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Variable Data Printing (VDP) is a process where certain elements of a direct mail piece are altered to target the recipient better. Using digital printers, hundreds of thousands of direct mail pieces can be printed at once. Simultaneously, each piece would include different elements that are most likely to appeal to the recipient.

The term “variable” refers to any part of the print piece that you want to change (or vary) depending on who is receiving it. Depending on the printing company, some printers can only change the text on the piece. It is important to understand the options your printer has available and to ask how they can meet your advertising needs.

Some common variables on printed pieces are:Variable Data Field Examples

  • Text
  • Images
  • Fonts
  • Colors
  • Language
  • Location
  • QR Codes
  • URL
  • Articles featured
  • Number of pages to include
  • Coupons & Discounts
  • Last Purchase Date
  • Suggested products (based on past purchases history)
  • Last Donation Amount
  • Suggested new donation amount (based on past history)
  • Customer Status
  • Assigned account rep/sales rep and contact info

How Does Variable Data Printing Work?

Variable Data Excel and Postcards Example

 To customize printing pieces, information is stored in a database or external file. During the printing process, that information is pulled by the printer and personalized information is added as desired. The basic layout of each printed piece will stay the same to provide a consistent look, but you can customize names, addresses, images, special offers, colors, fonts, articles, donation requests, discounts, language, and more! No two prints will be the same, providing a more distinctive and personalized experience for each person. Communicate what you want to show for each customer scenario and let the printers do the rest.

Why Should I Use Variable Data Printing?

Data shows that the more customized and personal your printing pieces are, the more likely customers are to respond or interact with you. Any size business can benefit from variable data printing.

  • 94% of people say they have a positive reaction when receiving personal letters or cards.
  • 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that provides a tailored experience.
  • 66% of consumers expect brands to understand their individual needs.
  • 71% of customers are frustrated by impersonal shopping experiences.

USPS has reported that the average American household receives 454 pieces of mail each year. That breaks down to roughly 2 mail pieces per day. The opportunity for sending direct mail advertising to consumers is far more favorable than digital advertising. It is estimated that the average consumer sees 10,000 ads per day! That number includes all forms of digital ads, TV and Radio ads, billboards, emails and social media posts. Not only can direct mail advertising cut through all that noise, adding variable data services can increase the response rate considerably.

Examples of Variable Data Printing

With variable data printing, you can customize every printed piece without slowing down the printing process. Speak to your customers directly with these direct mail marketing customization examples:

  • A retailer can create customer profiles based on purchase history and mail a magazine that only includes content that customer would be interested in.
  • A restaurant can identify customers who haven’t visited recently to send a personal coupon postcard based on the customer’s birthdate.
  • A non-profit can mail donation request letters that remind the recipient what they donated previously and offer a new suggested amount based on a percentage.
  • A car dealership can mail lease renewal letters that feature the newest car model based on the previous model the customer purchased. The letter could also include information about the recipient’s current lease and what their new car lease could be.
  • A credit card company can send monthly statements highlighting the recipients current balance, minimum payment, interest, and suggested payment to avoid paying more interest.
  • A health insurance company can mail detailed booklets outlining the recipients current prescriptions, health insurance policy, and insurance card. The booklets can vary in number of pages based on the number of prescriptions the person has.

What Direct Mail pieces can use Variable Data Printing?

Virtually any type of direct mail piece can use variable data printing services. Self-mailers, brochures, postcards, letters, envelopes, booklets, catalogs, magazines, and more. Discuss your needs and marketing strategy with your print partner to determine if they can meet them.

Customize your Direct Mail Marketing with Variable Data Printing.

Walker360 is dedicated to making variable data printing easy and effective for you and your company. Place 1 order and get thousands of unique pieces that are relevant to each recipient.

All the examples listed above are based on real customers we have helped to reach their target market. Stop sending generic direct mail that goes in the trash and start personalizing your pieces now. If you need help with printing or integrating variable data printing into your marketing strategies, contact Walker360 today to get started.