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Variable Printing: Is the Connection Worth the Cost?

Think about all the people you know, and how you interact with each of them a little differently. Your coworker as opposed to your boss, for example. You might also use different examples while explaining a concept to people in different industries. You take a personalized approach when interacting with people in person, so why should your direct mail be any different?

The good news is—with variable printing, it doesn’t have to be!

Creating a Personal Connection Through Variable Printing

There may be over 7 billion humans on the Earth, but each of us wants to feel like an individual. When other people recognize our individuality, we tend to remember it.

When your coworker notices your new shoes, you feel better about your purchase. The fact that someone noticed a difference validates the extra effort. Imagine if you could tap into this logic through your direct mail campaign—notice what it is about your audience that is unique and capitalize on it. Variable printing can help you achieve this.

It’s Much More Than a First Name
Variable printing is much more than [Insert Name Here] in one or two places within your direct mail piece. This printing option provides the opportunity to create an emotional connection with your audience through the use of several variables, all while utilizing the same template or design.

Personalizing Content Through Variable Printing

Images
65% of marketing executives believe that visual assets are core to communicating their brand story.

Visuals are an important aspect of marketing, and the images you choose are even more powerful when they directly relate to each individual in your audience. Don’t miss out on the chance to effectively communicate because you chose one generic image for your entire mailing list, rather than five or six emotionally appealing images that directly relate to each segment.

Headline and Body Copy
Consumers are constantly being served ads, and as a result, they’ve gotten pretty savvy as to when they can tune things out. We are exposed to more than 5,000 ads each day. Of those, only 12 get our attention. When you’re working with odds like that, it’s important to do everything you possibly can to make your content resonate with your audience.

If the mailing list of your printed piece includes several different audience segments, there may be specific language that resonates with one more than the other. Variable printing allows you to create custom headlines for each audience, enabling you to immediately grab the attention of the recipient, immediately connecting your message to their specific needs. There is also the option to create customized body copy for each audience segment. This can be extremely beneficial when outlining an example specific to an industry.

Personalized URLS
If there’s anything that makes someone feel special, it’s their name included within a domain URL! Incorporating personalized URLs (PURLs) into your print campaign allows you to not only lead the recipient to the next step, but also gives you the opportunity to measure the ROI of the mailer.

You may target a PURL for each individual or for an entire audience segment. Regardless, PURLs provide the ability to measure traffic and conversions related to each URL, allowing you to document the ROI of the mailer.

PURLs also help A/B test content. Using the same measurements, you are able to learn which variables resulted in action by the consumer. Which headline returned the most conversions? Which image resulted in the most traffic? This information is not only valuable for the current campaign, but also when creating a strategy for the next direct mailer.

The Benefits of Variable Printing

As you may have gathered, there are several benefits that come with variable printing. Some are obvious, while others are strategic.

Customized Content
Customized content not only helps you target specific audiences, but helps create a personal connection with the audience.

Saves Production Time
Creating one printed piece that can be customized in multiple ways only requires one template, versus having a designer place each version of variable content in it’s own brochure template. When text and images are variable components of a piece, the template scales accordingly.

And of course, variable printing results in just one print run, rather than multiple, individual runs.

Measure ROI
When certain variables are utilized, such as personalized URLs, the opportunity to measure ROI is available. Since measuring ROI is something that is typically very difficult to do for a print campaign, this is extremely valuable!

A/B Test Capabilities
If you’re not quite sure which headline or brand concept to go with, utilize variable printing and allow the print campaign to help you decide! You can A/B test headlines, taglines, body copy, images and more.

MTZ 001-Blog VariableExample

Create an Emotional Connection
What variable printing comes down to is that with each change in image, headline or body copy, you are able to craft a message that is personal to the recipient.

When content is personalized, it becomes not one of the 5,000 ads seen throughout the day, but a valuable resource to that person. At Metzgers, we understand that your products and services are valuable, and we can help your target audience understand this as well by utilizing the variable printing options highlighted above. Contact a sales representative today at 419.861.8611 to learn how you can incorporate variable printing into your next direct mailer.

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