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Customize Your Marketing With Variable Data Printing

In the not too distant past, preparing brochures and other marketing collateral was both expensive and time-consuming. The main way to bring down the cost was by printing large quantities, which meant the only cost-effective way to personalize material for different segments of the market was to include a letter or some other personalized material along with the brochure. Personalizing output for different markets, much less different customers, was virtually impossible.

The Advent Of Personalized Printing

Since the onset of digital printing, marketers have increased ability to obtain high-quality, full-color documents that look as professional as offset printing that can also be personalized. By interfacing computer databases with the printing process, you can now mass-customize documents, rather than just mass-producing them. Using technology similar to mail merging of names into a word processing document, variable printing allows you to incorporate a relevant marketing message into a more complex marketing piece.

This personalization can take one of several forms. The simplest level involves adding a name on each copy, similar to a mail merge. The next option is to add varying amounts of customization for each market so that text or images can change according to the market segment being targeted. Finally, full variability printing allows personalize text and images for each individual address. In all cases, the format and basic layout remains the same, along with some shared language, while some elements vary based on who will receive the output.

Creating Variable Data Printing

Variable data printing or VDF is accomplished in three ways:

  1. A static document is loaded into the printer memory, and the printer is instructed to always print this document in addition to variable data that’s printed on top of the static document. The simplest of VDP technologies, this approach is also the most limited.
  1. Both the static document and variable elements are combined to create separate digital documents for each recipient or group of recipients. The downside of this approach is that print files are large and can easily overcome the capacity of the print driver or Raster Image Processor (RIP), and printing is slower.
  1. Using VDP software, static and variable elements are combined in such a way that the driver only has to process and store the static elements once. This type of software is included in Adobe InDesign and in standalone or bundled software offered by many manufacturers.

Marketing Benefits Of VDP

VDP enables you, as a marketer, to be more effective in reaching your customers. Whether you want to send a postcard with a relevant image and text, or a bound report that includes a few pages of personalize content along with standard content, you can do so with one printing job. If you have a product that is useful in several markets, you can change product pictures and some of the text to create unique pieces that appeal to each market.

The Document Group of Houston, Texas offers digital printing with variable data printing capabilities. You retain the benefits of high quality color printing and excellent image quality along with the type of customization that maximizes your marketing dollar. For information about this technology and samples of VDP in action, call us at 888-316-4670.

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