I know who you are and why you’re reading DG. It’s
likely you’re a studio owner, desktop publisher or
corporate communicator (as most DG readers are).
In fact, you’re probably looking for ways to take
your electronic tools to the next level of productivity
and creativity, using practical and real-world solutions.
Knowing all of this makes writing an article
that resonates with you easier.
Whether you’re a designer, marketer or writer,
when it comes to delivering a message effectively,
access to personal information is key. Personalization
is the idea behind Variable Data Printing, or VDP,
direct marketing’s newest technology to emerge as the
most efficient way to target audiences.
VDP allows marketers to send postcards, letters
and packages that are relevant to the individual recipient
with variable images, messages and offers based
on demographic, psychographic or transactional data.
For example, within a single print run a business
utilizing VDP can create mail pieces to target middle
income families, affluent singles, first-time buyers or
boat owners … all by designing imagery and content
that is relevant to each prospect group. To ensure
that the right message is sent to each recipient, it is
important to have mailing lists that are clean with
complete and accurate mailing information, as well
as additional fields that can be used to drive the variable
It’s not uncommon to receive a piece of bulk
mail addressed to “Dear Occupant.” While traditional
mail might get the job done, it does not
extend a personal salutation that would lead its recipient
to believe the individual or company spent the
time to reach out to them directly. VDP is capable of
addressing each letter with relevance, allowing marketers
to take direct mailing to a whole new level.
Why does VDP work? VDP allows, say, real
estate agents to draw from a database with far more
detailed analysis to customize direct mailing to each
individual. The recipient’s gender, age and personal
interests can all be used to sculpt the message. Images,
as any good marketer knows, are also key to reaching
an audience and can be altered as needed according to
information supplied in the database. The only limitations
on how personal each document can be are the
confines of the marketer’s and designer’s creativity.
Make sure, however, that you’re using the highest
quality print product you can find. There are
many digital presses on the market, but those using
digital liquid ink, such as the HP Indigo digital
presses, are providing the best image quality in the
pack. It might be a penny or two more, but it is well
worth the investment.
The benefit of VDP is an increase in return on
investment. Research shows that response rates for
direct mailings utilizing VDP are four to six times
higher than direct mailings without this technology.
The more a marketer customizes direct mail to his or
her recipient, the more likely the response rate will be
higher. VDP also allows marketers to track the messages
that prompted the particular recipient’s response.
Opting for direct mail in the form of postcards
can take the ROI gain a step further, as postcards
have the highest read rate of any direct mail option.
According to the 2005 DMA Statistical Fact Book,
postcards have a 42 percent read rate compared to
catalogs and flyers, which hover around 36 percent.
Small and large companies get to enjoy the
explosive returns of VDP; that’s what makes it so
powerful. The service offers small business owners
with limited resources the same high-level, targeted
advertising as larger corporations.
When choosing a printer, marketers should look
for a company that understands your marketing goals
and provides you with a suite of services that can create
a successful campaign.
Some of the most effective products include
standard-sized and large postcards, catalogs, folding
postcards and specialty product accessories, including
business card flaps, envelopes, CDs and gift boxes.
The effectiveness of these products relies on modern
services such as targeted consumer and business mailing
lists, mailing services, graphic and custom finishing
Small and large companies are incorporating
VDP into their marketing strategies because they
know it’s the best direct marketing option available.
VDP increases ROI rates.
I know you like the sound of that.