What is Variable Imaging?
Variable Imaging, by definition, is the printing of documents in which each one is personalized for the intended recipient. It can be as simple as just a name and address, but the real impact comes when other information is added to create a piece that includes information specific to the recipient.
Levels of Personalization
Variable Imaging can be divided into four distinct levels of personalization. The first and most basic level is the use of a name and address on the printed piece. The second level adds a certain amount of versioning, meaning each piece has other text or images that vary based on data specific to the recipient. The third level would include transactional information or data driven graphics (like a pie chart or graph illustrating data specific to the recipient). Lastly, the fourth level of Variable Imaging would be a document that was 100% variable – the layout, graphic images, and text would all change from piece to piece.
What’s the payback?
While a personalized document may cost more than a static one, you can get a far better return on your investment with a variable imaged document. It’s all about the cost per sale, not the cost per piece. For example, the average response rate on a generic direct mail campaign is around 1%. A targeted variable imaged campaign can increase those response rates to as high as 30%. The actual cost per response will be lower, as you will not only save money on postage, but you can print fewer pieces and get more responses at the same time.
The added impact of color
Adding color to your variable imaged document produces measurable results. Research has proved that color increases readers’ attention and recall by 82%, and people are 55% more likely to pick up a full-color piece first. Color can enhance productivity, improve communication, and boost sales as well as capture the attention of the intended audience. Many companies will also insist on color to maintain their corporate identity.