Variable Data Printing

Variable data printing (VDP) enables the mass customization of documents via digital print technology, as opposed to the "mass-production" of a single document using offset lithography. Instead of producing 10,000 copies of a single document and delivering a single message to 10,000 customers, variable data printing could print 10,000 unique documents with customized messages for each customer.

Variable data projects range from simple, by adding a bit of personalization to a standard postcard, to very elaborate promotions that create customized materials based on hundreds of fields in detailed client databases. The most popular are designed to build traffic at a retail store, generate leads for a product or service, or generate direct purchases for a mail order business. VDP, also known as one-to-one marketing, has presented an abundance of marketing opportunities to almost every industry. The typical response rate with static communication is .05%-3%. Now imagine receiving a 5%-20% response rate. One-to-one marketing allows the marketer to increase the response rate and thus the return on investment. Imagine you are a customer who sends 10,000 pieces each month and gets the usual .05-3% response rate of 50 responses. Now you decide to experiment with VDP and send only 2,000 pieces. Those 2,000 pieces get you a 10% response rate of 200 responses. Why send 10,000 static pieces?


One popular technique is to use maps that target the closest stores or branch locations based on zip code, or to include a picture of salesperson associated with a particular client. Other possible promotions include new customer thank you letters or customized newsletters with content based on the customer's past purchases. Auto dealers may get weekly or monthly lists from their company's computer systems of clients that need car servicing or need to renew their leases. Other recurring jobs can come from real estate agents who want to send postcards about newly available houses to particular clients or restaurants that are offering a meal to customers on their birthdays.

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