Variable Data Printing
Variable data and images are everywhere. Invoices and statements contain variable information about purchases and utility companies sometimes use graphs showing individual consumption throughout the year. The technology has been around for a while, but until recently the cost has been prohibitive.
Think in terms of having a conversation with a client – you only share information that is relevant. You can avoid loading print pieces with unnecessary information that could increase production costs by including material that will resonate with the reader—then your piece is relevant.
While the cost to develop these projects can be more expensive and require more effort on your part, the return on your investment far exceeds the incremental cost or time. As you work through these pieces, you’ll gain insight into your clients, allowing you to “tweak” projects for increased profits.
Variable data can contain overt information like:
• Name and address
• Account numbers
• Recent purchases
• Time to reorder
Or subtle identifiers that clients can relate to based on customer history or demographics:
• Highlight specific products according to purchase history.
• Use images that are relevant to gender, age, business type, location, or personal interests.
• Images of snowy weather make sense to clients in the north, but exclude those in southern regions.
Versioned Digital Printing
The same technology used for variable data printing allows pieces to be versioned. We define versioning as having two or more versions of the same piece. The samples below show personalization (versioning) to a well-designed sell sheet. The cost to add this information is minimal, yet the appearance is substantially improved, especially when you think of the alternatives… a smudgy rubber stamp, a random label or hand written information.
Benefits of versioned printing:
• The need to “customize” a mass-produced piece with a shipping label is eliminated. All the custom information looks like it’s meant to be there.
• Cost-effective compared to traditional offset printing.
• Quantity per version can vary.
• No limit to the number of versions.