One of the benefits of email marketing that companies have leveraged is the ability to customize each email to the recipient based on specific customer information. This goes far beyond just addressing the email to Mr. Joe Smith; content can be customized based on the recipient’s demographic and purchasing history.

However, these customization benefits are not limited to the electronic realm. Today’s technology allows direct mail marketers to take advantage of customization through variable data printing. Direct mail pieces can contain personalized URLs, specific QR codes, coupons or offers for specific products, and so on.

To create these customized mailings, two tools are required: software that can gather information from your database and create a mailing list, and a printer that can take the list and print the mail pieces variably. Many third party direct mail developers like Ballantine have these tools already, and can put them to use for you.

Manufacturers are feeling the push towards direct mail customization, and are developing a variety of software and presses to accommodate the variable data printing processes. At the recent DScoop 6 conference, HP unveiled their latest printing solutions, which include software tools and printing hardware to support full color variable data printing for direct mail campaigns. Other companies such as Ricoh are forming strategic partnerships with software companies to create integrated solutions.

Why bother with creating customized mailings? The University of Nebraska Medical Center describes their ROI in this way, “The returns for variable printing vary from double the normal return at the basic level to 10-15 times the return for fully variable jobs.” Increasing ROI this significantly is sufficient reason to consider variable data printing for your direct mail pieces.

 

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