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One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Personalize Direct Mail at Scale with Variable Data Printing

by
Baesman
tags Web to Print Direct Mail

The age of personalization is here, and marketers are learning how they can leverage data to form more meaningful connections with each individual member of their target audience. Customers are bored with marketing messages that feel generic rather than tailored to them. 

But how can you deliver on that desire for personalization? The answer is variable data printing (VDP), the technology that uses data to hyper-personalize printed materials at scale. 

What Is Variable Data Printing?

Variable data printing is a digital printing technology that allows marketers to customize various aspects of individual printed materials based on customer data while still printing these materials in one continuous run.

In the past, achieving a high level of personalization was time-consuming and expensive, but variable data printing makes the process efficient and cost-effective. You can automatically tailor direct mail pieces to each recipient based on demographic information, buying history, and other important data points.

Marketers can personalize nearly any aspect of a direct mailer with VDP, such as:

  • Recipient names and addresses
  • Images and graphics
  • Headlines
  • Body copy
  • Calls to action
  • Promotional offers
  • Maps or regional-specific information

A Peek Behind the Curtain: How Does Variable Data Printing Work?

VDP may seem like magic at first glance, but it’s actually powered by modern printing technology. The process involves three elements:

1. Data

First, you need data to power the VDP process. On the simplest level, this could include the names and addresses of your mail recipients. For even more personalization, it could include demographic information or buying history that can help you determine what messaging and imagery will resonate best with each recipient.

2. Software

Data on its own isn’t helpful—you need software to take that data and put it into action. Software uses the data you have on file to insert the correct elements into a template. You can view proofs before printing occurs in case there are adjustments you want to make, but technology largely automates the process.

3. Digital Press

You also need a modern digital web press that can take its cues from the software and turn out a high volume of direct mail pieces efficiently. 

VDP in Action for Restaurants, Retail, and More

Variable data printing can help marketers in a wide variety of industries get personal with their customers. 

Check out these examples of what VDP can look like for a few different industries:

  • Retail: Retail stores can use demographic data like age and gender to highlight specific products in their images and messaging.
  • Restaurant: Restaurants with multiple locations can include the address of each recipient’s closest location. They can also feature certain menu items based on diners’ past purchases.
  • CPG: Consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands can use a customer’s purchase history to promote products that are likely to appeal to that customer.
  • Nonprofit: Charity organizations can use data on donation history to thank each donor for—and remind them of—their previous gift amount as they ask for another donation.
  • Financial Services: Companies in the financial services sector can use demographic data on income to appeal to individuals’ various financial services needs.
  • Healthcare: Medical offices can highlight a specific healthcare service they offer, such as a certain preventive screening, based on what’s recommended for the patient’s age or gender.

Still Unconvinced? Here’s Why VDP Should Be Part of Your Direct Mail Strategy

If you’re still on the fence about incorporating VDP into your own direct mail strategy, consider these reasons you should take advantage of this technology:

Personalization

Personalization allows you to use your customer data to greatly enhance the efficacy of a direct mail campaign. Marketers see firsthand the positive effects of personalization, with 63 percent pointing to increased conversion rates as the top benefit.

Competitive Edge

This personalization will also help you stand out among your competitors because, according to one survey, fewer than 10 percent of companies are systematically using personalization outside of their digital channels.

Efficiency

VDP is also incredibly efficient. You can print hundreds of thousands of direct mail pieces in one fast run without the need for manual changes. Baesman uses an advanced digital color press with an output of 492 feet per minute. Depending on the size of the direct mail pieces, it can print and finish anywhere from 500,000 to 1,300,000 mailers per day! 

Return on Investment

Variable data printing is a cost-effective way to enhance the ROI of your direct mail campaigns by appealing more effectively to each recipient. Especially when you also leverage analytics to ensure you’re targeting the most valuable customers, you can maximize the ROI of your direct mail campaigns.

Click here to learn more about personalized direct mail programs.

Partner with Baesman for Powerful Personalization Through VDP

Variable data printing is the technology solution you need to turn your customer data into powerful personalization. Leave behind the one-size-fits-all approach to direct mail and replace the generic with the genuinely engaging. 

Want to learn more about how Baesman can leverage VDP and other modern marketing techniques to help you get personal with your customers? Let's talk!

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