Posts tagged variable printing

Why Marketing Artists and Marketing Scientists Need One Another

v. man 250x250 Why Marketing Artists and Marketing Scientists Need One Another

Mark McGuinness of Lateral Action guest posted a terrific blog at Copyblogger: Are You a Marketing Artist or Scientist? In it he describes two distinct tribes that most marketers fall into (1) the right-brain types that like to create and find inspiration in coffee shops journaling and brainstorming about their next blog, podcast, video or creation or (2) the left-brain types that are most on fire when they get to use gadgets to crunch numbers, run split tests or compare data sets.

McGuinness explains it matters not which camp you fall into. What matters is that both camps work closely together to achieve optimum marketing outcomes for your organization. While ethereal writers can create magnetic content in itself it isn’t marketing until the scientists optimize it to be found and shared on the web.

And while marketing scientists are terrific at setting up variable data projects,analysis models and optimizing content to be keyword and SEO rich and for capturing names and IP addresses via landing pages and micro sites, they aren’t good at creating copy or content that screams read me, share me, and use me to make your buying decision right now!

You Need Both Disciplines to Succeed

McGuinness goes on to say that while at one time you could succeed with just killer content or killer PPC, now you need a mixture of the art and science to succeed. Dave Reibstein, co-author of Marketing Metrics, agrees.

Read Reibstein’s full excerpt here about blending the art and science of marketing.

Allen Weiner of Gartner for Marketing Leaders shares three companies that he feels is blending the art and science of content marketing marvelously well. In his blog post, Understanding the Art and Science of Content Marketing, Weiner gives the thumbs up to Home Depot, Nike’s Better World micro-site and The Waffle Shop.

He says all three think like publishers in blending their content with proper workflow and outcomes. Home Depot succeeded by driving 29 million DIY-ers to a YouTube video on the forgotten art of whiskey barrel making. Many showed up in the store to buy materials and give it a go.

Nike’s Better World succeeded with its content by using HTML5 to present a scrolling storyboard explaining its company’s green initiatives and The Waffle Shop doubled connects with its customers through a live stream of customers sharing comments good or bad live at a Pittsburgh restaurant.

Is your marketing organization set up so the scientists can teach the artists and vice versus? Tell us in the comments section below.

VDP Allows Bridal Service Companies and Brides to Get Personal

When Savvi Formalwear, a group of 35 independent formal wear retailers, wanted to connect with more soon-to-be brides, it chose the print and digital trifecta — direct mail, email and personalized landing pages.

All of Savvi Formalwear’s direct mail pieces were personalized using variable data printing (VDP), with coupons or incentives such as the two free airline tickets shown in the postcard in this post and a PURL that drives brides to a landing page with a store locator and Savvi Formalwear branding.

Savvi Formalwear is using the campaign to capture more of the $1 billion formal wear industry, that like other industries, has suffered because of the 2009-2011 recession.

wedding VDP Allows Bridal Service Companies and Brides to Get Personal

 

Not coincidentally the majority of Savvi Formalwear stores are located on the west coast where nearly 20% of the formal wear transactions occur. In these 35 stores, Savvi Formalwear is trying to lure as many of the two million brides that get married every year to their stores and services as possible.

SOURCE: IBIS World Report, Formal Wear and Costume Rental in the U.S., May 2012

 

pam VDP Allows Bridal Service Companies and Brides to Get Personal

 

Savvi Formalwear’s campaign, named SavviOne, included weekly mail drops across the U.S. and Canada to promote formal wear to couples planning their weddings. Using the power of personalization, Savvi Formalwear significantly increased the engagement and conversions in its multi-channel promotional campaign, according to Mark Morrow, president of Savvi Formalwear.

SOURCE: Case Studies, www.montagedigital.com

Bride Puts Money Toward Print Pieces Not Cake or Dress

While most brides can spend the majority of their wedding budget on elaborate centerpieces, cakes and designer dresses, bride Robin Nelson, who works in the printing industry, invested her wedding dollars in a cross-media wedding campaign.

Nelson used XMPie solutions to personalize each piece of her wedding communications from engagement announcements to her wedding invitations which included QR Codes®*

Nelson said the campaign enabled her to gather more information about each of her guests to organizing the wedding to taking advantage of technologies that count RSVPs and help brides budget for dinner, drinks, the rehearsal dinner and after-ceremony reception.

SOURCE: “Happily Ever After: A Cross-Media Wedding Campaign” by Robin Nelson, XMPie Blog, Oct. 12, 2011

invitations VDP Allows Bridal Service Companies and Brides to Get Personal

 

 

 

With the use of variable data printing, there was no confusion on head count at Nelson’s wedding. Nelson attributes this to her guests who updated their RURL (Response URL also called PURL for personalized URL) especially in regards to how many children who would be coming with them).

The information Nelson got from her guests through the landing page they responded to allowed her to stay within budget, update her guest list and create a seating chart.

Nelson also downloaded the XMPie Marketing Console iPhone app that allowed her to provide final head counts and meal preferences to her caterer and vendors through report on-the-fly report technology.

So while some brides like the visual trimmings (cakes, bridesmaid’s gifts, etc.), savvy brides are tapping into VDP and digital technology to make their wedding planning less stressful and more personalized to all involved.

*QR Codes are a registered trademark of Denso Wave.

 

6 Tips to Make Sure Your Variable Marketing Project Doesn’t Crash and Burn

148132648 250x166 6 Tips to Make Sure Your Variable Marketing Project Doesn’t Crash and BurnIf your business wasn’t part of the early adopters of variable data printing, this blog post is for you. This piece will keep you far from the technical grenades that can burn you if you don’t prepare your database or file correctly for hand off to your variable partner for execution.

Data First, Creative Second

Start with the data, which seems counter intuitive to agency people and small businesses. According to Kristen Miller, of Mail Print’s Client Implementation Team, successful VDP projects begin with data and then move into the creative process.

Ideally you’ll start with an accurate customer or prospect database/mail list. Ideally the dataset has more than name and address, like age, income, presence of children in the home, purchase history, or frequency of purchases.  Next you can decide what you want to communicate and pick which data fields you’re going to drop into your communication to personalize the marketing piece.

Dear {Name}, We hope this note finds you well.  Since you recently bought {Gift #1}, we thought you would be interested in {Gift #2}.

Prospecting vs. Retaining

Often times mailing lists purchased from list providers can be a great solution when you are prospecting for new clients beyond wanting to personalize a piece simply with someone’s first name. If your marketing strategy is to get St. Louis based, women, 40 years old and older, with household incomes of at least $100,000 to come to a plastic surgery seminar, purchasing a list may make sense.

If you are a plastic surgeon who wants to get existing patients to consider a second procedure or new aesthetic service, using your customer data makes sense. Choose your segment and write your marketing copy and select your graphics to truly speak to that particular group of people.

Maximize the Power of Variable

It can be very profitable to build a marketing piece that uses different images, colors, and messages to match the targeted segment.  The true value of variable data printing comes in being able to tailor a piece to engage a particular segment of your target audience.  Simply playing the “name game” is somewhat passé.  Your goal is to create a highly relevant mail piece so the prospect can envision using your product or service in a particular way.

Beware of Capital Letter Land Mines

If you had a single person input your CRM data, you are probably in good shape consistency wise. However, if multiple people in multiple states have added to the database, you may be plagued with names that should be spelled DeAnna, but may appear as Deanna (first letter capped only) or DEANNA, which often happens off purchased mailing lists.

Fixes for Common Field Land Mines

Miller says she sees several other common “field” related problems with the two dozen large variable projects she produces for clients each month. “Some clients will want to address the prospect by the first name, but their data field is set up as a full name field. There is no clean way to segment out Mr. Glenn Smith vs. Glenn Smith versus F. Glenn Smith.”

Rosanne Kirn, who works on Miller’s team, says another common problem occurs with the company field name. If a data entry person has put Sudsy Soap LLC in the company name but the client wants the marketing piece to mail to Sudsy Soap, you have an immediate problem.

The solution is to build an extra field and name it “Pretty Company Name” or “Variable Company Name” and key in the name of the company without all the window dressing of LLC, Inc, etc.

Don’t Send Unneeded Fields in Your File

Variable data projects can quickly come to a screeching halt if too much data is sent – enough to crash a system.

Miller and Kirn once dealt with more than one million data records from a local retailer. This isn’t a huge number of records until you multiply that by the number of fields, (over 1,000 in this case) attached to that record. Then things can get ugly quick.

Miller recommends reviewing your file and only sending the data fields that are needed to produce the marketing piece. This will keep the tab delimited, .CSV, or .TXT file size manageable and prevent unnecessary delays in your project.

Why Sensory Marketing is Irresistibly Effective

sensory marketingOmniture Business Unit at Adobe pushed the sensory envelope when it mailed prospects a pie chart made out of three types of chocolate (milk, dark, and white) to drive home a point and to give them something to chew on – literally. (Adobe enjoyed an 11.6% response rate and 289% response rate. Source: Deliver Magazine, December 2010)

How many times have you stopped to smell the scratch-n-sniff ads in women’s magazines? Research in How Magazine Advertising Works shows product sample ads raise product awareness by 42% and prospects are 56% more likely to buy the cologne based on the sensory experience.

This double digit sales lift based on smell isn’t surprising according to author Martin Lindstrom’s book “Brand Sense.” According to Lindstrom 75% of our emotions are generated by what we smell.

Can the sound of music push a recording artist into a higher bracket of record sales? Yes, according to Famecount.com, Lady Gaga holds the record with over one billion YouTube views. Gaga is the most popular living person on both Facebook and Twitter.

 

How Are You Igniting Prospect Senses?

Are you relying solely on pretty images to break through the gatekeepers and get your message into the hands of the C-Suite, consumers or small business owners? In today’s competitive world, it’s going to take more than a glossy stock image to crack that door.

Get the door to swing wide open by using variable data printing (VDP) to pull images and graphs into your marketing piece that speak directly to your prospects. People respond to images or people that appeal to or look like them. Like attracts like, so it makes good strategic sense to include photographs of people who look like your prospects or like your prospects want to look after using your product or service.

Thanks to emerging technology, companies can now blend smell, sound, video, tactic and distinctive touch into their direct mail campaigns, according to Good Sense: A case study by Deliver Magazine.

 

Taste Strips Take Samples Beyond the Supermarket

When a soft drink manufacturer wanted to learn just how popular one of its most popular sodas could be, it mailed a survey to 5,000 customers with a flavor strip of the drink. Of the 1,650 who responded, 76% told the manufacturer that they would very likely be buying the product in the next week. (Source: First Flavor, a suburban Philadelphia firm)

Getting people to try your product by sending samples or getting them to try a sample is nothing new. You’ve probably been asked to sample some cheese and crackers in the store or a small tube of toothpaste inserted in your Sunday newspaper.  Product samples convert. Consider these stats:

  • 81% say they would try a product after they receive a free sample.
  • 61% say a product sample is the most effective way to get them to try a product.
  • 65% say they would prefer to have samples mailed to their home.
  • 89% say that an accompanying coupon would increase the perceived value of the mailed item.

Source: Arbitron and Edison Media Research

 

4 Ways to Maximize Sensory Engagement with Mail

According to Postal Service advertising expert Chris Frazier, engaging customers’ senses is the surest way to get them to stay longer and buy more. Frazier goes on to say companies miss the mark if they design direct mail campaigns that are only built around visuals.  Here are the four ways to stimulate more response through sensory marketing.

Give Them a Whiff. Freshly cut grass, coffee, strawberries or chocolate are engaging and memorable when sent through scented coatings, scented papers or scratch-n-sniff labels. Car dealerships can infuse the scent of a new car into their mailings and spas can use the scent of lavender in their mailings to reinforce the relaxation they provide as a benefit.

Give Them a Taste. Flavor strips are a much more affordable way to give your prospects a sample, rather than having to send an entire food or beverage sample. “A bed and breakfast that mails a maple flavored sample will not only bring an experience into the home, but will likely gain an edge over its competition,” says Frazier.

Make the Feel Unforgettable. Not every direct mail piece should be flat and smooth. One of the reasons direct mail works is because it is tactile. Companies that use varnishes, coatings and textured paper-or include sample pieces of sweaters or denim-win.

Use Video. Not only can your multi-channel campaign drive prospects to a micro-site that includes an embedded video or URL to a video, you can include wafer-thin video on your direct mail piece, too, according to Frazier. The greater the interaction, the greater the response rate.

Is Your Business Card Making the Right Impression?

Card on Fire for Blog 250x187 Is Your Business Card Making the Right Impression?

If you haven’t read Sabine Lenz’s Printing Impression guest post, “These Business Cards Are Crap,” read it now because she’s created quite a stir. Lenz is the founder of PaperSpecs.com and doesn’t mince words about the cheap, flimsy stock, off center cards she collects every time she networks.

She rightfully asks where is the quality, the beauty and the usability of cards that are UV coated on both sides, so she can’t jot notes after meeting someone. Perhaps because it’s her business to sell paper, she says she’d like to see the use of extra thick paper stock, foil stamping, unusually-sized designs, and cards with an additional fold – perhaps that touts in 10-words what the company does best.

 

Digital Haze or Just Plain Lazy?

Has social media made us go soft by not having a nice card to present our best foot forward? Are we overly considered about our Linked In page and choosing the right Facebook cover photo?

I have certainly left meetings too many times to count where professionals didn’t have cards at all – a cardinal sin just five years ago. Sure we can bump our smart phones together and share contact info or email VCards, but the tactile experience of receiving a card, looking at the name, making a visual connection between your mind, the giver’s company and the person himself is lost. We learn and remember through touch and spending a moment experiencing the interaction.

 

Bad Business Cards

So let’s not overlook the business card interaction.  This is your chance to dazzle them or bore them to death.  For example, take a look at the six cards I quickly pulled off my desk. The three on the left side underscore Lenz’s crap rant.

There is too much information on the first card. It’s not a brochure, it’s a business card. The second “bad” card has unreadable mice type on it – stick to 8 picas or large not under 6, please. The third “bad” business card is lackluster. My guess is it was designed by the doctors and not by a professional graphic designer.

 

Good Business Cards

Now take a look at the cards on the right, which show great thought, design, a QR Code®, unusual sizing, thick paper stock, color washes on the back with no UV coating so you can write notes and an overall look and feel, so you leave with an impression about the business and the individual.  These three good business cards even show off some creativity with their titles:  Director of Awesomeness, ROI Generator, and Creator.

So put it on your calendar to review your business card this month. Does it need a re-design? Do you need to add your Facebook page, Twitter handle, a QR Code or blog address?  Don’t be caught in a digital haze by ignoring what could be your best ally – your finely dressed business card.

QR Code is a registered trademark of Denso Wave.

Variable Data Campaign Speaks Direct to Soy Bean Farmers

Mailbox, mail, data, inform, personalizeWith today’s technology, marketers don’t just get to personalize their message; they can personally tailor those messages. The technology is so slick, according to Dave Ward author of Variable Dating Integration – Taking You Wherever You Want to Go, your targeted messages don’t look like highly targeted messages, but like magic.

This magic worked well for PRO Seeds who turned an average farm journal into a marketing vehicle that spoke directly to their farm prospects – literally. Imagine that you run a 1,000-acre soybean operation in Canada. You come in after a hard day of chores, sit back in your recliner, put your feet up and start thumbing through your favorite agricultural magazine.

When you flip to page 12, something jumps right out and grabs your attention. There’s a postcard that is die-cut to look like a bag of soybean seeds – and it has your name on it. You can’t resist peeling the card off the page and finding on the back of the card three soybean seed varieties that are best suited specifically for your farming operation. (If you aren’t a farmer you may not realize that seed selection is specifically tailored to location, climate and soil.  All seeds are not created equal.)

You’re stunned. How could they know which seed varieties would work specifically for you; especially when you raise crops in five different heat zones? Behold the power of Variable Data Printing (VDP) or Variable Data Integration.

This is a true marketing campaign that worked wonderfully for PRO Seeds, who faced fierce competition for acres in Ontario where they only had 4% market share in 2011.

The campaign was a hit with farmers who loved the tailored messages specific to their farm, focus and heat zone. PRO Seeds experienced a lift in sales in regions where they had little penetration prior to this effort.

 

Ready to Harvest Your Clients Using VDP?

The challenge experienced by many marketers who want to execute a highly personalized campaign is the access to and quality of their database. Before executing a VDP campaign such as the one PRO Seeds conducted, you will need the following:

  • You must have the right data in the right fields.
  • Data must be properly and consistently formatted.
  • Data must be accurate.
  • Data must be useable in all of the required contexts.

Take the time to analyze your data to ensure the acceptability and accuracy of all substitutions. Don’t let bad data waterlog your campaign.

Variable Data Printing is a powerful tool that allows us to do some remarkable things, and the PRO Seeds card is really only one example of what can be done to tailor powerful messages for your customers.

In our 24 years of experience, Mail Print has found that VDP projects, should have the following elements:

  • The client or business must be open minded to delve deep into looking at all possible ways to pull the data available or gather the data needed to truly customize the marketing piece to address the customer or prospect on a knowledgeable, and in some cases an almost intimate, basis.
  • The client or business must want to innovate and lead with technology and be prepared for the work and rewards to ensure a successful campaign.
  • The client, agency or business must grasp the full scope – and magic – of what can be done with variable data.  Some campaigns we’ve executed include:
    • making covers of publications specific to each person or market segment;
    • making the tables, graphs, and figures in an insurance explanation brochure specific to that employee based on age, marital status, and worker class;
    • making a plastic surgery image brochure speak directly to the prospect who called in asking about a facelift, not lipo suction.

Like so many other endeavors, the success of any VDP project is as much in the details of the execution as it is in the creativity that inspired it.

SOURCE:  May 2012, Direct Marketing Magazine of Canada

 

Key Direct Marketing Trends for Nonprofits Revealed

Marketing, Trends, Data, variable, Ethan Boldt, Chief Content Officer of Direct Marketing IQ, the research division of publisher Target Marketing, surveyed and shared the results of direct marketing trends for nonprofits in 2011 with glimmers of trends in 2012. In case you missed his direct marketing trend video post, here is what Boldt shared.

  • Personalization, including Variable Data Printing (VDP) has grown by 6% in all sectors.
  • Freemiums slipped by 14% because of rising postage costs. In 2011 labels were the No. 1 freemiums; stickers were the No. 2 freemium and notepads were the No. 3 freemium.
  • Premiums shifted ranks with the tote bag no longer being the No. 1 giveaway by nonprofits. Now books are No. 1; totes No. 2; and DVDs are No. 3.

Variable Data and Other Nonprofit Marketing Trends in 2012

According to the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), social media and mobile giving continue to influence campaigns. The AFP shared these additional 2012 fundraising trends for marketers to build the most effective campaigns on and offline.

  • Online and new media channels continue to expand. Online fundraising is up 40% in 2012.
  • Peer-to-peer engagement is vital. Nonprofits should tap into their most vocal supporters who are most likely to influence the giving of their sphere, associations and friends.
  • Donor fatigue is building. Tailored communications directed right at a donor is imperative as information overload builds in the land of social media.
  • Integrated marketing will rise to new heights. Strategic communications harnessing the power of multi-channel marketing is the fuel that makes future fundraising campaigns take flight.
  • Personalization is a must. As Boldt noted, one size fits all approaches are so 80s. Personalized newsletters, direct mail that taps digital printing and emails show supporters you know them.  By showing that you know their preferences in giving and you are able to better ensure your message won’t be deleted or thrown in the trash. See a great personalized nonprofit solicitation below where one fraternity uses the alumni’s name twice as well as pulls in photos that include the alumni.

Personalization, nonprofit, variable data, vdp, donations, fundraising, donor receipts

  • Quality data should take front and center of any nonprofit campaign. He who gathers, scrubs, segments and keeps his data current, meets the fundraising mission fastest, according to Karen Zapp of Pkscribe.com – a nonprofit copywriter. This includes targeting groups on social media, using social analytics, and executing micro campaigns

Want more insights? Click here to read how Mail Print helped one nonprofit clients achieve outstanding ROI for their fundraising campaigns.

 

A few more points from Boldt

An analysis of 40 months of data, from January 2009 through October 2011, demonstrates the growth of personalization/VDP in the direct marketing and mailing process*:

  • In 2009, 28% of direct mail pieces were personalized.
  • In 2010, the number of personalized mail pieces increased to 34% — a 21% increase from the prior year.
  • In 2011, seven of the 10 months recorded saw even higher VDP usage – another 21% increase from the prior year and a 46% jump from the 2009 levels.

*Source: Target Marketing, Nuts & Bolts – Trends: 2011 Direct Mail Trend of the Year: VDP, March 2012.

 

Free eBook Helps You Knock it Out of the Park with Variable Data

VDP, Variable Data, Personalized Communication, Ebook, Variable Data PrintingDon Peppers and Martha Rogers began preaching 1:1 marketing for 19 years – the era of Web 1.0. Peppers and Rogers got on the 1:1 soapbox in 1993 with their bestseller, The One to One Future.  To speak to your customers 1:1 in the 90s, a company had to do it through phone calls, lunches, small seminars, individual letters, mass mailings with a personal note scribbled on the bottom or expensive custom pitches.

Not today. If you do the right prep work, you can speak to hundreds, even thousands of customers 1:1 through variable data printing.  The only drawback is you have to slow down long enough to ensure you’re collecting the right data on each customer. You need to know them, their family, and their buying preferences intimately. You also need to make sure that you are aligned with a partner to establish your data extraction and print processes to make your marketing pieces truly speak 1:1.

Download this newly released eBook, Unlocking More ROI through VDP, which gives you more than 50 pages addressing the ins and outs of variable data printing along with three bonus case studies documenting the double digit results three national companies gained through VDP.

Variable data printing or 1:1 marketing is also known as database printing. With the numerous case studies validating variable data printing’s lift and today’s advancement of data capture technology, it is still surprising only a fraction of companies use it.

The four companies below have grasped the single message source (store) to the single recipient (household) concept and built their CRM systems around it.  These VDP rockstars consistently deliver a “mom and pop” or first-name personalization and purchase preference to millions.

  1. American Red Cross — Red Cross keeps its global mission highly personalized by putting a real face and name on its donor request mailings.
  2. Ferrellgas — This national propane company with 900-plus locations uses variable data printing to increase opt ins to its Will Call Campaign. By using variable data printing and print automating technology to speed their message to their customers Ferrellgas saved over 100 hours of staff time and increased response rate by as much as 30% depending on the season.
  3. Harrah’s Casino — is the second-largest casino operator in the U.S.  Harrah’s keeps gamers returning to its casinos with highly personalized direct mail pieces and frequent-gambler cards that account for its $3.7 billion in revenue (the highest 3-year returns in the industry). SOURCE: DeanLogan.com
  4. Target — Target builds individual shopper profiles then designs and mails personalized self mailers and emails featuring products and coupons based on each recipient’s previous purchases.  They send their customers coupons and offers that make sense based on past buying habits and complex algorithms for future buying patterns. SOURCE:  XMPIE

As you can see by the four VDP rockstars above, execution of any 1:1 customer campaign involves blending operations with sales, marketing and your CRM system. More than likely you have everything you need to start today. Start revving up your return on investment through VDP and add your name to this list of rock star marketers.

 

DownloadReport Free eBook Helps You Knock it Out of the Park with Variable Data

 

Get Closer to Your Customers With Variable Data

Love birds, customer relationship,Lately I’ve been opening more of the email marketing I’ve been receiving. I look at email in much the same way I look at direct mail.  I look for effective call to actions, subject lines, and intro paragraphs. I am constantly looking to see what it is that gets someone to actually open an email (or an envelope) and to get engaged with a marketing touch.

For years I have carefully paid attention to the emails I receive.  Email marketers are able to do extreme personalization using all sorts of items to test and create data models around.  What I love though about direct mail of today is that you can do the exact same thing now with ink on paper.

With variable data printing, you can market one to one, personalize your messages, your headlines, your offers, your calls to action, and the images in your direct mail campaigns. You simply need to identify the fields in the database to plug in and partner up with a good variable data print provider.

Variable data printing is a powerful tool for direct mail marketers. Direct mail has been proven to be the most effective marketing tool available, even in the Internet age. Think about it: the mailbox is immune to spam-blockers, pop-up blockers, caller ID, the fast-forward button and the mute button.

As long as people open their mailboxes, there is an opportunity for you to communicate with them and according to the US Post Office 81% of all households read their mail on a daily basis. Cater your message directly to the reader and you have a very unique opportunity, especially with the volume of mail being less than in years past.

Variable data printing is also a faster, more economical way to print. Consider these efficiencies and pluses:

  • Print only as many as you need (depending on the size of your database)
  • Test-market a piece with a partial selection of your database, adjust the piece based on response rate (or leave it unchanged) and finish the run at a later time
  • Print addresses directly on the piece eliminating the need for labels, hand-addressing, etc., thus reducing mailing costs and speeding up the process.
  • Increase response rates as shown below

personalization, data, variable data, vdp, direct marketing

Personalized Calendar Sample

Can I Get on Your Calendar?

In 2010 Mail Print sent each of its customers a totally unique desktop calendar. Each of the 24 pages in the two-year calendar had the customer’s name or initials on it – cleverly embedded into the graphic. And each calendar had each family member’s birthday noted throughout the calendar. Customers were thrilled and asked how they could produce more calendars for their family and friends. The success of VDP cannot and will not be ignored.

Everyone loves to see his or her name in print. It has been said that the sweetest sound to anyone’s ear is the sound of one’s own name.  Dale Carnegie in his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, says that the fundamental act of calling other people by their name puts you solidly on course to establish a sincere relationship with that person.

Get a leg up on your competitors by using VDP in your digital and direct mail marketing efforts.

 

Assurant Employee Benefits Wins Top Industry Sales Award With the Help of Variable Data Printing

Assurant Employee BenefitsCongratulations to our client, Assurant Employee Benefits, for being named a leader in voluntary sales growth by Eastbridge Consulting Group.

Eastbridge recognized Assurant Employee Benefits as one of the industry’s sales growth leaders in 2011 and for exceeding the industry sales average during each of the last three years. Among large companies, those with $30 million or more in voluntary sales, Assurant Employee Benefits 2011 sales increased by more than 13 percent as compared to 2010.

Assurant Employee Benefits works diligently to be a responsive partner who anticipates its customers’ needs and develops targeted, customized solutions to meet them. One area the company focused on was making benefit communications clear, straightforward, consistent and easy.

Prior to the fall of 2009, Assurant printed 11 different, non-personalized employee benefit booklets depending on the employee location, pay rate, and circumstances. Upon receipt of one of these booklets, some employees would have to decipher data tables and do manual calculations to determine their individual voluntary insurance rate. The process was somewhat ineffective and caused lower participation.

Converting from Static to Variable Data

Assurant Employee Benefits decided to tap into the power of variable data printing to customize each booklet and show the rates applicable to each individual employee as defined by age, location, company, pay scale, benefits package and more. This required more than 1,300 text and graphic variables that could be printed and shipped within 24 hours.

To move from static to variable benefits booklets, Assurant Employee Benefits turned to Mail Print to provide the asset management system, print automation processes and print technology that insures each booklet can be printed without errors 100% of the time with no need for further client involvement, downtime, errors or disruptions.

AEB Book1 250x323 Assurant Employee Benefits Wins Top Industry Sales Award With the Help of Variable Data Printing

A Turnkey Variable Solution that Converts More and Costs Less

Assurant Employee Benefits’ IT team worked closely with Mail Print and made the commitment to test hundreds of variable combinations before the new variable benefits product could begin production. In the testing process, a book had to be built to reflect every possible combination of graphic and text asset. Mail Print also worked with two outside ad agencies to acquire compliance-related and creative assets.

The results have been outstanding. Mail Print began producing complete customized booklets for Assurant Employee Benefits’ customers that contain more than 1,374 variable fields and nearly 1,000 graphic and text assets that ship in 24-hours upon order receipt, error-free.

To date more than 400,000 benefit booklets have been produced for Assurant Employee Benefits. This communications upgrade, as well as many other internal enhancements, helped to increase the voluntary benefits enrollment rate by 5 percent the first year and 13 percent the second year.

“When Assurant Employee Benefits launched its expanded suite of voluntary, or employee-paid, products in 2010, our goal was to make these coverage options accessible to more employers and their employees,” said Tim Knott, senior vice president of strategic markets and product management. “We’ve met and exceeded that goal, as demonstrated by the Eastbridge sales report findings.”

What Can Variable Do for You?

Variable Data Printing generates response rates 3-10 times higher than traditional efforts.

Gina Danner, CEO of Mail Print shares this insight, “When marketers are able to share specific information with specific individuals – much like Assurant Employee Benefits was able to provide employees with the exact rates and the specific benefits available to them – they are able to increase engagement.  Essentially with VDP, marketers make it easier for people to buy.”

Interested in learning more? Download this VDP report compliments of Mail Print.