VDP and Your Next Direct Mail Piece

Before sending out or even creating your next direct mail campaign, take the time to get to know your audience.  Understand their likes and interests and invest the time in analyzing their buying habits, because once you understand your customer, it is easy to create a personalized message that entices them to respond.  Furthermore, with variable data printing, you’re able to generate multiple messages in one print-run; helping to minimize the cost of a personalized mailing.

Segmenting your database allows you to filter your target audience into groups with similar purchasing habits – by doing so you can create messages that are extremely targeted and relevant to a specific group in your target audience.  Segmenting and analyzing your database will enable you to decrease your overhead costs and you will be more likely to see an increase in your response rate.  Studies have shown an average of a 33 percent increase in recipient responses when a direct mail piece is personalized.

Another aspect to consider when creating your mailing is to offer multiple ways for the recipient to respond to your message.   Personalized URLs or QR codes are excellent tools to include in your campaign.  Not only do they make it easy for your audience to respond to the call-to-action, but they also enable you to track and measure who is responding and what the user seems most interested in.

Finally, don’t forget the presentation.  Direct mail is unique in that it’s sent right to your consumer’s hands.  Because direct mail is tangible, using thicker paper or glossy stock can help to instantly associate a high quality image of your brand in the consumer’s mind.  The design is also essential – remember a picture is worth a thousand words — create something that is visually appealing.  Images and graphics can also be personalized with VDP and should be based on what your target audience would find most relevant and enticing.

Direct mail is an important element in your cross media marketing mix.  When integrated properly with your other communication channels and personalized to meet your audience’s preferences the results will be favorable.

Timothy Freeman
Print & Graphic Communications Association


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