What are Variable Data Printing Services?

Variable Data Printing Services

Digital printing technology has evolved dramatically over the last few years. The primary change we will discuss in this article is improved technology with variable data printing services and digital printing presses for direct mail.

Traditional direct mail would send the same image and text to an audience, a bit oversimplified but let’s keep moving. As data about consumers and businesses are more available to marketers, this has paired very well with digital printing technology to evolve as a powerful marketing tool. Now, many mailing companies use data and images to create variable data output, such as direct mail, or variable data printed pieces.

Like with many projects the place to start is at the desired result. What is the objective of the variable data project? Is it branding, increase sales, a special event invitation or something else?

With these few applications in mind, let’s look at some of the nuts and bolts of how a variable data printing project works.

To help simplify the discussion, let’s break it down into three primary components

  • Data, such as a mailing list
  • Images like pictures or design elements
  • The substrate, what is the physical material used in the printing process

Read related article How Variable Data Printing Works

1.Data (the mailing list)

The first component of variable data is the data file with several data fields. In most cases, data consists of an exported file that a common database or CRM program will allow you to export. Typically, these are either Microsoft Excel™ or CSV (comma-separated value) file types. If you do not have a mailing list, most marketing companies, such as VeraPax, can provide a purchased targeted mailing list for your desired audience.

A data field can be as simple as, prefix (Mr. or Mrs.), city name, or age. The more differentiators, or data fields, you have in a data file the more options you have for variable data printing.

Within the data fields, values in a field can be used as triggers, or differentiators, between one record and another or, in other words, one person to another.

Another important reason to start with the data file is to determine the quantity of the project. Often, clients “guesstimate” a project quantity because they do not really know how many records are in their data file. In the example of a direct mail campaign, the USPS (United States Postal Service) requires the mailing list to be processed to meet automation rate postage requirements. This process helps prevent duplicate records, bad addresses (undeliverable) and updates the new mailing address. The results can drop list quantities by significant percentages which save money for both printing and postage.

2.Design elements

In its most basic form, design elements can either be text or images that change based on a trigger in the data.

For example, if the data file record has a prefix of Mr. you can use that trigger to print a masculine image such as a sports car, hunting or football, (forgive the stereotypes).  On the other hand, if your data file record prefix uses Mrs., you can use this to use a more feminine image in your mail piece such as flowers in a light color palette.

Text can also be changed based on a trigger in the data. Using the example above, for all records with the “Mr.” prefix, you can substitute a paragraph of text that strengthens the tie in with the corresponding image.

For example, when the prefix is Mr. your mail piece could use a football image and a paragraph of text such as “Football season is almost here. Order yours today!”

For the “Mrs.” prefix, you could also tailor the message and image such as “Fall is just around the corner, get ready for the Holidays!” with images or design elements of fall and holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Another component of the design elements and data is the PURL. What? Yes, PURL, Personalized Universal Resource Locator. We’ll talk about this in another article. For now, you can think of it as a specific page on the web that only the recipient has access to for marketing purposes and it is highly personalized just for them.

3.The printing substrate

The substrate is a big word for what is the digital output is being printed on. In our example of Direct Mail, the most common would be paper.

However, there are many specific paper types and finishes. With newer digital technology, the substrate can be a synthetic paper or metallic paper. Also, it can have a smooth or a shiny finish (UV Coating), a soft-touch laminate that feels smooth like baby skin), and many more. The substrate is the physical component of the process. All the discussion up to now has been digital. This is where the recipient handles the physical piece, and it engages their emotional and physical senses like touch and feel, or even smell.

For a personalized letter, the size and color of the envelope, are considerations. The teaser copy (a sentence on the outside of the envelope to get the recipient’s attention) such as ”John, your football season can only get better now!”


So, what’s the big deal with variable data printing? A lot. Just like the technology all around our lives is changing so too is this traditional marketing tool. Variable data increases response rates, engages our physical senses, and can be highly personalized to look, and say, exactly what appeals to your intended recipient.




5 Ways to Use Graphic Design Services For Your Business

Graphic Design Services

Your potential customers’ short attention span is a cause for worry. With that being said, how do you effectively communicate with your customers? One way would be through the use of graphic design.

“Show, don’t tell,” writes Tom More – CEO and founder of Slide.ly on The Next Web.

Over 90% of information transmitted to our brains is visual. About 50% of our brains are active when it comes to processing visual information. Making it that 40% of people globally respond better to visuals.

Visuals, including videos, images, infographics, logos, and all other formats — make for a strong asset for businesses to communicate on and off the web. The growing importance of visuals now brings us to this question- how can your business use graphic design services effectively?

Here are a few ways you should be using graphic design services, the right way:

Use graphics for power branding

To begin, you’ll need powerful visual assets, such as your business logo. You would then have everything else that follows, including your website, marketing brochures, flyers, outdoor advertising, and more. Your business logo, however, isn’t branding, it’s only a part of your overall branding strategy.

Laura Lake of The Balance writes: It’s a symbol that can provide consumers with an instant and powerful brand recognition of your business and the services or products that you offer.

A proper branding strategy starts with great products or services and consistency in quality of delivery. Your visual branding assets and marketing tools only help aid the central premise you make with your products or services.

Graphic Design on Promotional Items

In this day and age of everyone being on the Internet, branded promotional items, such as mugs, pens, t-shirts, and any other promotional items you choose to use as a part of your branding and marketing strategy, have a chance to make an impact. Each item you ship out to your customers has the potential to stay for much longer than just a tweet or a blog post.

Graphic Design Services

Extend graphic assets onto ignored material

Using promotional items and branding them with your logo is common, but who says you are confined to that? In fact, you could do so much more.

Think of ways to extend your graphics assets to even more outgoing items that are normally ignored. You are already aware of how hotels tend to brand everything, from shampoo to towels. Some ideas would be to add your logo and other accompanying graphic assets onto items, such as product wrappers, invoices, printing slips, invoices, thank you notes to your customers, receipts, and other items.

Take on the web with graphics

As of 2017 and beyond, about 40-60% of all the content you develop as a part of your digital marketing efforts should be visual.

As you produce engaging and high-quality content, use various graphic elements and visual aids to create or to supplement existing content. For instance, you could turn a blog post into a video using Lumen5, or you could quickly whip out an infographic if you want to present data in a memorable and shareable way. Perhaps you could even take a blog post and convert it into a slideshow to share it on social media.

Your social media content, blog posts, eBooks, and absolutely every other piece of content will require a dose of custom graphics, images, and more.

Smart outdoor advertising

Not every business can afford to spend on traditional outdoor advertising, like billboards, for instance. Often, limitations give birth to creative methods. Instead, you could choose to advertise using tabletop creatives on locations where your potential audience is likely to spend more time at. Use printable coupons, display stands at heavily-trafficked malls, custom-printed tags that you could put up absolutely anywhere, bookmarks, on the back of tickets, on tissue papers, and more.

Where are you going to use your graphic assets on? Tell us all about it. 

 Let us help you with graphic design! We can create, and print creative Graphic Designs that will provide the best outcomes for your company when using printed marketing materials. Give us a call Today at 866-269-8328 or Text Us to INFORMATION@VERAPAX.COM!

Print Marketing: Does It Still Bring In Leads?

Print Marketing Leads

Does print marketing really matter in today’s mobile heavy, digital market thriving market? The answer and facts behind the reasoning may surprise you.

To answer the question outright, yes, the print is ever more important in today’s time. But, this does not mean you should dump digital marketing at all. You should incorporate print marketing into your marketing strategy for a better local lead generator.

Let’s begin with the reasons why digital marketing has taken the lead:

With digital marketing, you can reach an international market with cost efficiency 

Tools like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, give marketers the ability to better target a specific demographics. This is not just for local areas either, this can be done worldwide for a very reasonable price when compared to traditional marketing.

Let your audience choose for themselves how to receive your content and then interact with them

Platforms like Facebook, YouTube, blog posts, and such, have comment sections where people can talk about what was being presented and allow for the presenter to interreact back. These platforms also offer people ways to get your content through a blog, videos, or whatever content you see fit.

The data and results are recorded and it is a level playing field 

With programs like Google Analytics, you get a lot of data back on how well ads are doing in real time. Since this is a free tracking program and big or small companies compete on a similar level to reach the same amount of people, the playing field is level. Print tends to shift towards people who have more money to spend, allowing them to get better results.

Lastly, Brand Development and the ability to go ‘viral’ is easier 

With a well-developed website and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, it is easier to have people recognize your brand. This adds value to lead generation opportunities. With these social media websites; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., it is easier for your articles, flyers, and any information that anyone wants to share to be shared through simple social media marketing buttons.

However, print marketing has major benefits for a local/national outreach over digital marketing. A study found by Forbes has shown that, and I quote, “Direct mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media…suggesting that it is both easier to understand and more memorable.” They go on to say that “When asked to cite the brand (company name) of an advertisement they had just seen, the recall was 70% higher among participants who were exposed to a direct mail piece (75%) than a digital ad (44%).”

Another study was done by the Temple University using an fMRI brain scan to compare between digital and print on how they affect us. They released a simple summarized table:

Print Marketing Leads

Basically, print marketing is found to be more memorable, easier to recall, and most times has a better chance to get the person to follow through.

VeraPax Offers Print Marketing

Print marketing is something our company has been specializing in for years and would love to help you with all of your printing needs. There is a lot to take into account when doing what we call Direct Mail Marketing, so we broke down the steps for you below.

1. You need a mailing list. This is a list of people who will receive your advertising, which you can use our service for that HERE.

2. You need artwork or at least know what you want to achieve. If you have your artwork, you can order straight online HERE. If you have an idea and need help designing it, give us a call 1-866-269-8328.

3. Send it out. You can send it out with us or send it by yourself.

Print advertising has its place in the grand scheme of marketing. The question is, do you see it as a viable marketing platform for your business? If not, why?

GIVE US A CALL TODAY AT 866-269-8328 OR TEXT US at INFORMATION@VERAPAX.COM   Printed Marketing IS SOMETHING WE CAN HELP YOU WITH! Visit our Verapax Store and choose the perfect printed marketing materials for your business!