Marketing with Variable Data~

When I sift through my daily mail, four things happen in this order.

1) Any personal letters and cards are opened and read first.
2) I might open a bill if I’m in the mood; otherwise, bills are put aside to be opened when I’m in the mood.
3) Magazines and newsletters have their own “to be read at leisure” basket.
4) Direct mail is what remains; and takes the most time to sift through because it arrives in the form of letters, big letters, bigger boxed letters and post cards. The letter versions are the most annoying and cumbersome because they might contain information I need to know. I have to be careful because in the past I’ve almost thrown out concert tickets and my tax refund! It’s the post cards that are fairly easy to deal with.

Each post card receives a cursory look, but it’s either immediately tossed into the recycle bin or kept in a pile for a second review. What is it that would keep me from recycling it at first glance? It might be that I’m in the market for a product or service the offer displays. Something was relevant to me…something caught my eye. This is the goal of marketing with direct mail. The advertiser wants us to stop for a moment and pay attention.

Most marketers have heard about variable data. But, did you know that “data” includes pictures? Wouldn’t you stop and pay attention to an ad if it were relevant to you? If I noticed a Brittany Spaniel on a post card from Petco I’d stop to look because I like Spaniels. If you’re weirs furniture store and have a data base, do you know the style each of your clients like? If so, are you using variable “data” to replace the picture with the style they prefer? If you did, you would get a higher response rate from your direct mail.

Variable printing is more expensive per piece than traditional static mailers and it does require a data base with intelligent information beyond only a name and address. But, if you print less and increase your ROI, what’s stopping you? How can we help you?

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