The Lost Art of Customer Job Stuffing

I just received an online order delivery that reminded me of the lost art of using customer-shipped jobs as a way to build relationships and market for additional orders. I confess that this order was from for “unmentionables.” What was so cool about it was that packed inside with my order was a small pocket folder. One pocket of the folder contained the job ticket and printed on the flap was the message, “Packed with care by Kathy.” In the other pocket was a note from “Kathy and your friends at” It’s worth sharing the message:

Hello there. [I like this “Hello there” better than the sorry attempts at variable data that I get saying “Hello Carl Gerhardt.” Duh, at least just call me “Carl” and don’t make it so obvious that this is a form message.]

We’ve been waiting for this moment ever since you placed your order. There’s nothing quite like the smile of a happy customer. It makes our day!

Please take a moment to make sure that your order is 100% perfect. If needed, returns are free on any order. Thanks again for shopping with us! Hopefully we’ll see you again soon.

Stay comfy,

Kathy and your friends at

Below this was a coupon for 15 percent off my next purchase. I have to use it by Dec. 31, 2011, and you know, I think I will.

Included in the art pack I received when I opened my print center 26 years ago was art and copy for a job stuffer/reorder notice. We used it for years.

Are you packing a nice message like the above with a reorder notice in every job you ship? Or, are you mailing one to the person who placed the order? If not, you should be.

Carl Gerhardt is the chairman of Alliance Franchise Brands LLC, the parent company of Allegra Network LLC and Sign & Graphics Operations LCC, and a world leader in marketing, visual and graphics communications, linking more than 600 locations in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom. The company’s Marketing & Print Division, headquartered in Plymouth, MI, is comprised of Allegra, American Speedy Printing, Insty-Prints, Speedy Printing and Zippy Print brands of marketing, printing, mailing and Web services providers. Its Sign & Graphics Division, headquartered in Columbia, MD, is comprised of Image360, Signs By Tomorrow and Signs Now brands of sign and graphics communications providers.

Carl and his wife, Judy, owned and operated their own successful Allegra franchise for nearly 20 years before selling the $2.3 million operation in 2003. He is a PrintImage International/NAQP Honorary Lifetime Member and was inducted into NAPL’s prestigious Soderstrom Society in 2010 in recognition of his contribution to the industry.

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