Get Closer to Your Customers with Variable Data

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August 30, 2012

Lately I’ve been opening more of the email marketing I’ve been receiving. I look at email in much the same way I look at direct mail.  I look for effective call to actions, subject lines, and intro paragraphs. I am constantly looking to see what it is that gets someone to actually open an email (or an envelope) and to get engaged with a marketing touch.

For years I have carefully paid attention to the emails I receive.  Email marketers are able to do extreme personalization using all sorts of items to test and create data models around.  What I love though about direct mail of today is that you can do the exact same thing now with ink on paper.

With variable data printing, you can market one to one, personalize your messages, your headlines, your offers, your calls to action, and the images in your direct mail campaigns. You simply need to identify the fields in the database to plug in and partner up with a good variable data print provider.

Variable data printing is a powerful tool for direct mail marketers. Direct mail has been proven to be the most effective marketing tool available, even in the Internet age. Think about it: the mailbox is immune to spam-blockers, pop-up blockers, caller ID, the fast-forward button and the mute button.

As long as people open their mailboxes, there is an opportunity for you to communicate with them and according to the US Post Office 81% of all households read their mail on a daily basis. Cater your message directly to the reader and you have a very unique opportunity, especially with the volume of mail being less than in years past.

Variable data printing is also a faster, more economical way to print. Consider these efficiencies and pluses:

  • Print only as many as you need (depending on the size of your database)
  • Test-market a piece with a partial selection of your database, adjust the piece based on response rate (or leave it unchanged) and finish the run at a later time
  • Print addresses directly on the piece eliminating the need for labels, hand-addressing, etc., thus reducing mailing costs and speeding up the process.
  • Increase response rates

Can I Get on Your Calendar?

In 2010 NextPage (formerly Mail Print) sent each of its customers a totally unique desktop calendar. Each of the 24 pages in the two-year calendar had the customer’s name or initials on it – cleverly embedded into the graphic. And each calendar had each family member’s birthday noted throughout the calendar. Customers were thrilled and asked how they could produce more calendars for their family and friends. The success of VDP cannot and will not be ignored.

Everyone loves to see his or her name in print. It has been said that the sweetest sound to anyone’s ear is the sound of one’s own name.  Dale Carnegie in his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, says that the fundamental act of calling other people by their name puts you solidly on course to establish a sincere relationship with that person.

Get a leg up on your competitors by using VDP in your digital and direct mail marketing efforts.

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