What is Variable Data Printing & How Does It Work?

What is Variable Data Printing & How Does It Work?

The days of generalized mass mailings and one-size-fits-all approaches to marketing are long gone. Now, customers expect personalized content that is relevant and timely, and businesses can benefit significantly by fulfilling those expectations. According to a 2020 survey of marketing professionals in the United States, the leading benefits of personalization include higher conversion rates, improved customer experience, increased customer engagement, increased lead generation and customer acquisition, and improved brand perception. However, personalization is only feasible and advantageous if a business can execute it efficiently at scale. When companies are looking for an efficient and accurate way to create customized content, many turn to variable data printing, sometimes referred to as VDP or variable data imaging. 

Here at FabSoft, we help companies modernize their printing systems, improve productivity, and reduce costs with our SysConnect solution. In this guide, we define variable data printing and explain the working principles, uses, and benefits. 

What is variable data printing?

Variable data printing is a technology that allows each document in a print run to include unique data points like names, messages, images, graphics, addresses, special offers, and more. Each one-of-a-kind, printed document can include single or multiple customized elements. 

How does variable data printing work?

Variable data printing works by collecting specific data and dynamically inserting the content into a static mail design or template based on data-driven file classifications. Data such as headlines, names, addresses, special offers, graphics, and images can be pulled from files and automatically changed from one printed document to the next without delaying the printing process. The right software is required to achieve rapid, printed customization at scale. 

At FabSoft, we developed a powerful document process engine, SysConnect, to capture documents from any type of application or operating system. Once a document is captured, it can be altered, enhanced, separated, and delivered. SysConnect began as a powerful variable data printing solution and has expanded to encompass a powerful delivery solution compatible with any on-premise or cloud system. With these advanced capabilities, SysConnect takes variable data printing to the next level. Businesses can handle sophisticated mail merge processes and add intelligent objects such as Terms and Conditions, Barcodes, Images, Coupons, Fonts, Colors, and more to documents for personalized printing runs. 

Uses for Variable Data Printing

Many industries need variable data printing, including financial services, retail, non-profits, utilities, telecommunications, healthcare, government, etc. Here is a list of ways businesses and organizations can use variable data printing to personalize content. 

Service Reminders

Car dealerships, automotive shops, maintenance companies, cleaning businesses, and other service providers can use variable data printing to send friendly reminders to customers to schedule appointments. Companies can use data like the date of a customer's previous service to tailor special offers that incentivize customers to return for the next service. Variable data printing technologies also allow businesses to reference specific information about the customer and their product rather than sending a generic reminder. For example, an HVAC servicing company can reference the home's exact system, the homeowner's name, and the date of the last visit when sending a reminder for the next service date. 

Cross- and Up-Selling Offers

Businesses such as hotels, resorts, and retailers can use variable data printing to create personalized promotions with offerings based on a client's recent purchase or visit history. For example, a resort can personalize mailers with upgrades for experiences that complement or enhance a client's upcoming vacation. 

Tailored Messaging

Colleges, universities, and charity organizations can use variable data printing to tailor brochures and pamphlets to excite the recipient's interest. For example, a college can send a brochure to high school students with imagery specific to each student's identified interests. For another example, a charitable organization can send requests for donations that highlight each donor's unique passions based on their history of supporting the organization. 

3 Benefits of Variable Data Printing

Variable data printing is an excellent solution for businesses needing to personalize printed materials quickly. Three significant benefits of variable data printing include: 

  1. Useful on various applications - Variable data printing is a game-changer for businesses across many industries and can create many different types of printed materials. 
  2. Enhances data analysis and tracking - Variable data printing can include QR codes, tracking numbers, and unique URLs that companies can use to track and analyze marketing efforts. 
  3. Increases response and conversion rates - Simply adding the recipient's first name to a piece of mail can increase the response rates by an impressive 135%!

To learn more about our variable data solution, Book a Demo with us today! 

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