Monday, December 7, 2009

Enhance Response with Variable Data Printing

So many direct mail pieces today are still addressed "Resident" or "Our friend at" showing that the sender has NO idea who they are mailing to, nor do they apparently care. Cost/piece is their only criterion and that cost/piece mentality will kill them ultimately. About once a month I get a direct mail piece from a window replacement company offering to provide a quote on replacing my windows. Since I live in an apartment (a complex with 700+ units) imagine the cost of this mailing and all of the recipients who are not remotely qualified to begin with. If they are mailing to just my zip code they are wasting over 47% of their mailing on UNQUALIFIED PROSPECTS! If we look at our local Sectional Center they would be throwing away 28% of their total mailing costs.

As I'm writing this, I just got a recorded telemarketing call from a mortgage refinance company offering to take advantage of low rates today in refinancing my home mortgage. As an apartment renter, it's a waste of my time, their time and money and it takes me away from running my business. Yes, I opted out. But why did I get this call in the first place?

Back to the purpose of this blog. The advent of Variable Data Printing has ushered in a new era in direct marketing. The days of sending everyone the same thing has changed, and you now have the capability of importing and using key, variable data for each UNIQUE prospect or customer. Imagine receiving an e-mail with the following:

1223 Main St
Any City MI 12345

with static copy and photos on the mailing.

NOW, imagine this image:

David Fant
1223 Main St
Any City MI 12345

My name on a billboard stating "David, your new car is waiting" then in the photos is a photo of the last car I purchased, and similar style/types of cars that are on sale, either new or used!

Which image has the greatest impact? Certainly the second one will get my attention quickly and appeals to my past purchasing pattern and interest. Even if this is a prospect mailing, behavior/interest information is available to append to prospect data to allow you to feature items that meet your prospect's interests. For example, consider a resort that has a spa, golf course, hiking trails, gourmet restaurants, exercise equipment and a swimming pool. If you purchase a prospect list that includes people who enjoy hiking and gourmet food, those should be the images on the mailer. If the prospect is into golfing, focus on that for the images/copy.

Office Technology Magazine did a recent survey of users of VDP and discovered the following facts:

Response rate was up 36%
Average order size was up 25%
Repeat orders were up 47%
Overall Revenue Profit was up 31%

These increases were based on a comparison between non-VDP mailers and using VDP for the mailing.

VDP CAN work. It requires a lot of thought, preparation and planning, but the results are WELL worth the effort. Market Mapping plus LLC can help you build an effective VDP campaign and help you track the results. Contact us today for more information.

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