Variable Data Printing provides targeted, cost-effective marketing strategies for companies

We all receive bulk mail to our home and business addresses via traditional snail-mail delivery. What makes one piece stand out more than another? While colour, shape and styling are leading factors in this, by far the best performer is personalisation of the mail piece! Quite simply, this makes the mail piece more successful and achieves greater breakthrough with customers and potential customers. Hello, variable data printing!

What is Variable Data Printing?

Put simply, variable data printing adds a personal element to every messaging piece making it specific to the recipient. This technology is used to tailor any marketing message, whether it be on a small or massive scale

Variable data printing
Digital printing

Years ago, this printing technique was initially mastered using Microsoft Word’s mail merge function. Business managers and secretaries commonly used spreadsheets with customer names and addresses to merge and print labels for this purpose. Although this strategy is still frequently used, print technology has developed over the years to allow for this basic and effective strategy to be rolled out to personalising printing far beyond labels and postcards.

Variable data printing is an amplified version of this age-old technique. Variable data printing allows companies to use all the information that they have on their current and potential customers to output effective, targeted marketing strategies.

On occasion, you may see variable data printing referred to as VI (variable imaging) or VIP (variable information printing), but in essence, these techniques are fundamentally the same as variable data printing will encompass the same results.

How does variable data printing work?

In short, variable data printing allows businesses to mass market any message via traditional marketing methods. The process inputs personalisation which gives the critical one-on-one feel directly to the customer or potential customer. The best part is, this is often achieved by using the data the companies already have on file for their customers and potential customers. The variable data printing software can be programmed to gather data from spreadsheets and software and print messaging specifically targeted to particular market segments.

Ok, let’s remove the technical jargon and explain some real life examples of how this software is solving problems in the business world:

Personalied Retail Mailers

So, you love a certain brand of clothing and you buy yourself at least two new pieces every change of season. That may well put you to the top of the VIP customer list for that particular retailer. When it is time for them to do their marketing campaign, you being a VIP customer may ensure that you are one of the first to receive the new mailer with all the new offers.

However, on this occasion, the mailer is for Father’s Day. You have never bought a piece of their clothing for either your father or your husband. The flyer goes straight in the bin and the companies marketing budget allocation is wasted on you!

Had the company cross checked your buying behaviour prior to doing a bulk mail out, they would have not sent you the specials and the campaign would have been targeted to only the people who were potentially going to buy.

Customer Landing Pages

The next time the clothing retailer takes this one step further and gets it right! They send you a beautiful, professional flyer with the latest range of female clothing for the new season with your name on the front of the envelope.

Great news, variable data printing can take this one step further and make it even more personalised by printing the users unique URL for their website onto the mail piece. This would lead the customer straight to their unique landing page which the company could have preloaded with suggested products that are tailored to their past purchasing history.

Continued personalisation and targeted marketing strategies will help increase sales as the customers’ attention will be held for a longer period of time.

Charities and not for profit donation requests

Marketing is a huge cost for any not for profit organisation. Sadly, every dollar that is spent on marketing does not make it to the end cause for the charity. Charities collect a great deal of useful data as people make generous donations to their cause. Studying this data can allow for charities to communicate with tailored messaging to their databases via direct mail in a cost-effective manner. For example, a charity may be able to identify a trend in donators behaviours. Do certain donors regularly donated at Christmas and others donate at the end of the financial year? At Southport Printing Co., we can use this data to design and tailor targeted campaigns to segments of the charities database. The donation request now becomes personal, is in line with the donators donation habit and will therefore achieve a greater response rate.

Businesses Need to Know about Variable Data Printing!

Variable data printing provides targeted marketing solutions for companies. If your business currently invests marketing dollars into direct mail and they are not using variable data printing, your marketing dollars could be going to waste.

Personalised marketing pieces work and successfully grab customers attention. In some cases, companies have reported an increase of response by up to 300% by simply targeting the mail out piece to their customers.

It is easy to understand that when content including images or text on a mail piece are targeted to the recipient, they are more likely to take notice of the message resulting in an increased chance of the customer making a purchase.

While traditional personalised labels and stickers are still to date the most popular choice when companies are printing variable data jobs, there are plenty of other creative ways that this technology can be used.

Southport Printing Co. Offers Full Digital Printing Solutions.

At Southport Printing Co. we have the technology to personalise print jobs using our variable data printing software. All we need from you is your data!

Contact our sales team today to discuss how we can use this software as a valuable, cost-effective asset to your marketing plan.