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Inside Report (2)

Direct-mail experts say too many people have come to recognize that their name on an envelope has been printed by a computer -- and then toss the mailing out unopened.

The answer: a new generation of computerized printers spewing out mountains of individually addressed appeals that look as if they come from a conventional press, a typewriter, or even a human hand.

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These techniques can double or triple printing costs -- a big difference if an offer is going out to 4 million or 5 million people -- but the investment pays off. More people seem to respond when a mailing ends with a real flourish -- like an authentic-looking, computerized signature .m