Take your time to plan
Planning is important in life – you know no one likes to be caught off guard – and given the amount of money it costs, planning is CRITICAL when it comes to variable data printing.
Why? VDP takes more time to set-up at your printer which equals more costs up front.
- You’ve got to make sure your data is GOOD, CLEAN and TARGETED.
- Review your goals and how the data you have fits those.
- Engage your designer to design a piece that will incorporate the data into the design.
- Remember that a name like “Katie Kriemelmeyer” doesn’t fit into a design like “Joe Smith” plan for the long names, addresses and such upfront.
- Copy and offer, just because you plan all the rest, don’t let crappy copy or a bad offer make your work worthless. Make sure they align with your goals and your targeted list.
- Never forget mailing and postage – figure out when you want the piece to arrive in mailboxes and what you have in the budget for mailing for both the method of mailing (first class mail (1-3 days) vs. standard presort (4-6 days) vs. bulk mail (whenever) and the size of the final piece (letter, postcard or flat). Then factor that in. Postage costs will be 1/2 of your overall budget.
- Seed your mailing – JUST DO IT – you should always use a seed list which is a group of internal staff on your end that will receive the mailing like your customers (so you know when it gets delivered and how it turns out once it goes through the mail)
- Basics – remember to figure out paper stock, colors, and final trim sizes to convey to your printer (and remember digital presses have size limitations, so make sure you know those).
And the best part?! Once you plan it, you can use the program again and again, just feeding in new data and adjusting copy, art and offer to keep it fresh.