Variable Data

Personalized variable data printing direct mail campaigns.

Customized personalized direct mail campaigns typically post more robust results than static, mass appeal styles. Take a quick moment right now and learn how variable data printing (VDP) will not only make all of the difference to your next campaign but to your response rates!

Variable Data Printing (VDP)

Variable Data Printing is a type of digital printing where each printed piece is different from the next. One does not need to stop or slow down the printing process to make it happen. The information is read from a master database and each printed piece is customized from the individual customer file. If you are utilizing postcards, direct mail, brochures, etc., you should become excited at the possible opportunities with VDP.

The truth is that you have spent a great deal of time building your business and acquiring customers. Along the way, you have developed some form of contact database. How personalized you make your next direct mail piece is up to you, it really depends on what sort of information you readily have on hand and how detailed you would like to get. But not using VDP to personalize your next campaign is a bit like greeting your customers at the door with a frown and letting them know they can come in if they really want to.

VDP Simplified – A practical example:

Let’s say you are a merchant and that you are prepared to do a mailing to your database focused on a special sale that you have coming up in which you are prepared to offer every client a special discount. You could print your mailer with one code, one discount, a happy-go-lucky sales message – and, if you are fortunate you see your sales go up.

Now, let’s say we dig a little deeper into that same database. Through a bit of homework, you identify just one customer. You know his name is John Smith; he first spent money with you 12 months ago, enough to make him one of your ‘better’ customers. You also know that John predominantly buys expensive jackets. Should you offer John the same discount as everyone else? Should he be limited to rigid terms and timelines?

Think how the response by John to the following two opening sentences of your mailer may go:

Generic Mailer:


As a valued customer for some time now, we wanted to let you know about our huge 10% off sale available from August 15th to 20th.

Personalized Mailer:

Dear John,

As a preferred customer for over a year, we wanted to let you know about your huge 20% off sale available on August 8th to 20th. As the summer closes out, it is not too early to start thinking about a new fall jacket.

Through this easy VDP personalization, John the customer feels unique, special and like an individual. He is not mass-marketed, and this approach shows that you have recall, and appreciation of your clients. John may also feel that he is being rewarded for his patronage.

Moreover, by using VDP, your offer is tailored specifically around a discount and a time period that you decide on – you are placing a higher value on John than through a generic approach. John remembers what he has spent with you. He will decide if your ‘offer’ is reasonable – but at least you are not taking a shotgun approach and potentially scaring John away.

Here are several easy ways to better personalize:

  • Address your customers in a friendly, personable manner by name.
  • Change your copy – from ‘Us’ to ‘You.’
  • Don’t be so business-like, open up and be welcoming
  • Share something special about why your offer is important for your client
  • Add pictures, around their interests perhaps?

In business today, information is power. Do you want to demonstrate that you have a fair knowledge of your customers – or excellent knowledge? Knowing that they like ‘clothing’ is one thing. Knowing that they spent $6,000 on Italian jackets with you over the last year should definitely change the way you talk to them.

Acquiring new qualified customers is expensive. But losing existing quality customers is business suicide. Don’t lose your customers by insulting them or ignoring their value. For your next mailing, consider unleashing the power of variable data printing. Go from producing 10,000 copies of a single document, delivering a single message to 10,000 customers, to printing 10,000 unique documents with customized notifications for each customer.

At Russell House Marketing our Direct Marketing Advisors are Variable Data experts. They can help you dig deeper into the opportunities that are available for your business or organization.