Getting Personal with Variable Data Printing (VDP)

June 1, 2011

All potential readers of your printed marketing communications are not the same, yet in mass marketing the message is, so the response or interest rating of these pieces is dismally low. If you’re selling golf bags and you have 200 to sell, you may need to print 20,000 brochures to reach enough people to sell them because you are limited to a marketing approach that demands you send only one message.

Getting Personal with Variable Data Printing (VDP)

Print Only What You Need

Variable data printing allows you to print only what you need for a marketing campaign, with the message in each piece tailored to fit each recipient. Now Michelle from Oregon working as a lab assistant doesn’t have to read the same message as Joshua from Washington working at Ikea.

You can tell them both about the golf accessories that are right for each of them, in their price range, in their favorite colours, sharpening the focus of the message to suit their likes and dislikes, their buying habits, their budgets. Significantly, you can also eliminate Joshua from your target list if he doesn’t buy golf equipment. Or only target him in the summer when he does. Targeting the customers with the most potential reduces the quantity of pieces produced.

Variable Data Spreadsheet

Reduce the Size and Scope

The size and scope of the printed piece can also be reduced by only including that information that is pertinent to that particular recipient, thereby eliminating the text and graphics that have no interest to the reader. Not only does this reduce the amount of printing required; it automatically makes the communication piece more interesting by focusing the reader’s attention on items of interest, without getting lost in a wealth of irrelevant information.

In business, we all work towards finding the best return on our investment, or ROI. Often when purchasing print communications, the print buyer is charged only with finding a printer that can successfully produce the piece at the lowest cost. Does this really suit the goal of the company who buys the printing? Shouldn’t they really look for the most effective communications tactic?

Dramatically Increase Response Rate

Historically, the effective response rate for generic communication pieces tends to be in the 1% to 3% range. When customized versions are introduced, the response rate increases to 4% to 7%. And when personalized variable data printing is incorporated, the response rate jumps to as high as 25% and, in some cases, even more. That’s performance. That’s return on investment. That’s effective communication!

Check back here in a week or so when we walk through the steps involved in putting together an effective variable data printing project. In the mean time, if you have any questions regarding variable data printing, feel free to contact us for advice or even samples of recent variable print projects.

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