Variable Data Case Study

Furniture Store Reminder Campaign

When a shopper visits an American Signature home furnishings store and does not make a purchase, they receive a personalized brochure within 48 to 72 hours. Information captured by the sales representative during their visit is used to create the brochure. The sales representative greets the shopper, asks for permission to gather the information and enters it into a computer.

A professional variable digital printer downloads the information and uses it to populate one of 130 variable data templates. These are a selection of furniture and accessory styles that reflect the customer’s tastes. It also includes their name, store location and other personalizing information. The printing company processes the data for mailing and the pieces go out by 5 PM the following business day.

Results from the Reminder Campaign

The results are impressive. Customers receiving the variable data mailing and returned spent 40% more on purchases than people not receiving a brochure. This reminder also boosted return visits by 10% with many people bringing back the brochures with them.

Apparel Industry Micro-Markets Thrive with Variable Data

At a Seybold Conference, an Oregon based company demonstrated how they serve the apparel and entertainment industries with variable data printing

They find that variable data printing is effective with apparel manufacturers, since their product lines can routinely change 60% each year. This keeps their products fresh, so customer attention is renewed and a new surge of buying encouraged. It also creates printing challenges, with the need for a quick response to changes. Variable data digital printing lends itself to this and satisfies a need for selling into micro-markets within the greater group of buyers.

For example, certain products are likely to be popular and sell well in specific stores. This is due to the area climate, time of year, demographics or a variety of other reasons. This targeted audience can be treated as a small group within the market, and addressed with variable data in a carefully focused piece. This might be a variable data postcard or a brochure style sales piece that features a select group of products as it addresses the specific type of retail establishment so that it is highly relevant to them.

55 percent cost savings

Paper Color and Texture Have Astonishing Impact on Results

Another way to vary a mailing piece is my experimenting with changes in paper color and paper texture. Many businesses have never strayed far from plain old white paper with an ordinary feel. Changing color and texture can also improve results.

Effect of Color and Paper Texture on Mail Promotion

The use of color highlighting in text offers significant advantages for text-based documents. It allows readers to quickly find and understand key information, as well as increases the accuracy with which they understand the material. Readers are more likely to select color highlighted material to read to begin with. These advantages apply not only to the use of color over non-highlighted text, but also over other methods of highlighting, as boldface or the use of different fonts.

Companies often test direct mail responses by varying mailing lists, the offers included, format, and differing types of appeals along with other changes.

Tests were made using different response elements and mailing to varying types of audiences – business-to-business, business-to-consumer and fundraising.

Independent tests clearly demonstrated that the use of colored or textured paper actually increased response enough to justify the additional cost of such paper.

See also:

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