What is Variable Data Printing? How to Utilize Personalized Direct Mail

Captivating and engaging your intended audience is paramount, and marketing professionals understand this concept better than anyone. When leveraging direct mail marketing, generic mailers that lack personalization do not produce the higher response rates associated with personalized mailers. While many contributing factors can impact the effectiveness of a marketing campaign, a lack of personalization in direct mail printing can be detrimental. Variable data printing (VDP) is a modern solution that elevates your direct mail campaigns to new heights of customization and effectiveness. Understanding how to leverage variable data printing services unlocks new levels of marketing personalization that can rapidly accelerate the effectiveness of direct mail printing.

What is Variable Data Printing and How Does it Work?

Variable printing is a revolutionary approach that dynamically incorporates personalized elements into static templates. The process involves pulling dynamically generated headlines, addresses, personal names, offers, graphics, or images from a file and seamlessly inserting them onto a templated design to match the unique requirements of the specific mailer. By using variable printing, each predetermined mailer piece will be printed specifically for the intended recipient, maximizing the effectiveness of the messaging and content sent to the target.

Not every printer can meet the demands of VDP, especially for large quantities in high-definition color. Working with a qualified printer who can handle direct mail printing in such specialized capacities is essential for ensuring the success of your data-fueled direct marketing campaign.

For example, the SCREEN Truepress Jet 520HD AD, the latest addition to Phoenix’s impressive equipment lineup, is a high-speed inkjet digital web press ideal for various applications, including direct mail printing fed by variable data. The concept of  variable data printing has been around for more than a decade. However it was slow and expensive making it difficult to use for large volume direct mail campaigns.  This cutting-edge technology enables efficient printing at high speeds and in large volumes while ensuring that each mail piece is tailor-fit to the intended recipient.

Effectiveness and Benefits of Variable Data Printing Services with Direct Mail Printing

With modern data-driven marketing, businesses can collect customer data and leverage it to create highly personalized online and offline campaigns. Incorporating VDP into direct mail campaigns allows companies to send personalized mailers with custom messaging to each customer, significantly improving response rates.

Studies by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) reveal that mailing campaigns using personalization achieve response rates of 6%, a substantial improvement over the average 2% for non-personalized direct mail. The key is using meaningful personalization to improve response rates and increase the return on investment (ROI).

From postcards and envelopes to folded self-mailers and brochures, nearly every component of a direct mail piece can be personalized to capture attention and convey value.

Examples of Variable Data Printing

To truly grasp the potential of VDP, let’s explore real-world examples across diverse industries:

  • Service Reminders: Carpet cleaning businesses use VDP to re-engage with customers by offering special incentives based on their last service date.
  • Cross- and Up-Selling: Hotel chains personalize mailers with images and promotions based on a customer’s preferences, demographics, and past stays.
  • Customer Retention: Casinos excel at using VDP to personalize mailers with images of favorite games, credits, and coupons to keep customers coming back for more.

While these are just a few specific examples, the possibilities of personalization are truly limitless in VDP campaigns.

Use Variable Data Printing Services to Maximize the Effectiveness of Direct Mail Campaigns

Phoenix is at the forefront of embracing VDP to amplify the effectiveness of direct mail campaigns. The advances in printing technology empower businesses to transform generic “junk mail” into personalized offers and messages tailored to each customer that garner real results.

Our variable data printing services streamline the customization process, automating the creation of personalized content based on the target’s preferential data like geographic location or previous spending habits. We help our clients with every step of the direct mail process, from creative concept, list acquisition, and data mining to print, lettershop service, commingling, and postal logistics.

The Phoenix Group, in collaboration with ICS Corporation, stands as a direct mail and print powerhouse, offering end-to-end solutions for campaigns of all sizes from small trigger campaigns to massive national acquisition mailings.

In the age of data-driven marketing, embrace the power of variable data printing and direct mail with Phoenix. Personalize your direct mail campaigns to engage, convert, and leave a lasting impression on your audience. Discover our full suite of possibilities by exploring our Direct Mail Factbook and learn what we can do for your business!

[View the Direct Mail Factbook]


If you want to speak to a Phoenix expert directly or are ready to start implementing variable data printing into your next campaign, contact us today.

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