In the first post, we looked at how a designer can use the XMPie plugin to InDesign to connect the data to a design to produce multiple versions of the same template. In the second post, we gave that capability to the customer, who can connect the data to the design while shopping for print online.
But getting the personalized job to the print press isn’t always – and I’d say that it should not be – the endgame.
In this post, I’ll use the same design – the dynamic postcard – to show how you can add value to your bread-and-butter print services by combining print with digital communications.
You may have noticed that, although we were using a double-sided A5 postcard template in Part One and Part Two (by the way, you should read those first, if you haven’t already), we haven’t yet touched upon the back page.
Let’s take a look now.
The Back-Page of the Postcard
Instead of simply printing a standalone postcard, we are adding a digital element to extend the customer journey. There’s a dynamic QR code on the back of the postcard for each recipient to scan with their mobile phone and take the next step on the customer journey.
In our example, the customer will arrive on a landing page personalized with data from the same database used to generate the personalization on the printed postcard. To ensure absolute real-time accuracy, the landing page data is only generated at the exact moment that the customer clicks on the link. Nothing has been pre-rendered, so there is no risk of displaying out-of-date data.
Once on the landing page, the recipient can be prompted to take any number of actions. For instance, a beverage company could use the page to gather information from a survey, a pizza restaurant could add a sign-up for a coupon, and an insurance company could ask the recipient to update their current data. The possibilities are endless, and the great thing is that these actions serve to nurture and provide a positive customer relationship and a personal touch.
Remember, since every touchpoint – be it a print or digital document – is populated using live data, marketing campaigns powered by XMPie are fluid and customer-led, rather than predictable linear processes. Interactivity is the crucial difference here as the customer becomes not a passive observer of a locked, pre-generated activity but a player making choices that affect the campaign’s outcome. XMPie reacts to these choices by generating content – media, design, data – for the customer to access and activate the next stage of the campaign journey.
You don’t always need to print Print!
Remember that a print file doesn’t always need to be printed and sent in the post. Instead, a print file can be sent digitally and viewed on any device. As I described above, the QR code on the postcard takes the recipient to their personalized landing page. There, the recipient has the option to download a PDF version of their printed postcard – and of course, this feature could be used to offer any digital document generated on-demand with live data during a campaign.
This paperless alternative provides flexibility for your customers, who can save it to their device for use later. For instance, instead of printing and posting theatre tickets, they can be sent via email for the recipient to save to their phone and present at the box office. Once inside the theatre, a coupon can be generated and sent digitally for the recipient to enjoy some drinks during the interval!
Track and Trace
Another great benefit of adding a digital element to print is the ability to track history as the customers interact with different stages of a campaign. Not only can the marketer tell if the recipient has engaged with the print piece, but also, user actions, i.e., purchase history, can be captured with the updates added back into the database to build a 360° view of the customer for future interactions.
Continuity Across the Customer Journey
No matter what medium is used, XMPie uses the same personalization engine to generate all types of personalized communications – including print, PDF, email, web pages, SMS, or even video. So, you can be sure that each campaign will deliver the right message to the right person at the right time in the right format.
The XMPie platform also includes all the tools you need to make the switch to offering complete marketing services: Variable Data jobs will drive the high value, high volume print; Web-to-print will deliver more print to the business; and with omnichannel capabilities, you can now extend out the services that you offer by providing digital marketing services as well.
As we’ve demonstrated during this blog series, print providers can start anywhere with XMPie and add features and capacity when required. We offer separate solutions for each of our product lines so you can transition gradually before extending your services.
Ready to Find out More?
There are many resources on this site, including case studies, webinar replays, and blogs, demonstrating how the XMPie platform has elevated the services of other print providers and future-proofed their businesses. Check them out and get in touch if you have any questions.