5 Unique Ways to Personalize Direct Mail with Variable Data Printing

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August 21, 2018

When we say a mail piece is personalized, you probably interpret that as meaning it has the recipient’s name placed in the copy. With today’s modern printers, variable data printing can be used to personalize content beyond just text. Here are five different ways a direct mail piece can be personalized using VDP:


Photos are likely what consumers will notice about your letter first and are absorbed much quicker than text. Personalizing the image to match the demographics of the recipient can establish a better connection. For instance, a letter from a doctor’s office sent to a family with children could have an image of parents with young children, while the same letter to a husband and wife with no children could feature a photo of a couple. Or a travel agency could interchange photos of different international cities depending on the consumer’s interest.


You already have your customers’ addresses, and now geo-location services allow you to find the fastest route between your business and their homes. Each direct mail piece can contain a map showing the distance from the two locations so customers will see that your business is closer than they thought. They may also see that you’re in an area they frequent and make a point to visit your business the next time they’re out.


Special offers prompt customers to do more business with you and with variable data printing they can be customized based on individual purchase history. For example, an auto shop will send a reminder card to someone to get his oil changed and include his car model, last known mileage, and a discount for that extra incentive to visit the shop soon.


Some direct mail campaigns direct consumers to go online by providing a URL or a QR code to scan. When a customer is delivered a unique, personalized URL (PURL), they are sent to a web page that includes their personal information and imagery created with their specific interests in mind. This personal touch can increase response rates 20-30 percent. It can also help you gather data on the consumers from tracking their online interactions.


Think about where your target audience lives. Are you marketing in different countries? Do some of your recipients live in a large Spanish-speaking population? The great thing about variable data is that it allows you to be diverse. You can print the same message in different languages to speak to consumers naturally and appeal to a wider audience.

Learn more about direct mail best practices in our free eBook, The NextPage Guide to Direct Mail Success.

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