Increasing Marketing Campaign ROI with Variable Data Imaging
When COF/Control-o-fax was born in 1948, it was much harder to design and print marketing communications. Graphic designers didn’t have computers where they could load graphics and print them on paper within seconds. Offset printing began to gain steam in the 1940s and further in the 1950s due to improvements in ink, paper, and plates. However, variable data imaging was still light years away. Fast forward to 2012 and COF/Control-o-fax now offers variable data imaging which takes direct marketing to the next level.
Running a business calls for maximizing sales opportunities with current and prospective customers. However, no two customers are alike. What is the best way to handle this in your direct marketing? Often, it is to use variable data imaging which conforms to one-on-one marketing. The returns on variable data printing (VDP) vary from double the normal return at the basic level to 10-15 times the return for fully variable jobs. This depends upon content and content relevancy, but the technique presents an effective tool for vastly increasing
Variable data printing is a direct outgrowth of digital printing, which harnesses computer databases and digital print devices and highly effective software to create high-quality, full color documents, with a look and feel comparable to conventional offset printing. Variable data printing enables the mass customization of documents via digital print technology, as opposed to the ‘mass production’ of a single document using offset lithography. Instead of producing 10,000 copies of a single document, delivering a single message to 10,000 customers, variable data printing enables the printing of 10,000 unique documents with customized messages for each customer.
There are several levels of variable printing. The most basic level involves changing the salutation or name on each copy much like a mail merge. More complicated variable data printing uses 'versioning', where there may be differing amounts of customization for different markets, with text and images changing for groups of addresses based upon which segment of the market is being addressed. Finally there is full variability printing, where the text and images can be altered for each individual address. All variable data printing begins with a basic design that defines static elements and variable fields for the pieces to be printed. While the static elements appear exactly the same on each piece, the variable fields are filled in with text or images as dictated by a set of application and style rules and the information contained in the database.