Top 3 Variable Data Pieces to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing
There’s more to variable data printing than “Hello [insert your name here].” Much, much more. But unfortunately for you and me, killer VDP pieces often go unnoticed. Why’s that? Because if they’re truly great variable data pieces, you won’t even notice that they’re 1:1 personalized pieces, you’ll be too busy enjoying (yes, enjoying) the piece.
So we’re here to encourage you to break out of that “Hello [name],” box. Need some inspiration? Below we’ve assembled our top 3 variable data pieces to get your creative juices flowing.
#1 What’s in a Name?
There’s so much more to variable data than name personalization. For example, Firestone Complete Auto Care sends postcards to customers signed from their local manager. Seeing a familiar face who your customers have personally worked with creates an emotional attachment and friendly association with your company.
And let’s face it, your clients would much rather see a photo of a local employee they’ve done business with rather than your national CEO who they’ve never heard of. It’s all about strengthening connections, people.
#2 Play Secret Agent
Being in the CIA has always been a dream of mine. No, I don’t mean the Culinary Institute of America. I’m talking the top secret missions, exploding cars, futuristic watches that shoot lasers and any other gadget that Q ever gave to James Bond (I know, he’s British Intelligence, but he has some nice toys).
Working in the printing industry, you may think your opportunity to be a secret agent has past. But we’re here to tell you that you’re in luck. If you have a database of customer information (which, we’re assuming you do) it’s time for some investigative work. For your next mailing, don’t just send your customers any old coupon. Personalize them for products that they’ve purchased in the past, like Target stores do. Target customers each get a unique number, making it easy to track their past purchases which they then sent out specified discounts for. (Make sure to check out this NYT article on Target deducting a teen’s pregnancy through purchase history.)
Now, we’re not saying investigate as intensely as the aforementioned Target statistician , but take advantage of the fact that you already know what most of your clients want to buy, and let them know that you care enough to specify your direct mailing efforts.
#3 It’s Not as Easy as…a Jackson 5 Song
Encouraging your customer to take action beyond opening a personalized piece is the ultimate step. If your piece can somehow be interactive, like Peter Wann’s February “Measurable Marketing” e-newsletter, you know you’re doing it right.
Here’s how Mr. Wann’s newsletter was set up: three emails and two personalized postcards were sent out to 25,000 customers. All of the VDP pieces were tailored to fit relevant business problems based on a client’s industry segment. Next, recipients were to use their personalized URL to input the weak points of their company in a simple survey. Based on their responses, the following web pages informed them of software products (that Wann’s company sold) that they could purchase to help solve these problems. As if that wasn’t a stellar enough campaign in itself, an iPod drawing was also advertised to get mailing recipients to participate.
Variable data printing is a rapidly expanding concept. And like most printing technology, we’re thinking that in the near future, it will be fully integrated and somewhat of an expectation of customers and clients. But don’t, we beg of you, stop at a simple name personalization. VDP technology can take you so much further.
Of the variable data pieces you’ve received, what’s made them great?