Variable Data Printing


Nothing makes your printed piece stand out to your audience better than image and data personalization. Transform your printed communications to speak to your target demographic directly and in a way that they have likely never experienced. Change their attitude about receiving your printed piece and break the cycle of mailbox to recycling bin.

Drastically improve response rates, improve ROI for your marketing dollars, and enhance customer loyalty. While a large percentage of most printed materials may only get a quick glance before heading to recycling or the trash bin, personalized communications are often held and found on desks or hanging on refrigerators for weeks after they are received. There is no better way to improve your message, than by making sure it is received, and that the recipient actually enjoys getting it.

What variable can do for you:

              • Improve ROI (return on investment)
              • Create trackable results
              • Improve response rates
              • Engage your audience
              • Improve customer loyalty
              • Increase Sales
              • Increase brand awareness
What is variable printing?

Variable data printing (VDP) (also known asvariable information printing (VIP) or VI) is one-to-one marketing – the process of creating very targeted printed communications based on known information about the recipient. The variable information can be as simple as the address of the recipient, like a simple mail merge, or it can be very complex and contain virtually any information or customized images based on your goals of the printed piece.

Digital printing allows each piece to be completely unique. Text, graphics, and images can be changed from one printed sheet to the next using information from any database.

For example, a set of personalized letters, each with the same basic layout, can be printed with a different name and address on each letter. Variable image printing takes this a step further by customizing the image in your marketing piece for each individual recipient as well. Variable printing is used for direct marketing, customer relationship management, advertising and selfmailers, brochures or postcard campaigns – any way you communicate your message can be enhanced with a variable component.

Variable data printing enables the mass customization of documents via digital print technology. Instead of producing 10,000 copies of a single document, delivering a single message to 10,000 customers, variable data printing could print 10,000 unique documents with customized messages for each customer.

What can be customized in my variable print job?

Virtually every aspect of a variable job can be customized. From simple items like a name and address on a mailing panel, to full photo customization. Any data field or bit of information can be a custom variable in your print job.

There are several levels of variable printing. The most basic level involves changing the salutation or name on each copy. More complicated variable data printing uses ‘versioning’, where there may be differing amounts of customization for different markets, with text and images changing for groups of addresses based upon which segment of the market is being addressed. Finally there is full variability printing, where the text and images can be altered for each individual record. All three types of variable data printing begin with a basic design that indicates which sections can be altered and a database of information that fills in the changeable fields.

Examples of variable information:

  • Name and address info
  • Customer loyalty program point values
  • Image types – for example, snow images for ski travelers or beach images for tropical travelers
  • Full image customization, incorporating the recipient’s name, company name, or other data into an image in a photo realistic manner
  • Text – block text can be called out based on recipients known data – for example, a university can print text about appropriate classes based on a potential or current students interest.
  • Personalized url’s
  • Past buying habit info – present customers with relevant coupons based on their past buying habits, and logical upselling steps
  • Conference schedule info
  • Any other information that is relevant to you or your customer

What are the benefits of variable printing? How does variable improve ROI for my marketing dollars?

The returns for variable printing vary from double the normal return at the basic level to 10-15 times the return for fully variable jobs. This naturally depends on content and the relevancy of that content, but the technique presents an effective tool for increasing ROI on marketing campaigns.

Some measurable benefits vs. traditional direct mail campaigns:

  • Faster Response
  • Improved Response Rates
  • More Repeat Orders
  • Greater Customer Loyalty
  • Larger Marketing ROI
  • Differentiate Your Company or Product
  • Trackable results

Variable Imaging marketing provides you with a competitive edge over traditional bulk or “junk mail” which typically provides you with less than a 1% response rate. The following graph provides examples of response rates using black & white, color, personalization, database information and coupons.

What kind of marketing programs work with variable?

Most any direct mail campaign can be enhanced with a variable component. Some additional applications might be:

  • Corporate communications
  • Newsletters
  • Monthly/quarterly updates on individuals progress tied into overarching program theme
  • Event communications
  • Greeting cards & holiday cards
  • Invitations
  • Personalized conference agenda, dinner invites, name badges, coupons, etc., tied to conference theme
  • Coupons and offers
  • Incentive trip communications
  • Ongoing promotions such as birthday cards, anniversary cards, etc…
  • Award recipient communications
  • Postcards
  • Catalogs
  • Customer loyalty mailings
  • Self mailers
  • Recruiting materials
  • Fundraising materials
  • Sweepstakes and giveaways
  • Requests for information
  • Eliminate the envelope, create instant appeal with personalized image and “make it to the counter”

The effectiveness of all of these types of communications and more can be drastically improved with variable.

What kind of images are available for variable imaging?

The possibilities of variable are truly limitless. Any print quality photo can be modified to be a variable image, or we can arrange photo shoots for any specific idea that is not currently available. If you can imagine it, we can create it.

Not all variable jobs require photographic images, simple variable data jobs can easily be created by our designers or we can work with your designers to create a campaign that will work best for you.

Click the links below to look at some of the already available image templates. These standard templates can get your program up and running very quickly and cost effectively, at the very least a great place to get your creative wheels turning.

Again, the value in variable is creating an impact that is highly relevant and attention getting. In many cases a custom image costs no more than a standard image, so do not feel limited to the images available in the standard templates. Imaginative and interesting communications will bring the best results.

What will I need to get started?

To get started with variable, the first step is to have great data. If you have a current customer database, or if you collect data on your web site, you are most of the way there. You can uses purchased lists as well, and we will be happy to help you acquire lists if necessary.

The success of any variable campaign relies heavily on the information that feeds the design. You will need to have a current, robust and accurate database of customer information. Nothing can derail a piece faster than having the wrong name on a targeted piece!

Once you have data, all you need to do is call The Voom Group, we will walk you through all of the necessary steps to create an exciting campaign, that will get results.

Variable technology is only limited by imagination. The possible uses and marketing concepts are endless. Contact us today to talk to one of our creative specialists to design a custom variable campaign to suite your individual needs.