Direct Mail Marketing and Variable Data – How to use it for your business.

In the digital age, it may be tempting to focus solely on digital marketing tactics. However, direct mail marketing is still an effective way to reach potential customers and drive sales. One way to make direct mail marketing even more effective is by using variable data print (VDP).

What is Direct Mail Marketing?

Direct mail marketing involves sending physical mail pieces, such as postcards or letters, directly to a targeted audience. The goal is to get the recipient to take a specific action, such as making a purchase or visiting a website.

There are several benefits to direct mail marketing. First, it allows you to target specific demographics, such as age, income, and location. This means you can tailor your message to the audience you want to reach.

Second, direct mail has a high response rate. According to PostGrid, direct mail has a response rate of 4.9% for prospect lists and up to 9% for house lists (your current customers).

Finally, direct mail is tangible. A physical mail piece is something that can be held, touched, and even displayed on a desk or bulletin board. This means it has a longer lifespan than an email, which can be deleted with a single click.

What is Variable Data Print?

Variable data print, or VDP, is a printing technique that allows you to customize each individual mail piece in a print run. This means you can include personalized information, such as the recipient’s name or location, in each mail piece.

VDP is made possible by digital printing technology. Instead of creating printing plates for each individual piece, a digital printer can print each piece with unique information on the fly. This makes VDP more cost-effective and faster than traditional printing methods.

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Why Use Variable Data Print in Direct Mail Marketing?

There are several reasons to use VDP in direct mail marketing.

First, it makes your mail piece more personal. When a recipient sees their name or location on a mail piece, they are more likely to feel like the message is specifically tailored to them. This can make them more likely to take action, such as making a purchase or visiting a website.

Second, VDP allows you to segment your audience even further. For example, you could create a mail piece that is specifically targeted to customers who have made a purchase in the past month. This can make your message even more relevant to the recipient, increasing the likelihood of a response.

Third, VDP allows you to include more information in each mail piece. Instead of sending a generic message to everyone on your mailing list, you can include specific information that is relevant to each recipient. For example, you could include a personalized coupon code or a special offer that is only available to customers in a specific location.

Finally, VDP can help you track your results more accurately. By including unique codes or phone numbers on each mail piece, you can track which pieces are generating the most responses. This can help you refine your direct mail marketing strategy and make it even more effective in the future.

How to Use Variable Data Print in Direct Mail Marketing

If you’re interested in using VDP in your direct mail marketing strategy, here are some tips to get you started:

Start with a clean database: Before you can use VDP, you need to have accurate and up-to-date information on your customers. Make sure your database is clean and free of errors.

Segment your audience: Decide which segments of your audience you want to target with your direct mail campaign. This could be based on demographics, location, or past behavior.

Determine your message: Once you have your segments, determine what message you want to send to each group. Make sure the message is relevant and personalized to each recipient.

Design your mail piece: Now it’s time to design your direct mail piece, or you could work with one of our designers to make your perfect piece. Either way, you should include variable data fields that can be customized for each recipient. This could include hteir name, location, or other personalized information.

Test your campaign: Before launching your direct mail campaign, test it with a small group of recipients or a seed group within your company. This will allow you to identify any issues or areas for improvement before sending it out to your entire mailing list.

Track your results: As mentioned earlier, include unique codes or phone numbers on each mail piece to track your results. This will allow you to measure the effectiveness of your campaign and make adjustments as needed.

Examples of Variable Data Print in Direct Mail Marketing

Here are some examples of how VDP can be used in direct mail marketing:

Personalized mail pieces: A mail piece that includes the recipient’s name or other personalized information can make the message more relevant and engaging.

Location-based offers: A mail piece that includes a special offer or discount that is only available to customers in a specific location can encourage them to visit a nearby store.

Product recommendations: A mail piece that includes product recommendations based on the recipient’s past purchases or browsing history can help increase sales and engagement.

Membership renewal reminders: A mail piece that includes a reminder to renew a membership or subscription can help retain customers and increase loyalty.

Birthday or anniversary offers: A mail piece that includes a special offer or discount for the recipient’s birthday or anniversary can help build goodwill and increase engagement.

Direct mail marketing is still a valuable tool in today’s digital age.

By incorporating variable data print, you can make your direct mail campaigns even more effective by personalizing each mail piece to the recipient. This can increase engagement, response rates, and ultimately drive sales. With the right database, message, and printing method, you can create a direct mail campaign that stands out and delivers results.

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