Design for Variable Printing

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This was a presentation given by our Director of Creative Services, that highlights the benefits of personalizing your marketing campaigns.

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Design for Variable Printing

  1. 1. d e s i g n f o r va r i a b l e printing be personal. be relevant. Be specific. - seth rodin
  2. 2. Why Variable Data? Marketing studies repeatedly show that personalizing communications can boost their effectiveness. Variable data printing (VDP) has made customized communications possible on a detailed level. It offers the opportunity to build a relationship with the customer that inspires greater loyalty. TyPIcal resPonse raTes Fundraising static: 4.46% Personalized: 7% Direct to Consumer static: 1.75% Personalized: 3.3% Lead Generation static: 3.2% Personalized: 5.7% Lead Conversion static: 2% Personalized: 7.5% 2006 DMA Report
  3. 3. Print Works • US advertisers spend $167 per person in direct mail marketing to earn $2,095 worth of goods per person, scoring an ROI of 13 to 1. • People gravitate toward print. 85% of mail is either read or visually scanned by recipients (US Postal Service survey from 2006). • According to a 2004 report by Interquest the response rate for customized color direct mail campaigns ranged from 6% to 75%, with an average of 21%. The response rates on average were 5.6 times higher for customized color versions than simple mail merge applications. The more you individualize print, the more you are likely to evoke a response. All of these stats support the fact that Print is still relevant.
  4. 4. Creating a Consistent Message Across a Campaign • Work for relevancy in your marketing messages • Personalize your marketing messages with relevant variable text and images • Go for a lean, clean look in the design of all creative: print, email and web • Find new ways to grab your prospect’s attention, change your design but keep familiar elements. • Offer a free report or a simple premium • Continue the theme across all pieces - Use a similar graphic look including graphics, fonts, colors - continue the same message or “call to action”
  5. 5. c a m pa i g n e x a m p l e s • McDaniel College • JHU Alumni • echo Calendar
  6. 6. McDaniel College echo’s in-house creative team worked along with the Director of alumni Relations (DAR) and the Director of Annual Giving (DAG) at McDaniel to develop the campaign. The target was defined as alumni within a span of 5 decades (1950’s through the 1990’s) with 200-300 alum per decade. echo’s creative team developed the “remember when...” theme and developed copy and graphic concepts for each decade. The data drove all of the text and graphic variables. The decade triggered the headline copy “Remember When [decade appropriate phrase]”, the letter introduction “Life may be different than when [decade appropriate phrase]” and the graphics. The graphic variables were decade specific images of the campus and pop-culture trends. The additional copy variables were: first name, class year, major, an ask amount based off the alum’s gift-giving history, and the signature of the letter which was from a fellow alum within the same decade. The combination of a relevant personal message targeted to the decade along with an appeal to support the college’s mission provides a strong motivator for alumni to give.
  7. 7. all variable areas are circled showing the areas that copy and graphics were changed to personalize the message to the recipient.
  8. 8. Johns Hopkins Alumni Johns Hopkins annual alumni campaign is to encourage alumni to join the alumni organization for a year or lifetime and to contribute to the university. echo’s in-house team worked along with the alumni office to develop the campaign. For this years campaign the recipients were broken into 4 groups: - Recent Graduates - newer Member/not loyal - loyal Members - Donor not Member A combination of variable text and graphics was used based on year of graduation, major, past giving history, etc. each group received different printed pieces with a slightly varied message but they were all part of the same campaign with the same theme.
  9. 9. Each segment received different pieces through different delivery vehicles, with a slightly altered message around the same theme. Group Campaign Elements Message Recent Graduates The Hopkins Alumni Association is inseparable from your future success! Graphical ask letter Diagram to Success Custom Courtesy Reply 9” x 12” Full Window (never tear stock) Magnet Envelope Newer Member/ Not Loyal Invitation theme – We invite you to take a fresh look at the Alumni Association. Invitation style ask letter Window pane flyer Courtesy Reply 6” x 9” Full Window Envelope Loyal Members Thank you for your continued membership. Please consider lifetime membership. Graphical ask letter Window pane flyer Custom Courtesy Reply 9” x 12” Window Magnet Envelope Donor not Member Invitation for lifetime membership. Formal invitation Window pane tri-fold Courtesy Reply #10 Business style ask letter glossy brochure Envelope Window Envelope This allows you to spend more money on a certain segment such as higher donors.
  10. 10. Variable Graphics on the window flyer the graphics were customized based upon the school Diagram to Success and major. (never tear stock) Window pane flyer C
  11. 11. echo Calendar echo created a 2008 calendar for clients and prospects. The variability was limited to name, company and salesperson. Even though it was a limited amount of data, the impact was increased through customized graphics.
  12. 12. Customized Graphics Variable graphics MUST be subtle and unexpected. To create realistic images using Photoshop or Illustrator you must blend with the background image. The imagery must look natural and not forced. some ways to do this are: - hide text, - wear & tear, - match lighting and color, textures, perspective & reflections, - choose fonts carefully.
  13. 13. JANUARY 2008 SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY 1 2 3 4 5 DECEMBER 2007 FEBRUARY S M T W T F S S M T W T F S
  14. 14. rFirst- Co Custome m pa ny OCTOBER 2008 SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY 1 2 3 4 SEPTEMBER NOVEMBER S M T W T F S S M T W T F S
  15. 15. DECEMBER 2008 SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY 1 2 3 4 5 6
  16. 16. Customize Your Design • Speak to your data segments by customizing copy and images into endless combinations. • Make your offer prominent. • Change graphics & copy to create a truly personalized piece to each recipient. • Variable data is especially effective when placed where the end-customer does not expect it. There is a great deal of room for creativity in this process, which encompasses both graphic design and database innovation. • You have full creative flexibility to use all features of your design application. anything you can design on a traditional print piece you can do with VDP For example: Text on a Curve, Different Font size or type, Rotated text etc. Color Can Be Variable • Consumers are 55% more likely to pick up a piece of full color material. • Color increases retention by 82%. Use Color to emphasize important points. • Color helps messages be understood by 80%.
  17. 17. Tips • The impact of a campaign is higher when customers receive multiple pieces (touches). • Be creative, but be sure the tone of the message is appropriate to the audience. • Don’t let limited data stop you. Be creative with the information you do have. • Build a unified customer data store and maintain it well.
  18. 18. Technical Notes • Print document must be InDesign (Quark can be converted). • Fonts must be OpenType for variable type or converted to outlines. • Supporting files with transparency (ex. layers, drop shadows) must be .psd, .ai or .pdf files. They cannot be .tif or .eps files. • Variable data can be placed anywhere within the copy or graphics. • Variable Layers can be activated for different designs to be pulled for different groups within a mailing. Ex. Female, Male or Couple • Variable text can be set up any way text can be set in InDesign, for example: on a curve, transparent, color, rotated, font, etc. • Database can contain as little data as name and address or much more information such as age, gender, product preferences, etc.
  19. 19. Questions? Lindsey Gentel Strategic Account Manager Education and Nonprofits lgentel@echoeffect.com 410.631.4010 x 120

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