About a month or so ago I was burned out on writing code so I took the evening off and somehow got to thinking about stickers. Quite a few customers had asked me about stickers in the past and I know that musicians love stickers for their gear cases, tour boards etc…
(For context, Cantabile is a music workstation for live performing musicians)
I asked about it in the Cantabile forum and the lively discussion that followed convinced me to proceed.
I started by checking out the types of stickers and pricing. There are wide range of stickers types you can get — everything from paper and vinyl to transparent and gold foil.
I decided on white vinyl as a good balance between price and durability (musician’s gear cases can get quite beat up) and two designs: one with the name and one without:
I also decided to get them custom die-cut which added quite a bit to the price but is totally worth it — they’re so much nicer than a rectangle. To simplify packaging I also got them individually cut rather than on sheets or rolls.
Completing the Package
Next I wondered what else might be worth putting in the envelope at the same time? If I’m going to the trouble of posting these then might as well make the most of it.
I thought a handwritten thank you note would be nice. The same printing company also does printed “with compliments” slips so I got some of those too.
And business cards! Business cards are pretty old school these days, but they’re the kind of thing someone might throw in a gear case and give to an interested colleague. I also felt some customers might prefer to keep one so I decided to include two business cards in each pack.
Here’s the whole pack:
The printing was done by Fast Printing and I highly recommend them (well if you’re in Sydney anyway). They were responsive, competitively priced, excellent quality and fast — everything was delivered in less than a week from making payment.
Originally I planned to secretly send these to every customer as a little surprise but I later realized that I didn’t have the postal address for most of my customers.
I also noticed from the forum discussion that some people were really keen on stickers. Here’s one comment:
Awwwwww Holy Crap! I am such a sticker dweeb.
I’d rather have a cronk VST with a stuck note in the middle of a solo than no sticker.
Cantabile already has a user portal where users can login so I knocked together a little form where they could indicate they’d like some stickers:
Note the check-box :)
Sticker nerds get two of each sticker. The thinking here is the same as with the business cards in that some people like to hold onto little souvenirs. If they’ve got spares they’re more likely to actually use one set.
In the past I’ve used A4 sheets of labels but that was going to be either a pain or wasteful if sending in batches smaller than a page. After a little research I came across this little label printer:
This thing is awesome. It prints labels really quickly (about 1 per second) and the quality is amazing for a thermal printer. Even more amazing is that the software that comes with it actually works — a simple CSV export from my customer database and the labels were flying.
Finally everything was in place. I sent out an email, got a great response and a few days later the first batch were in the mail to all corners of the world.
Here’s the total costs. These are approximate, converted from AUD to USD:
- 1000 x Logo stickers: $245
- 1000 x Logo + Name stickers: $245
- 2000 x Business Cards: $125
- 1000 x Compliments Slips: $90
- Postage: $1.90 ea
- Label Printer: $70
- Time: about 7–8 hours. Going forward about 30–40 mins a week.
That averages out just under $3.00 per customer, response rate has been about 20% and sticker nerds out number non-nerds about 2 to 1.
Final thoughts? I wouldn’t recommend this for every business or startup but for my particular customer base I think it’s a nice way to send a little thank you.
Also, it was fun to do something physical as a change from software.
I’m Brad, the founder and developer of Cantabile — software for musicians who perform live.