<img src="http://www.hrb1tng0.com/39856.png" style="display:none;">

The Eye/Comm Blog

Drive Better Direct Mail Response With Variable Data

Posted by Summer Gould on Tue, Apr 22, 2014 @ 12:44 PM

San Diego Direct Mail

Direct mail done well can give you a great ROI. The best way to increase your response is to personalize your direct mail pieces. In order to help you do that we have put together information you need, in order to correctly use personalization with variable data printing.

5 Variable Data Printing Musts:

  1. Data: The most important part of your personalized mailing is the data you are using. You need to make sure that your data files are accurate. The worst thing you can do is send out a mailer with incorrect personalization. (A man does not need a tampon coupon mailer and a woman does not need a prostate health newsletter.)
  2. Templates: Create a base template design that both images and text can be dropped into based on the data. You can create multiple templates for testing but try to keep them to a minimum. The reason for the template is so that you can stream data into it for faster rip to print times. (Do not stare at your computer screen for hours twiddling your thumbs, take a small break and let it finish.)
  3. File Mapping: Creating your file mapping between your data and images is vital. The data needs to be coded with the correct information to call up the right image/images for each person as well as any text and special fonts. The data file, image file and template should all be on the same machine so that you are not reaching across a network to rip a file. This will speed up processing and cut down on data errors. (This is not drawing a line on the map of the US for your travel plans, it will take more work, but it's well worth it.)
  4. Create Batch Files: In order to help with rip time and also to mitigate errors it is best to create smaller batch files. The number of pages will be based on the size of your files but usually you see about 1000-2500 pages in a batch. Large or very complex variable data will require smaller files. Sometimes when ripping large files your computer can max out the memory and this causes all kinds of issues with the files created. (Do not make files you have to flush that then have to be redone, leave that for the sanitation department.)
  5. Continuous Proofing: In order to make sure that there are no issues as the print process goes along it is important to proof as you go. Pull a sheet every so often and check that the name goes with the correct images and template. (Sometimes you will find that the information was not translated correctly and instead of an image or text you get a bunch funky characters like this !%&*%$#* or something.) The issue may only occur with a few people so constant vigilance is very important.

Personalization can really boost your ROI. It does not have to be difficult. You can create a personalized variable data mailer with just a bit of information on previous purchases. You can say based on what they purchased before they may be interested in this other product. Or something as simple as females get one offer males get another. Adding more personalization can increase your response rate by as much as 5%. The more you are able to target the offer to the person the better your response will be.

Learn How-to Trim Printing & Mailing Costs

If you have any questions call us in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email [email protected] We are glad to help!

Topics: print, Variable data, Direct Mail, Direct Marketing

Direct Marketing: Top 5 Variable Data Printing Tips

Posted by Summer Gould on Mon, Nov 25, 2013 @ 08:00 AM

San Diego Direct Marketing Variable Data Printing

The success of your direct marketing depends on an accurate, targeted and personalized mailing list. Variable data allows you to interact with your customers and prospects using sophisticated personalization to drive higher response. Variable printing significantly boosts ROI by delivering response rates 7-times greater than conventional direct mail. Just because a last name is of certain descent, doesn’t always mean they are of a specific ethnicity.

With Variable Digital Printing, you "vary" each printed mail piece to show different graphics, copy, offers or photos specifically designed to appeal to each individual recipient.  It can be as simple as a personalized letter or as complex as a full-color brochure.

To create a powerful direct marketing with variable data printing you need to consider 5 things:

  1. Full color or black only variable: Variable black and white laser printing gives you low-cost options for personalized letters, coupons, forms, and reply devices. You offset print a color shell and add variable black text. Full color variable gives you more flexibility with design, images and other color aspects. You can really make much more custom looking pieces with full color variable.
  2. Do not assume: Use only the information you have in your data for your variable. Do not make assumptions about people, you can be wrong and offend them. Just because a last name is of certain descent, doesn’t always mean they are of a specific ethnicity. Stick with known facts.
  3. Data Enhancement: When you do not have a lot of information in your data files you can enhance them. Complete a data analysis and take advantage of a powerful array of new market segmentation tools that draw on continually updated data and industry expertise. Data enhancement segmentation provides valuable insights into consumer behaviors. By utilizing survey research to identify consumers' values, attitudes, and product preferences and combining that with U.S. Census data, the segmentation tools give you a lot of information.
  4. Check and triple check: It is vital to triple check your data files, design files and images. This is the most common error in VDP. Make sure the correct person is getting the correct offer with the correct design and images. Have other people outside your organization look it over and make comments. Many times we see what we think is there and not what is really there. Scrutinize everything.
  5. Tracking and Analysis: Direct mail advertising is unique because it provides measurable results. Through testing and tracking you can determine the most effective lists, offers and creative. With VDP you can also gain valuable information on customers and prospects to add to you data files. You will also be able to develop a strategy for success, mine the best intelligence from your responses, evaluate your ROI, find response trends to improve the ROI for future campaigns and improve your offers and creative to maximize response.

Remember to be creative. VDP can really create an impressive direct mail piece. If you have any questions call us in San Diego at 619-448-6111 or email [email protected]. We are glad to help.

Topics: print, Variable data, Direct Mail, Direct Marketing