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Digital printing: Connect with Variable Data Printing

Written by Charlie Brock Marketing Intern

What is variable data printing?

Variable data printing is the process of adding personalized content to mass-produced customized documents using digital printing technology. Instead of printing the same boilerplate message on all pieces, digital printers can get very specific with individualized messaging and designs to trigger buying behavior. 



You know when you get a mail piece addressed to “Current Resident,” and you instantly move the piece - both mentally and literally - over to the junk pile? (Especially if it has the wrong homeowner!)The simple secret to avoiding the junk pile and connecting with customers is personalization. And a great vehicle for forging those connections is variable data printing. 

In a nutshell, variable data printing is mass-producing customized documents using digital printing technology. Instead of printing the same boilerplate messages, digital printers can get very specific with individualized messaging and designs ... turning buyers' data into emotional triggers. What this means is that in one print job, thousands of pieces can be printed with personalized graphics, text, or the entire marketing message so it's more relevant to the person that is receiving it. Companies may change the text and graphics for each recipient depending on their age, gender, and other demographic data. Variable data printing has proven to have a great impact on the recipients and thus has a high chance of turning those recipients into customers.  

Options With Variable Data Printing

  • Variable text: With variable text, each mailpiece can be personalized to have the recipient’s name, address, account number, balance due, loyalty status, program benefits, special messages, etc. 
  • Variable graphics: With variable graphics, each mailpiece can be personalized to have different images, charts, maps, etc. This allows you to personalize down to a certain demographic.
  • Variable offers: With variable offers, each mailpiece can be personalized to have different coupons or other special offers. You can even ask that certain recipients get these special offers, while others do not. 
  • Variable call-to-action: With variable call-to-action, each mailpiece can have a different call-to-action statement, personalized URL (pURL) or landing page. 

For example, a smartwatch company can send out direct mail advertisements with the names of each individual recipient, an image of a black smartwatch band going out to all of the male recipients, and an image of a bedazzled smartwatch band going out to all of the female recipients. Physical print is able to personalize advertisements in a way that will engage with the viewer in a more memorable way. 


What Is the Impact of Variable Data Printing?

  • 86% of consumers say personalized marketing leads to a buying decision. 
  • 94% of marketing professionals across industries said personalized content is “important,” “very important,” or “extremely important” for meeting current marketing objectives.
  • 67% of shoppers who’ve experienced personalized marketing are highly in favor of personalized offers based on past experiences.
  • 96% of retailers believe that personalized content influences what consumers buy.
  • Though personalized messages deliver six times higher transaction rates, only 30% of brands are sending them.


Additional reasons for using variable data printing in your digital print marketing:

  • Personalized communications consistently show a higher return on investment.
  • Increased engagement, making it easier for consumers to decide and to buy.
  • Companies have increasingly great data management - so why not put it to work!
  • Options to use color and imagery, improving response rates and strengthening calls to action.
  • Better ability to track direct mail campaign results using barcodes and ID numbers.
  • Inserting variable reply contact information based on your locations, or on the recipient's convenience.


Variable Data Printing with Midwest Direct 

Our production team will provide the best quality every step of the way, especially when it comes to personalization. We specialize in short-run, highly targeted, and personalized print among other print capabilities. We offer variable data and art so that companies can make unique offers to different people all through one print job. Additionally, you can use us for full color or black only projects.

Our Canon ColorStream® 3900 features inkjet DigiDot technology that produces consistently crisp, pixel-precise registration, with the perceived output of up to 1200 dpi. This is full color and high speed. This high-speed press prints full-color duplex prints and allows us to print multiple jobs at once. The possibilities are endless!


The Bottom Line

The brain reacts differently when people see and touch physical things, helping them remember what they read and engage in the material. That’s why personalized print is so much more effective than digital advertising alone. Print allows more personalization options to create a more targeted advertisement. Variable data printing allows you to personalize your print down to a specific demographic. There’s no reason not to take advantage of variable data printing when statistics show that customer engagement is boosted up to 10% when you use these personalized marketing messages. Digital printing adds power and impact to print marketing materials, and variable data printing is the icing on the cake.

The bottom line is: people respond more to marketing messages when they are more directly related to them. This is why variable data printing is such an effective tool to have. 

Whether you are interested in variable data printing, or just want to learn more about all the options available for your mailpiece design, Midwest Direct has a team of experts that can answer all your questions and help you with your printing needs. Contact Us today at 1-800-686-6666 to get started!


Original article published November 11th, 2015.

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