Friday, November 18, 2011

Variable Data Printing Basics

Variable Data Printing Basics

In simplest terms, Variable Data Printing (VDP) involves varying or changing the information that is put on a printed piece.   But that description greatly minimizes the full scope and sophistication of this method of personalized printing.  A print shop equipped with VDP technology can customize every piece of a single print run with a targeted message that resonates with each direct mail recipient.   This capability is light-years beyond laser-personalized letters and a simple change of name in an address box. Variable Data Printing combines design and text elements with data analytics to ensure that a promotional mailer speaks directly to a customer.  Once a customer’s personal profile (age, gender, location, purchasing habits) is determined then graphics, color, logos, and pictures can be adjusted to create compelling and unique content for a specific audience.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Planning a VDP Campaign

WHO  should use it?
Anyone who is currently marketing with direct mail should seriously consider Variable Data Printing customization rather than continuing to deliver non-personalized, static messages.

WHY use VDP?
Statistics confirm that messages targeted to an individual’s profile and preferences result in higher direct mail response rates and increased ROI.  In addition, short run printing with digital technology has made VDP possible and very affordable. 

WHERE do I begin?
Partner with a company that has the proper tools and equipment, which includes digital printing technologies, in-house design with specialized VDP software, expertise in direct mail, and expertise in data analytics.

WHAT is the best usage?
Any direct mail campaign designed to: attract new clients, raise funds, purchase a product, or sell a service. VDP can be implemented for catalogs, postcards, letters, envelopes, packages, self-mailers, booklets, business correspondence, event tickets, custom publications, and cross-media marketing campaigns.

WHEN do I start?
Start now.  Don’t wait.  The University of Nebraska Medical Center describes their ROI in this way, “The returns for variable printing vary from double the normal return at the basic level to 10-15 times the return for fully variable jobs.”

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