Clever ways to incorporate variable print into your marketing mix

You’ve probably heard the terms “variable data print” and “personalized print” before… or you have at least seen the phrases while skimming through an article. Now is your chance to discover how you can get creative with your direct mail to maximize your return on investment (ROI).

Variable printing allows you to personalize the print communications you’re sending to your customers. The most common form of personalization is changing the name on marketing pieces to reflect who they are being sent to, but there are so many more possibilities that often get overlooked! Consider the information that you know about your customers and their purchasing habits and use this knowledge to brainstorm ways that you can better communicate with them.

Variable printing allows you to personalize the print communications you’re sending to your customers.

You can tailor your campaign based on

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Interests and hobbies
  • Geographic location
  • Past purchases (how much each customer spends and how often)

Creative tips to get you started

  • Go beyond just adding a name. Customizing and personalizing your marketing campaignsCreate custom messaging that shows benefits that will appeal on an individual basis. Everyone perceives value differently so you can make your message as customized as you need it to be for every segment of your audience.
  • Switch up your incentives. The same offer may not appeal to all customers, but you can make everyone happy with variable printing. Tailor your incentives based on what you know about your recipients’ spending habits, the products that they purchase, and the frequency with which they purchase from you. Have a variable number of coupons based on each customer and even have a variable discount amount.
  • Location, location, location! Provide your customers with a map of where you’re located in relation to them. This is particularly helpful if you have multiple stores or branches. Help your prospects find their way to you!
  • Create variable images. This is where you can make the most impact! People notice images first so now is your chance to stand out. Integrate each customer’s name into the picture (for example, their name written in the sand or clouds) or change the picture based upon each recipient’s demographics. If you’re a car dealership, follow up on past purchases and include a picture of the kind of car your prospect bought. If you’re a real estate agent, customize the listings that you send out based on perceived needs. Exercise your creativity!

Personalized marketing

Take some time to experiment and see the response rates on your own. Since variable print pieces are printed digitally, you can print only what you need for greater ROI. Test your direct mail piece with a smaller market and discover what works best for your company. What is the most memorable piece of personalized print that you’ve sent or received?

You might also be interested in: Five reasons why direct marketing matters.

Brittany Giles is the Social Media Specialist at The Printing House.

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