Every business is looking for ways to reach their customers more effectively. Most businesses that use direct mail marketing often use a generic card for all their customers. This works fine but what if you were told there was a more effective way to reach customers through direct mail? The answer to this is variable data printing.
What is variable data printing?
In a nutshell, variable data printing is “1-to-1” marketing that allows you to cut through the clutter and reach your customers more effectively. People are much more likely to pay attention to a piece that is uniquely customized for them and their interests then they are to a piece that feels too general.
From a technical perspective, variable data printing is a form of printing which uses information from a database or external file to alter text, images, or graphics from one piece to the next. Customer information is pulled from the database and used to customize each piece so that it uniquely speaks to the customer more effectively. By shifting away from a one-size-fits-all approach, variable data printing allows you to make more personalized contact with customers which leads to better results.
A basic example of variable data printing. Note that each customer’s name and appointment time is customized for each card.
For example, say Susan goes to his local dentist office for a cleaning (let’s call the office Toothtopia). Toothtopia could then store Susan’s basic information into their database. The next time Toothtopia sends Susan a postcard reminder to schedule a checkup they could include personalized details such as Susan’s name, the date and time of her checkup, and a picture of a woman near her age by pulling the information from their database. This makes a stronger impact on customers then a traditional checkup mail piece. Personalizing your pieces for your customers can dramatically increase your response rate.
Why would variable data printing be helpful?
The main idea behind variable data printing is that you are able to personalize each piece to fit each individual customer. Drilling down to a 1-to-1 level with people can lead to the following results:
- Higher response rates
- Faster response times
- Better content retention
- Increased order frequency
- Increased order size
Going back to our dentist office example, let’s say Toothtopia gets a 1% response rate on its general direct mail endeavors. Toothtopia spends $100 for 100 postcards on the campaign and each new customer adds $100 to the business. This means that Toothtopia breaks even (it spent $100 to bring in $100 in business). Toothtopia then starts utilizing variable data printing in its direct mail and boosts its response rate up to 3%. I know, I know, a 2% gain doesn’t sound like much but look at the impact that a small boost in response rate can have. Toothtopia now gets 3 new patients from their direct mail marketing instead of 1. This boosts their direct mail efforts from break even to a $200 surplus. That’s a pretty significant shift wouldn’t you say?
How to order a job with variable data elements.
Call our VIP Support rep at 800-260-5887 and we’ll talk you through your first variable data order. It’s easy with our help. After you know the ropes your next order will be easy too, simply follow these steps:
1) All EVData (expresscopy variable data) orders must be submitted via email to email@example.com, with the words EVData Order in the subject line.
2) The email should include the following: The database, a two-sided high resolution sample PDF of the document to be printed, and instructions for printing such as the type of stock used for printing and the account the order will go under. For the sample PDF you will want to place [Brackets] around the specific text to indicate where the variable data elements will be applied.
3) Once this is complete the variable data department will set-up the desired variables. Upon completion they will email a PDF proof for you to review.
4) If there are changes needed to the proof simply email firstname.lastname@example.org. Once you are ready to order simply login to the “My Account” page to access your “Incomplete Orders”. From there you will proceed through the checkout process.