Copiers & Printers

What is Variable Data Printing? How VDP Works and How to Use It

What is Variable Data Printing? How VDP Works and How to Use It

by Pat Pharr - September 11, 2020

Businesses around the country are looking for new and exciting ways to safely connect with their customers, even when people are encouraged to stay home. This has given rise to the popularity of Variable Data Printing (VDP), a software that allows companies to send out customized mailers to their recipients.

While mailers can be overlooked as too impersonal to be an effective point of contact, marketing teams everywhere are using VDP to connect with their customers and grab their attention with a tailored experience.

Variable Data Printing Basics

VDP technology allows companies to create customized mailers on a massive scale. Any and all information available about current customers can be used to create a personalized, one-to-one experience through an otherwise cold communication channel.

VDP software synthesizes available customer data to personalize direct mailers, whether that’s simply including the customer’s name in the text or creating entire targeted marketing campaigns based on the customer’s profile.

By combining a print project file with individual information from the customer database, marketing departments can use VDP software to pull unique images, text, or data pertinent to their campaign and place them on materials tailored to customers.

Give VDP a Try

VDP can make any company stand out by ensuring their customers get a unique and personal approach at every point of contact—including their mailers. Such a straightforward step goes a long way in building long-term relationships with loyal customers, increasing the rate of response to direct mail.

VDP can also save companies time, money, and resources by taking care of all the logistics. Whether that’s ensuring that mailers are sent to the correct names and addresses, or even aligning into the flow of an ongoing marketing campaign, VDP makes customization easy. In turn, prospects are delighted by the personal touch, and are more motivated to buy from a company that goes the extra mile.

How Your Company Can Use VDP

Companies can easily incorporate VDP into their mailer strategies to engage with customers and capitalize on an often underutilized point of contact. The possibilities are endless with VDP software, but there are some applications that have proven useful across industries.

Name & Address Variability

The most basic element of VDP is arguably also the most important: making sure customers’ name and address are correct on the mailers they are sent. Mailers addressed to “Resident” are more likely to be ignored and brushed off as impersonal—because they are. By including the customer’s name, businesses can already start to build a connection.

This practice also saves businesses and printers time, money, and resources when producing direct mail pieces that are more likely to produce results rather than get recycled immediately.

Customized URLs

Nothing says “You matter to us!” quite like a customized URL that leads to a tailored landing page, filled with relevant information recipients care about. The booming subscription box industry uses this VDP feature to offer their customers personalized referral codes so that loyal subscribers can refer their friends to their own unique sign-up link, and receive a token of thanks in return.

Personalized Mailings

During the college selection process, high school students and their families receive hundreds of mailers from institutions around the country. In order to stand out, colleges and universities use VDP to tailor the imagery and information to each prospective student based on their intended major or academic interests. All students receive the same basic material about the school, but a humanities student will receive different additional resources than a student looking into the science division, for example.

Specific Images

People remember visuals better than text, so tailoring images to fit the customer is a great way for companies to make sure their customers remember them next time they make a purchase.

By including their customer’s current car model or predicting what they would be likely to drive based on their demographic in the customer database, car dealerships can customize their mailers with VDP to promote sales events or encourage customers to upgrade their vehicle.

Developing a VDP Mailer Strategy

Variable Data Printing creates a new opportunity for many businesses to connect with their customers in a one-to-one way, building relationships and making a lasting impression. When it comes time to suggest a subscription box to their friends, choose a college, or get a new car, they’ll remember the companies who took the time to get to know them.

And if businesses want to have complete autonomy over their mailer campaign, they can turn to their VDP-enabled in-house production printer. By combining the data from the marketing team with the print project file in the production printer, businesses can cut costs and boost efficiency from start to finish on their mailer strategy.

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