5 Variable Data Printing Examples that will Help Your Customers

For businesses looking to enhance the personalization and targeting behind printed marketing content, variable data printing offers new, efficient, and high-value benefits that boost both commercial printers and their customers.

This type of printing makes it possible to change text, images, and other graphic elements from one printed material to the next without requiring any adjustments to the hardware or new print processes. As a result, print projects can be customized on a piece-by-piece basis, thus allowing each item in a print run to be personalized for the recipient.

Numerous research studies highlight the value of personalization in improving results for direct mail and other print-based marketing campaigns. One study found that 86 percent of consumers were influenced by personalized marketing on their way to making a buying decision. Other research discovered that 75 percent of consumers like the individual messaging and offers that brands deliver through personalized content.

Here are some examples of how variable data printing improves business marketing with greater personalization options.


1. Postcard reminders to existing customers

A dental office, for example, can use variable data printing to send out personalized postcard reminders for patients to schedule their regular checkups and cleanings. This improves customer retention rates for businesses while providing a useful reminder for people who might otherwise forget to schedule an appointment. 

A variety of businesses can use the postcard strategy to help customers schedule oil changes, tax appointments, and haircuts, among other services.


2. Personalized coupon mailings to new and existing customers

A retailer opening a new brick-and-mortar location could use personalized coupon mailings to alert existing customers who live close to that location. This is particularly useful when you have a relationship with customers that might change because of your improved proximity. 

These mailings could even feature custom messaging or offers based on the customer’s purchase history. If your coupons are sent to people who have shopped at your store online but never at a physical location, their shopping history can be integrated into the variable data printing process.


3. University mailings to local high school students

As colleges and universities send out brochures and pamphlets to interested students, variable data printing allows for custom messaging that improves engagement and speaks to the specific interests of those students. Imagery on the brochure, for example, can be specific to the known academic interests of the individual student.


4. Donation requests to past donors

Nonprofit organizations depend heavily on donations to support their ongoing activities. Past donors can be prompted to make donations based on their history, which can be featured in mailings aimed at matching or surpassing donation amounts from previous years.

This strategy is great for increasing engagement and leveraging personalization to put pressure on providing continuing support, while also underscoring the donor’s importance as a supporter of the organization.


5. Customized color schemes on direct mailings

Businesses can create direct mailings that feature custom color schemes based on market data and other insights related to maximizing engagement with direct mail content. This is applicable to any type of business engaging an audience, especially those that serve a diverse audience, such as educational institutions and certain retailers.

You can also use color scheme personalization to A/B test different schemes and see which drive the best results. This can improve mailed content performance in the future. A/B testing can be attempted with any kind of element featured on a variable data printing product—just make sure you only change one element during the A/B test in order to ensure accurate data.



Variable data printing can be as simple as swapping out the names to whom the materials are addressed, or it can enable wholesale changes to printed products that gives your customers total control over the customization and personalization of each printed product.

Thanks to these new capabilities, your clients can harness their own account data to improve marketing efforts with both current and prospective customers. If you haven’t taken advantage of variable data printing, reach out to us to see how this new service can deliver more value to your customer base.


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