What is variable data printing?

February 27, 2020

Variable data printing (VDP) is a printing method that can change printed content within a press run with no interruptions. While older, offset methods would require numerous stoppages to change content from piece to piece, VDP does not. As a result, VDP has quickly become one of the most useful tools in a marketer’s toolbox. With so much customer data now available, VDP actually allows marketers to put these insights to use in printed projects. Read more about how VDP can take your business’ marketing efforts to the next level. 

How does variable data printing work?

The basics of variable data printing are quite simple. A printer will pull information from a database of relevant customer info, from name and address to prior shopping habits. Special VDP software will then insert this data between each printed sheet, leading to completely customized content. Whereas traditional print might produce 10,000 identical copies of the same document, VDP can produce 10,000 unique and personalized documents. The most basic use of variable data printing might be addressing marketing materials to the name of the recipient. However, the capabilities go far beyond. VDP in many ways represents the intersection of digital and physical marketing. Just like producing different versions of an online ad for different audiences, everything from content to images can be customized.This introduction of audience targeting to the world of printed marketing can yield huge gains in ROI. 

How can I use variable data printing?

The most obvious application for variable data printing is in direct mail marketing. Whether you are sending brochures, postcards, or coupons, adding a personalized touch can be key to driving engagement. Beyond customizing content, consider adding QR codes, integrating your mail and digital campaigns and collecting even more relevant data. Business cards are another great use; you could create an entire company’s worth of cards in a single press run!

Calitho is a commercial printer and visual communications company serving the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Let us help with your next printing project by requesting a quote today.