6 Ways to Stop Mail Anonymous-ness!

The yellow markers show where variable data printing has been used to personalize the mailpiece.

The yellow markers show where variable data printing has been used to personalize the mailpiece.

Available as a PDF

Six Case Studies showcase the new sophistication and outstanding ROI of VDP campaigns.

If you’re thinking about purchasing this case study collection about variable data printing (VDP), chances are you already have a pretty good idea that VDP can be a mailer’s best friend. Why? Personalized mail pieces take care of job number one: get attention.

Even better, by using content that is relevant and unique to each prospect, that attention has a much better chance to turn into action than with the traditional direct mail piece.

With the “Variable Data Printing Case Studies” you will get insight on how six companies, including Ivy Bridge College, Hallmark Gold Crown Stores and Club ABC Tours overcame challenging obstacles and found success through advanced VDP solutions.

Here are just a few of the many takeaways you’ll learn:
• How to leverage data
• The importance of data verification
• How to use relevant images to evoke an emotional response
• How to effectively use pURLS to increase response
• What formats are working
• What elements you should test today, it’s all about personalized 1-to-1 marketing.

The message needs to be relevant. And, the more relevant the message is, the better the response rate. VDP turns data into dollars!

Personalize your mailings and crank the results to 11

Despite direct mail being a so-called “traditional” marketing approach, it has had its own technological advances of late—advances that fundamentally change the way prospects engage with your message. The advances come in the form of unique ways to customize your piece, and even the ability to personalize your piece with data about the recipient. I’ll look at both topics in more depth …
Putting the ‘Personal’ Back in Personalized Mailings
If you are interested in new ways to capture attention with your mailings, consider one of these cool add-ons:

  1. Sticky Notes: I love this one. You can add yellow sticky notes to your mail piece! Sticky notes come loaded with connotations: “This message is important,” “This message is urgent,” “This message is personal,” etc. You can use a handwritten font to up the personal value, too.
  2. Yellow Letters: Why send a prototypical direct mail letter when you can send a letter that looks freshly torn from someone’s personal legal pad and delivered right to you? Well, it’s totally possible to turn your standard letter into a personal communication that’s printed on yellow paper that imitates the look of a legal pad. Plus, you can customize your yellow letter even further by using a handwritten font to really pump up the personal factor. If you have an offer that doesn’t require a ton of explaining (i.e. “Hey, I wanna buy your house!”), these are an awesome option.
  3. Handwritten/Stamped Envelopes: Want something equally sweet to pair with your personal legal pad letter? Why not continue the personal theme with a hand addressed (really done by hand) envelope with a real stamp on it? Yes, there are direct mail companies that offer this, and, yes, it is a fantastic idea.
  4. Scratch-off Stickers: Without significantly upping the cost of your mailing (no effect on postage), you can add scratch-off stickers to your piece. Let’s be real—scratch-offs have an almost irresistible appeal, don’t they? Even if you KNOW you’re not going to win, you still have to scratch, just in case. That fact alone makes this upgrade worth it, because you attract much more attention, and keep that attention for a longer period of time. Additionally, when you put a special offer underneath the sticker, people are more likely to redeem it, because it has an exclusive feel to it (even if the offer isn’t exclusive).
  5. Magnets: Why not go ahead and turn a postcard into something of value the prospect can hang on their refrigerator? You can add a little magnet to the back of a postcard mailing without increasing the postage rate. Include a recipe or a local sports schedule on your card and suddenly your brand and message can be staring your prospect in the face, day after day. I love this option—so simple, but so brilliant!

Bonus: 6. Personalizing Your Mailing
Okay, now for the game-changer: There is a (relatively) new technology that allows you to customize each piece based on the profile of the person it is going to. It is called “Variable Data Printing” (VDP), and essentially it can pull information about the prospect from the mailing list and incorporate it into the design. (It’s really not that new, but it’s finally affordable! And we don’t tout anything as amazing until it gets results and is affordable to small businesses.)

  • Shelley Sweeney

    Great examples, Joy! I agree – relevance is the name of the game with marketing. To gain consumers’ trust, marketers need to focus on personalization, relevancy and understand the way end-users think in order to cut through the clutter. In fact, according to a Print In the Mix survey, 56% percent of respondents said they found printed material to be the ‘most trustworthy’ of media channels. Direct mail pieces are a great way to add personalization and in order to be successful, printed marketing must tailor each message to the consumer to gain their interest. Combining variable data printing with a targeted and distinctive distribution network can help your message get noticed in today’s oversaturated media world. From tailored color schemes to unique headlines, marketers can create a piece so individualized that no one can tell it is automatically generated from a database. – Shelley Sweeney, VP/GM Service Bureau/Direct Mail Sectors, Xerox