You know that emails like this one (to a list of opted-in recipients) can be a great marketing tool, but so can Direct Mail, often with better response rates. If print was dead, your mailbox would be empty. But it's not, is it? I bet last time you were there, it was stuffed with advertising and marketing materials. It is true that mailings are declining in number, but take a close look at the things that are in your mailbox today, direct mail is changing, becoming more personalized, more effective. This is due to a new trend called Variable Data Printing (VDP).
Taking advantage of the flexibility of digital printing, VDP allows for very high levels of customization, each piece is unique, right out of the printer. Not only can text information like names and addresses be changed but images as well. Studies have shown that personalized direct mailing campaigns are many times more effective than a conventional ones. There is plenty of evidence to support this, but you only need pay attention next time you are sorting your mail...what do you pause on? Why?
Have you received a mailing from your car dealer saying they want to buy back your car, and they knew not only who you are, but the year, make and model of your car? Maybe it even included a picture or a price quote? Did it make you feel that someone had written it just for you? Receiving this type of mailing can be very intriguing... Do you get coupon books with products that you actually buy? Retailers who use targeted ads online are now using the same information to do strategic direct mail pieces with tremendous results.
Consider the following (statistics from the Direct Marketing Association):
The power of VDP is in collecting and using the right information about your customers. If you are considering customized print advertising you will need sufficient data. It is always a good time to evaluate what data you are collecting from your clients or prospects. Think clearly about how to improve your data collection, what you might be able to do with this data, then call your local printer...the future of direct mail is here.
Josh Weybright is owner of Graphic Sky Printing in Santa Fe New Mexico. When he's not making things look awesome on paper, he enjoys horseback riding with his family.