dark blue ink

Dark Blue Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with dark brown ink

Dark Brown Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with dark green ink

Dark Green Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with dark grey ink

Dark Grey Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with dark red ink

Dark Red Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with dark yellow ink

Dark Yellow Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with holoprint ink

Holoprint Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with ivory ink

Ivory Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with light blue ink

Light Blue Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with light brown ink

Light Brown Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with light green ink

Light Green Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with light grey ink

Light Grey Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with light red ink

Light Red Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with lilac ink

Lilac Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with magenta ink

Magenta Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with medium blue ink

Medium Blue Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with medium brown ink

Medium Brown Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with medium green ink

Medium Green Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with medium grey ink

Medium Grey Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with medium red ink

Medium red Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with navy blue ink

Navy Blue Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with orange ink

Orange Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with pale blue ink

Pale Blue Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with pink ink

Pink Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with purple ink

Purple Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with turquoise ink

Turquoise Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with white ink

White Ink

clear frosted plastic business cards printed with clear ink

Clear Ink

See through plastic business cards


plastic cards special offer

See through plastic business cards

We have printed see through plastic business cards for many years. We call them frosted translucent plastic cards or frosted clear plastic cards. This is because they are not 100% crystal clear with them having a frosted finish.

more details on see through plastic business cards

see through plastic business cards

Our frosted translucent plastic cards can be printed with either a single ink colour or multiple ink colours. We have a wide range of ink colours available which include dazzling metallic colours. Our metallic colours include gold, metallic silver metallic red, metallic blue etc. Our full range of ink colours can be found here

We find the most popular ink colour is metallic silver. Usually printed on it’s own but of course it can be combined with other colours. For example, a popular choice of ink colours is metallic silver and black ink (2 ink colours in total). With it being only 2 ink colours it is cheaper than choosing 3 or 4 ink colours but still looks absolutely stunning.

More lovely examples of our frosted translucent plastic cards can be found
here

Let us know your favourite ink colour combinations or which example you think are the best?

On our main website we have lots of example cards. The ink colours we have chosen for the examples are ones that we think look the best, however they can be changed to cater for your preferences.

One ink colour that you may not be familiar with is called holoprint. It looks similar to metallic silver but as you angle the card to the light, all the colours of the rainbow can be seen to shimmer in the light. It is a similar effect to how a CD looks as you angle it in the light.

holoprint on see through plastic business cards

see through plastic cards