Direct Mail Systems

Direct Mail Systems provides tailored, flexible and effective mailing house solutions to meet clients needs, and exceed their expectations.

Founded in 1974, Direct Mail Systems is a Bristol based fulfilment and mailing house, providing organisations access to a complete range of mailing and data processing services.

Direct Mail Systems expertise is in rapid response mail production. Our 12,000 sq ft mailing house facility has a huge range of printing, enclosing & wrapping equipment to accommodate all your mailing needs.

Variable Data Printing is a term option used in the direct mail world and is a printing technique that can open up the world of personalisation to marketers, especially when it comes to their direct mail campaigns. In this article, we dive into what it’s all about, as well as the key benefits of variable data printing in direct mail. 

  • What is variable data printing in direct mail?
  • How does it work?
  • Why use variable data printing for direct mail? 
  • 3 benefits of variable data printing
  • Examples of variable data printing in direct mail
  • The power of personalised direct mail
  • Variable Data Printing with DMS


What Is Variable Data Printing In Direct Mail? 

Variable Data Printing (VDP) is a digital printing technology that allows for the customisation of individual printed pieces within a single print run. Unlike traditional printing, where every copy is identical and printed using a run, VDP enables the production of personalised copies with documents with varying text, graphics, and images from one piece to the next without slowing down the printing process.  


How Does it Work?

VDP works by leveraging specialised software that works in tandem with digital printers to pull data from a database or external file (in the case of direct mail this will likely be customer data). This allows the tailoring of the content of each printed piece to enhance the personalisation of a recipient. This data can include names, addresses, purchase history, preferences, and other personalised information.

When using VDP, templates are created with clearly defined variable fields which are then populated with different text, images, or graphics.

Why Use Variable Data Printing For Direct Mail? 

VPD is an effective strategy for businesses aiming to increase their marketing and return on investment (ROI). Here are the main reasons why it’s used for direct mail:

Personalisation Increases Engagement

By personalising the content with a veracity of the recipient’s name, preferences, and purchase history, businesses can improve response and engagement rates by over 1,000%. Sending collateral that matches the recipient's interests or past behaviour can make the information, offer or promotion more appealing and in turn increases the likelihood of a response or purchase. 

Enhanced Customer Experience

Adding personal touches can create a sense of connection and trust with recipients, demonstrating that you as a business value your customers and are perceptive to their needs and preferences. Research suggests that over 84% of customers would be more inclined to open a mail campaign if it was personalised to them. By providing customised and relevant content and offers, it can help build long-term customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Cost-Effective Marketing

While the initial setup for VDP can be more complex, the ability to produce personalised mail using a single print run can save on costs. While a traditional mail campaign typically engages around 2% of consumers,  personalised mail pieces created with variable data printing can achieve responses of around 6%, increasing overall ROI. 

Data-Driven Insights

Personalised direct mail allows for better tracking of responses and conversion rates, providing valuable data for refining future marketing strategies. A study from Forbes revealed that for 66% of marketing leaders, analysing consumer data led to an increase in customer acquisition as it allowed them to segment customer purchases and personalise future contact and campaigns.  

3 Benefits Of Variable Data Printing

1. Increased Response Rates

Personalisation often leads to higher engagement and better response rates compared to generic mass mailings.

2. Improved Customer Experience

Customised communications show that, as a business, you understand and value your customers, therefore helping to build stronger relationships and returning customers.

3. Cost Efficiency

Although the setup for VDP can be more complex, it gives the option to run a single print job with multiple variations. This can reduce costs associated with separate print runs. 


Examples Of Variable Data Printing In Direct Mail 

Here are some examples of how VDP is used in direct mail:

Promotional Campaigns

Adding an aspect of personalisation to promotional marketing campaigns, such as postcards for new products or special offers, in the form of recipients’ names, addresses, and even tailored offers based on past purchases can increase engagement and revenue as the content is relevant to them. Brochures and catalogues that reflect the recipient's preferences and interests are also common examples.

Customer Communications

Customised invoices, statements and notices with specific account details and personalised messages are a common way VDP is used.

Event Invitations

Printing personalised invitations with individual names and event details is a great use of VDP. 


The Power Of Personalised Direct Mail

Personalised direct mail holds great power, especially when we compare it to regularly compared digital efforts. Royal Mail's research found that 51% of mass, generic emails are deleted within two seconds of receipt, with many either never fully read or opened. In contrast, direct mail is more trusted due to its familiar and personalised format. Typically, direct mail is also kept for an average of 17 days, offering a longer engagement window. 

In addition, a recent survey found that direct mail worked best when the target audience was already familiar with the brand or product. Consumers who were sent personalised direct mail as a result of previous purchase history were 57% more likely to remain engaged or purchase in the future, a figure you just can’t ignore! 

Variable Data Printing with DMS

At DMS, we use a variety of printing and personalisation techniques, including variable data printing to create effective and successful direct mail campaigns for our customers. With our flexible approach and capability for fast turnarounds, we easily meet tight deadlines and support you with managing your personalised direct mail campaigns from start to finish.  

Equipped with some of the best industry technology, we deliver high-quality direct mailers at cost-effective prices and are continuously trusted by some of the UK’s leading brands such as Honda, Lexus and Space NK. Regardless of budget, complexity or volume, we can help you be as creative as you like with your next direct mail campaign. 

View our full range of in-house flexible direct mailing options or contact us to get a quote.

Enquire with Direct Mail Systems today

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