If your looking for more sales, you can increase your response rates with VDP, short for Variable Data Printing. But you ask “how does this work? What do I need to do? Is the cost worth it? Let me explain a little about each of these questions. SLB Printing has been providing VDP (Variable Data Printing) for a long time now and feel we have the valuable information you need to understand this exciting idea and bring it to your product or service.
First off, Variable Data Printing requires a good database. Next, you need a well crafted message that resonates with your clients and prospects. Finally, you need to consider multi-channel marketing (not to be confused with multi-level marketing) to bring this all together. So lets break this down one step at a time.
A good database is one that has specific data in each field and does not have the wrong data in certain fields. Simply put, your Address field should contain a good address, not anything else. We see databases all the time with address fields that contain secondary information like C/O (in care of) or building names, such as The Times Mirror Building or Marathon Office Building. This type of data needs to be kept in another filed. So sit down and start cleaning up your database! The next biggest mistake is the Company Name field. Have you ever tried to write out the name of your favorite Law Firm with 5 partners names on the letterhead and get that to fit onto an envelope? Consider how that’s going to look printed on the mail piece and how much space you’re allocating to that line before you set up your database. The best practice is to have 2 company name fields, company_1 and company_2, just in case you run into this issue. That way you can choose how to split the lines up. Next is the Name field, if you are planning on a VDP mail merge, what name filed will work for this? The first name? The last name? Would you like to see your letter addressed to or Dear Shelby or Dear Mr. Blecker or by mistake to Dear Blecker? If your variable data job ends up looking like it was put together by a 3rd grader, no one is going to call you because these simple mistakes will make your business look inept! So when planning your next VDP, (Variable Data Printing) campaign take a look at your database and decide how robust and flexible it can be. If you haven’t begun to capture your data into a database, think about all the possible ways you will want to use that data going forward. Consider fields for salutation, birthdays, anniversaries, favorite sport or anything that will let your client know that you remember something special about them.
The next step is the message. Imagine, if you were a restaurant owner, the response you would get to the main line on a postcard that reads: “Hi Mr. Blecker, When celebrating your birthday on March 16th this year, we hope you’ll have time to drop by our restaurant so we can serve you a slice of your favorite apple pie“. This paragraph uses 4 different fields: salutation “Mr. Blecker“, event: Birthday, date: March 16th and favorite desert: apple pie. If your restaurant has 12,000 annual guests and you had this data, you could mail an average of 1,000 pieces a month and let all your guests know that you remember that their birthday or anniversary is coming up soon and YOU want to help them celebrate. It’s not just restaurants that can use this data, clothing boutiques, beauty and health salons, sporting events and many more industries can all benefit from a data rich and well thought out database to produce a high response rate VDP campaign.
Combine this with muti-channel marketing and you’ve got the makings for a powerful and high response marketing campaign. Email that comes after the printed piece in the mail box is more likely to get opened or remembered instead of deleted. Follow up phone calls reminding people of the postcard and email you sent tie everything together and allow you the best possible chance to create a long lasting relationship. Remember though, the better the data, the better the VDP (Variable Data Printing) campaign will be.
SLB Printing has the equipment necessary to help print your next VDP job. Call us to discuss how we can combine VDP with your next order for postcards, flyers, sell sheets, catalogs and lookbooks. All of these items can benefit from a little extra Variable Data Printing to personalize your message and get you that higher response rate. More information and links to case studies can be found on web site at http://www.slbprinting.com/vdp/