Variable Data Printing

Make an impression with variable data printing

Unlike many other printing terms, variable data printing doesn’t immediately give you a clear indication of what is involved or what it achieves. If anything, it is almost misleading as a term as it implies that we are referring to printing data that is constantly changing or variable. The misconception is you have to have a master's in IT or spend your life living in spreadsheets to do anything like this but it couldn’t be easier. We all have data in our businesses that’s usually locked away in accounts rather than being used to engage with your customers, build loyalty and give targeted, relevant information.

Generic e-shots offer poor responses

You are probably sending out generic eshots or spending a small fortune on catalogues that include every product you’ve ever made but you’ll have data that not only tells you who your customers are but what they’ve bought from you, what they’re interested in and what business sector they’re from. All this information makes it very easy to transform a generic  piece of marketing into something special, something that can be measured.

What exactly is variable data printing?

The term ‘variable data’ refers to a block of data that provides specific information on individuals that make up a target audience. They may be past and present customers, they can be people who attended a conference you have held in previous years, they may be regular theatre-goers, the list of potential groups of people is endless.

The connection with printing relates to the distribution of printed promotional information that you want to get maximum results from, whether it is sales or bookings.

Variable data printing involves the extraction of personal information contained within data provided on a standard Excel sheet which then enables us to print a leaflet or brochure that, for example includes the recipient’s name, promotes a product they are more likely to be interested in (based on previous purchase behaviour) and details of the offer.

A very simple example of how variable data printing works

As a very simple example, if a florist has two specific customers, one who usually buys lilies and one who usually buys roses, it is more effective to send a leaflet offering 10% off roses to the one customer and another leaflet offering 10% off lilies to the other. With each leaflet having the customer’s name printed on it, the results are much higher than a gereric 10% off all flowers leaflet to both, but with no personal reference on the leaflet.

Variable data printing targets established human behaviours

Variable data printing works because, as humans, we have been trained from childhood to respond positively to anything that is seen as ‘a personal gift’. We like to feel special, and if a business appears to be going out of its way to tell us, personally, about something, it will make us feel special and more valued.

Variable data printing saves money and improves customer relations

There are several major advantages of variable data printing.

  1. It targets individuals based on past behaviours, so you know you are targeting the right individual each time
  2. While digital printing technology not only makes it possible to create individualised leaflets, the unit cost has also fallen dramatically by avoiding the previous need for large print runs.
  3. While printing costs may have fallen, postage costs haven’t. With variable data printing, you can avoid wasting money on mass mailshots that indiscriminately blanket target everyone and know that each leaflet or document posted will be sent to an appropriate and relevant recipient.
  4. Personalised mail is not seen to be annoying in the way mass-mailed leaflets are so will be received positively while also conveying the message that the recipient is valued as an individual.

If you would like to know more about varaible data printing and the services we offer please call us now. 

We have branches in Bradford, Manchester, Middleton and Warrington.

Examples of variable data printing include:

  • Brochures
  • Leaflets
  • Loyalty scheme communications
  • Address labels
  • Code printing - QR codes
  • Vouchers
  • Direct mail campaigns
  • Forest Stewardship Council® Certified and recycled paper options
  • Biodegradable laminate films
  • Green alternatives to PVC boards & shrink wrap films
  • Recent investment in Low carbon footprint machines
  • Highly comprehensive recycling program
  • UKAS ISO 14001 Certified
  • Energy efficient premises including solar panels
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For Nationwide and local enquiries phone 0161 839 0661 or email and provide us with a brief explanation of your requirements or simply send us your file.

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