Variable Data Campaigns Are Now As Easy As 1-2-3

If you’ve shied away from doing a variable data print (VDP) campaign because it seemed too difficult, you’re going to love this post. VDP campaigns are now as easy as they are effective, and the Cooley Group is here to help.

VDP involves merging a database with a design so that every piece in your direct mail campaign is specifically targeted to each recipient. It provides a way to personalize direct mail, like postcards, brochures and statements.

With advances in printing technology as well as data analytics, every company can create and benefit from variable data campaigns. Not only can you change copy and imagery, but you can also incorporate digital media into your print campaign, making them truly multichannel.

Why Is Personalized Print More Effective Than Traditional Print?

There are 4 key reasons why VDP outperforms static print.

1. More Relevant. Your VDP campaign’s unique message to each recipient makes it eye-catching. Since research indicates that a person sees upward of 5000 advertisement and brand exposures per day, developing marketing messages that are more relevant and compelling is key.

2. Higher Response Rate. Personalized pieces can garner a response rate of 6.5%, which is three times higher than typical direct mail, according to a study by the USPS.

3. More Engaging. Many VDP campaigns marry print with digital features, like social media, microsites, or PURLs (Personalized URLs), making them instantly engaging. Including a digital feature elevates ink-on-paper to multichannel, which broadens your reach and enhances engagement.

4. It’s Trackable. When you add a digital feature such as a PURL to your campaign, you can track who’s visited their unique URL and who hasn’t. It’s also an opportunity to gather additional data from your audience, thereby giving you more insight into customer needs and behaviors.

How Easy Is Creating a VDP Campaign?

Many still believe that a VDP campaign is too technical or takes too long, but it’s not so. The Cooley Group will help you build and design your campaign in about two weeks.

We can get your own database in shape, or collect valuable data if you don’t have a list. We’ll make your list more targeted through use of variable imagery. Plus, our Brand Consultants will help design your piece to make sure every element (design, copy, format, imagery, call to action) supports your objective. Cooley can track and report results from your campaign, and you can also see your responses in real time.

For Cooley client Michael Roberts, we produced a highly successful postcard campaign using PURLs and variable imagery. The offer was to register for a complimentary ladies-only pampering night. To sweeten this offer, attendees were promised a free spa service, and they were also encouraged to invite a friend, which they could do when they clicked on their PURL. The other side of the postcard had an image conjuring up a relaxing spa visit – plus the first name of each recipient spelled out in seashells. As an added benefit, the online event registration eliminated the administrative headache of chasing down registrations by phone.

VDP Campaigns = Enhanced Direct Mail

Now you see the power and attraction of personalized mail campaigns, especially when you add digital features like a PURL (which, BTW, makes direct mail more interesting to digital natives).

These “rich content” campaigns are a masterful blend of print and digital. They’re more engaging, more relevant, and more effective – everything a marketing campaign should be.