getting started with custom stickers

Know Your Audience: Getting Started With Stickers Pt. 2

In part one, we looked at defining the purpose or the ‘why’ of a sticker marketing project. In this article, we’ll consider the who, what, when, and how.

At this point, you’ve gone through the first, and arguably the most important step of planning your integrated marketing project. Through thoughtful planning and clearly defined goals, you’ve identified the purpose of your project. And, not surprisingly, you’ve probably decided that custom sticker sheets are the promotional tool that will best help drive the results you’re looking for.

But there’s more to consider when developing a thoughtful, well-planned, integrated project. Who makes up your audience? How will they get what you’re giving? What sticker product and options will deliver the best results? Spending time thinking through answers to these questions, and how those answers map to the project purpose can take your project from good to great.

Audience Consideration

It’s true that pretty much everyone loves stickers. But with so many types, styles and sizes to choose from, different audiences will have different preferences. What combinations will resonate best with your unique audience requires answering the obvious question – who makes up your audience? 

  • For awareness marketing intended to reach a large and diverse audience, think about what will resonate across a sizable portion of your audience and feature those stories and ideas prominently in your project.
  • In more targeted marketing, lead with the shared experiences your audience enjoys and deliver an integrated product that speaks directly to it. For example, University of Tennessee Chattanooga integrated stickers for parents into a mailed piece that went to prospective students since parents are very influential in the recruitment process.  
  • For a smaller, specialized audience with several well-defined characteristics, use a focused, direct approach in your project and include a clear, specific call to action to drive specific results.
These University of Florida custom sticker sheets appeal to a large, diverse audience.

University of Tennessee Chattanooga targeted parents with their custom stickers.

New York Medical College hones in on its more specialized audience.

How and When They Get It

The next question to consider is how and when your audiences will receive the sticker project. Despite prognostications that “print is dead,” there is still little in the way of marketing that compares with the joy of getting a physical product that is  useful, fun, exciting, and catered to your interests like a full sheet of stickers. Use that to your advantage! There are a  number of ways to get stickers into the hands of your audience. For example:

  • Use sticker sheets as a handout at checkout for foot traffic, and incorporate a bold, eye-catching message on a piece designed for portability and affordability.
  • Pack sticker sheets in with every order to build affinity and design the sheets to mail easily, fit in a variety of packages, and add to the overall joy that comes with receiving mail.
  • Mail sticker postcards to promote an event, or send sticker sheets as part of an already-planned but related mailing, or offer them as a takeaway from a conference or meeting. Check out how Humboldt State University included sticker sheets as part of their diploma mailing.

Regardless of how you plan to deliver, understanding how and when your audiences will receive what you create is critical to choosing the right product. 

Clear vinyl stickers help customers share their favorite beers.
Keyboard sticker - University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
University of Minnesota used keyboard stickers for a simple, high-touch option.
Humboldt State University mailed sticker sheets with diplomas.

Picking the Perfect Product

It may feel a bit like working backwards, but choosing a specific product shouldn’t happen until you’ve decided what you’re trying to accomplish, who it’s for and how they’ll get it. Keeping all of that in mind, there are still a few things to consider when picking the right product for your needs. The product should map to how you expect your audience to use it, and to what end.

  • If your goal is to get current or prospective customers to rep your brand, give them a custom sticker sheet with a variety of stickers sized to decorate laptops, water bottles and phone cases.
  • Combined two-sided sticker products like custom sheets and postcards can pull double duty, sharing information about upcoming events or other need-to-know info, while still delivering a lasting, fun and tangible product. 
  • If you want stickers to play a more utilitarian role with your project, incorporate stickers that go onto calendars as sticky reminders into the overall product design. use custom sheets to give customers sticky reminders to put on calendars, or use small logos to stick on a to-do list when stuff gets done. 
Lake Forest College gives students plenty of sticker options in a single sheet.
Grinnell College’s postcard stickers work as pride-filled calendar reminders.
University of Hartford used sticker postcards to encourage social media shares for a chance to win $500.

With so many options, combinations and customizations available for sticker products, finding the right product for the right audience delivered in the right way at the right time takes a bit more consideration than tossing your logo on a one-off die-cut sticker and hoping for the best. Smart sticker projects are thoughtfully planned, with every element working together to create integrated, memorable and sticky marketing. 

In the next article, we’ll look at bringing it all together to design a great sticker sheet.

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