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Variable Data Printing

SAMPLE_PCThere’s just something special about getting mail addressed just to you. Seeing your name in print is always exciting. When you were a kid, did you ever grab the new phone book and excitedly turn to your last initial, scanning the rows of names until you found your family’s listing? That little thrill of, “Oh, look! Here I am!” is a simple joy, and one you can easily recreate using the magic of variable data printing (VDP).

VDP allows you to customize each item you print for a number of recipients in a database. It can be as simple as a custom salutation for each recipient (ex. Dear James; Dear Mary; Dear Dr. and Mrs. Jones), or as complex as complete custom mailers. It can be award certificates for an elementary school, booklet covers for conference attendees, postcards for organization members, or even name badges.

A basic form of VDP is the simple mail merge. Mail merge is primarily used when the basic information on the print is unchanged, or static, and just the address block, salutation, and simple information is variable. If you were mailing out letters to people whose insurance was about to lapse, your database might include Name, Address, Current Provider, Expiration Date, and Savings. Your recipient would then receive a letter addressed just to him, with specific details (ex: “John, Your Generic Insurance car insurance is set to expire June 23rd. If you switch to MyAutoInsurance, you could save $200 over your Generic Insurance payment!”). The rest of the letter would detail static information about MyAutoInsurance, such as history, location, and rating.

However, let’s say that MyAutoInsurance has seven agents in the Valley. The database they’re using for their mailing covers all seven agents’ territories. Each agent has slightly different letterhead, and they each want to use a digital signature and their picture on the letter. Can VDP handle that? Yes, it can! AlphaGraphics on University‘s design team can take the seven letterheads, seven pictures, seven signatures, and seven letters, and use the database provided to create a mailing with each recipient receiving the appropriate agent’s information on a personalized letter.

Why would you want to use VDP in your business? It’s all about relevance. If you own a pool supply store, but you’re sending ads and coupons to people without pools, you’re wasting your money. You want to target your recipients for the best possible return. AlphaGraphics on University can help. We can find the best possible recipient lists for your business. Direct mail with VDP is an effective marketing tool, even in the Internet age. It doesn’t mean the two are divided, though. With VDP, you can include personalized URLs (pURLs) for the recipient to view, receive more information, and even sign up for e-mails, contests, and more. We’ll cover even more about those options in a future post!

VDP is an inexpensive way to show your clients and customers you’re thinking about them, on a personal level. It allows you to efficiently target your offers to your customers. As long as people open their mailboxes, there is an opportunity for you to communicate with them. When you talk with recipients personally, using text, imagery and offers customized to their unique needs and desires, a few things happen:average order sizes improves, cost per response decreases, and repeat business increases. Contact us today to find out more about a VDP campaign to help you increase your reach!

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