How to Use Variable Data to Improve Direct Mail Response

Variable data is a powerful tool for brands who are trying to send a targeted message to their customers. Variable printing is another term for personalized printing. It allows for the personalization of direct mail without slowing down the production process.

Digital print tactics are so effective yet so underutilized. The ability to target customers and still get a print job done quickly is beneficial for sending a marketing message via direct mail. Here are six ways that you can improve direct mail response by incorporating variable data into your printing for marketing materials.

Localized Marketing

The point of a targeted piece of mail is typically to make a sale. This is easier to do if you provide location-specific information to your customer. Ways that you could do this include:

  • Provide a URL or QR code to a specific webpage that’s custom to that recipient’s city
  • Include a coupon that’s only valid at that customer’s closest location
  • Talk about a particular event or sale going on at the store in that customer’s town

Whatever location-specific information you decide to include is entirely up to you. It’s variable and can be changed for each piece of mail, get creative!


Personalization is a very effective method of variable data printing (VDP) to create actionable conversations with your members and show that you are invested in their participation. Personalization can range from very small and simple to something very unique. With variable data, the possibilities are endless.

Examples of personalization in direct mail used variable data include:
  • Addressing the customer by name instead of saying “Dear Member”
  • If a customer recently moved to a new address, mentioning this in the mail piece
  • Tailoring each mail piece to the preferences or interests of your customers through changes in font size, background color, images, altering the content, etc.
  • Sending a customized message to customers based on demographics or behavioral attributes (past purchases, recent purchases, etc.)
  • Special offers for frequent or long-time customers

And the customization doesn’t stop there. Variable data allows companies to get very creative with their marketing campaigns. Instead of having thousands of completely identical brochures, pamphlets, pieces of mail, etc., marketers can use variable data printing to create customized mail pieces in the same amount of time.

High-Quality Digital Printing Services in St. Louis, MO

Variable data printing can help your customers feel more valued, and therefore, they will be more inclined to make a purchase. If you are looking to personalize your marketing materials, our printing services at Presort can help. For professional digital printing services and customization through variable data, contact Presort.