Variable Data Printing is a type of digital printing that customizes each piece during the press run. This means that you can print any digitally print item with different text or images on each piece. This allows personalized print materials to attract more interest or communicate a very specific message.
With VDP, elements like text and images may be changed from one printed piece to the next, without interrupting the printing process. Using information from your business' existing database or external list, you can personalize each piece for its specific recipient.
For example, a set of personalized postcards, each with the same basic layout, can be printed with a different name and image on each postcard based on the recipient's geographical region or buying preferences. A direct mail piece can be printed with someone’s name, photo and even a customized URL. Variable data printing helps businesses market faster and better than ever before.
Why Use Variable Data Printing?
Simple answer: highly customized mailers. For example, if a New York Mets fan receives an orange and blue postcard with their name on it, they are more likely to look twice. Likewise, a family would be more attracted to travel brochure with pictures of parents and children rather than teenagers. All it takes is a little creativity and lots of fields for custom data in your CRM program.
VDP lets you test your campaigns with A/B versions. Because you are printing digitally, you can create two, three or ten versions of your postcard and test the results much cheaper than traditional printing allows. Track results with a custom promo code or web address and make corrections where needed.
VDP printing also lets you create alternate language versions, but in much smaller quantities. Again, because you can print fewer, you can take your best brochure or flyer and convert it to Spanish or Korean. You can even change the photos to reflect your targeted demographics.
You can also take your database targeting to the next level. By combining your database mining with variable printing you can get coupons that drive a consumer’s behavior exactly where you want it to go. For example, if you are a dry cleaner you can run a report of customers that have brought in coats for cleaning and offer them a coupon for 50% off coat storage each spring.
How Variable Data Printing Draws a Connection
Many businesses gather data on their customers’ shopping preferences and product purchases, but not all companies take advantage of the information collected. VDP is a way to put this information to use and help drive additional purchases by targeting specific customer personas and buying preferences.
Grocery chains, in particular, have adopted this highly individualized form of marketing. They can send one family coupons for baby food, diapers and quick-serve meals, and send an older couple discounts on healthy food items, baked goods and pet food. If you know what a consumer buys, then you can customize the advertising to encourage additional purchases of items that they would more likely buy.
Variable imaging can also be used to appeal to different demographic segments of the population. Even if you do not have internal lists of customer purchases, you can buy lists of pet owners to sell pet products or target households with incomes above $100,000 to stimulate luxury purchases. Most often, the variable imaging involves changing the text against a white or light background, but there are ways to incorporate digital personalization in more creative ways.
Some Creative Examples of Variable Data Printing
Calendars: To this day, I have a small flip calendar that has my name printed on each page in an unusual way. In February, it’s spelled out with candy hearts. In October, it’s carved into a pumpkin. It’s a small work of art and its size and cleverness got me to open up the envelope and keep it on my desk for five years.
Membership Cards: Just starting a business or program? With variable printing, you can create cards with your customer’s name and unique ID card. Better yet, design the cards to detach from a self-mailer and you get a delivery vehicle.
Seating Cards: Have a wedding or formal event coming up? Consider printing names and even photos on small, colorful seating cards. If it is a corporate event, you can add your logo for a branded experience.
School/Team Photos: If you volunteer with kids or have some of your own, you can use variable image printing to create neat trading cards or sports cards. For older kids, customized prom and homecoming invitations can create keepsakes for an even more memorable event.
Try Variable Imaging on Your Next Print Marketing Campaign
According to Chris Lewis of Conquest Graphics, “the biggest benefit of variable imaging is the ability to make pieces more personal. The more relevant a message is to each reader, the higher the response rate. And the higher the response rate, the greater the return on your investment.”
Conquest Graphics is a leader in the field of variable imaging and offers great pricing on digital and offset printing. For more information on variable imaging or how to use it in your next print campaign, please visit us at www.ConquestGraphics.com.
The Ultimate Guide to Buying Print