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Should You Do Variable Data Direct Mail Marketing?

Businesses are always looking for the next big thing to take their marketing to the next level.

We think that instead of expecting some new trend to work, you should look at tried-and-true older methods with a new twist – like variable data direct mail marketing.

Direct mail marketing is extremely effective because it relies on proven psychological principles that help direct mail pieces stand out more to consumers than other methods. Variable data just adds to the impact of direct mail marketing and makes it far more efficient than ever before.

Here, we’ll talk about why variable data adds exponential capability to your campaign.

Variable Data: The Secret to Better Targeting

Direct mail pieces – like any marketing messages – work best when they’re targeted to a specific group of customers. The more you can fine-tune the message to the recipient’s unique preferences and needs, the more likely you are to get a new customer.

Of course, dealing with potentially thousands of customers with even more variables – age, gender, income, interests, geographic location, buying habits, etc. – can be extremely overwhelming if you don’t have a system to handle and sort all of that data.

But being able to target that specifically is a powerful ability. What is a business to do?

The solution lies in variable data. Variable data allows you to automate targeting and personalize each piece to its specific recipient. Instead of doing it by hand, you have software do it for you. The end result is a smooth process by which customer data is seamlessly incorporated into the piece that will reach your customer.

Variable data printing at DMS Color can personalize marketing materials, increasing their success rate.

The Benefits of Variable Data Direct Mail Marketing

To understand one key benefit of variable data in direct mail marketing, you have to understand how many direct campaigns are run today.

Many businesses use a shotgun approach to mailing out pieces. Without variable data capabilities, these businesses send out tens of thousands of pieces per mailing and cross their fingers for a 1% response rate.

What if you could increase your response rate without changing the actual content of your mailer? With variable data, that’s a reality. More precise targeting allows for a better approach than the shotgun method. Your pieces are personalized and are therefore more likely to get a positive response.

That translates into real dollars gained. If your response rate is 1%, and you send out 10,000 pieces per campaign, you’ll get 100 responses on average. If you just increase your response rate by 1%, you’ll get 200 responses and will double your ROI.

And good variable data direct mail marketing can increase your response rate by much more than just 1% at a time.

Increased response rates also allow for smaller campaigns. Instead of sending out 10,000 mailers per campaign, maybe you only have to send out 7,500 for the same number of responses. Suddenly, your response rate goes from 1% to 1.33% – and you can save hundreds to thousands of dollars.

In short, benefits include:

• Higher response rate

• More precisely targeted mailers

• Better ROI

• Cutting costs by sending out fewer pieces

Is Variable Data Mailing Ideal for you?

Variable data printing is great, but is it for everyone?

Businesses that fit the following criteria are typically ideal for variable data direct mail marketing:

• In a niche industry or sell a niche product/service

• Sell products/services with high margins

• Want to focus on acquiring new customers

• Incorporate discounts, sales, and specials in marketing

If you’re trying to just build loyalty with your current customers, email marketing is usually more cost-effective and easy to manage. Additionally, if your margin per customer or transaction is low – such as with a restaurant – direct mail may be too expensive.

Most businesses can benefit to some degree from direct mail – and those in that category could definitely benefit from variable data.

If you have questions about a campaign, or want to learn more about including variable data in your campaign, contact us.


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