The Benefits of Personalized Print Services: How to Get StartedRESOURCES

The Benefits of Personalized Print Services: How to Get Started


Find out how to unlock your business’s potential with Variable Data Print software.

This article was first published in the March edition of NPSOA Magazine.

Many Print Providers don’t appreciate how accessible Variable Data Print (VDP) technology is today, even to small print businesses with limited resources. Did you know that VDP communications can be as creatively rich as static communications, with the bonus of much higher response rates that print buyers will pay more for?

Your existing customers are likely already seeking personalized print services, and if they don’t receive assistance from you, they may turn to other providers. If you want to be able to say yes to more jobs now and in the future, keep reading to understand why it’s never been a better time to get started with personalization. With the right approach and software choice, you can make the transition a success for your team.

VDP Can be Just as Creative as Static Print 

The print industry is a creative industry, not just a technical one, and when it comes to designing a VDP document, anything is possible, just like with a static document. In the VDP workflow, the designer leads the process, not the programmer. Along with their design skills, they’ll use their understanding of how to drive the design with data and logic to treat every person in the campaign as an individual. 

Gone are the days when programmers and IT teams controlled the workflow and would ‘program’ the print stream by printing the page background in batches before the variable data was computed, positioned, and printed over the top in designated areas. 

Now, the designer can manage the entire process of laying out and designing pages on a desktop computer with unconstrained variability – images, texts, charts, styles, and more varying from page to page – to automatically generate multiple versions of the same template during the composition process. It can be done without even owning a print press.  

Streamline Your Workflow with Adobe Integration: An Easy Onramp for Staff

Like any endeavor that achieves higher results, VDP requires more effort than regular static printing. However, this effort can be significantly reduced if you select a modern VDP solution like XMPie that uses an end-to-end Adobe InDesign workflow. Your designer is already using it daily and can quickly adapt to the new software without having to learn an entirely new system. This existing knowledge can save time and money on training costs and reduce the risk of errors caused by unfamiliarity with the new software.

Start Small and Focus on Your Selling Strategy 

Selling VDP is a different ballgame to selling print services as a commodity because, unlike static print, your customer doesn’t yet appreciate its value or potential.  

So, start small. Take advantage of available training from vendors and industry. Take time to build a sales program that explains the benefits of VDP and get to know your current customers; their industry, challenges, and customer-base, before moving on to your prospects.  

At first, print buyers won’t appreciate the scope of what can be achieved, so they’ll look to you to advise them. You’ll need to understand the full scope of your VDP solution and how that functionality correlates to an opportunity for your customer. For every print job, ask yourself, “How can I help my customer improve the value of the communication and maximize the return on investment?” 

Software doesn’t take up the room and doesn’t need air conditioning, but it does need the same amount of focus. It’s the lifeline of a profitable and competitive business, so take the time and effort to understand its features and capabilities. 

Communication at Scale 

A VDP solution should scale up or down as required depending on the client’s requirements, so don’t invest in all the bells and whistles when you’re just starting out. When you’re ready to push the solution past its original capacity, it will grow with you and maintain effective performance despite a steep increase in workload. 

Whether communicating to a few individuals, hundreds of personas, or millions of clients, your capacity for scale and responsiveness to demand can be ready. No matter the campaign size, each customer will still feel they are the single recipient. 

Personalization Powers Sustainability 

Adding VDP Services will not only improve your business operations and achieve economic growth. It will also reduce your business’s environmental impact because delivering personalized or targeted experiences to different audience segments across multiple channels cuts page volumes. In addition to offering more innovative print-on-paper services, you can expand into interactive online print solutions. 

Online print documents are produced using the same workflow as print-on-paper but can take your audience beyond the basic reader experience. Interactive PDFs comprise dynamic elements within the document, such as links, buttons, videos, and more. For example, a savings account statement could include a personalized video statement to outline the data and a button link for the recipient to follow the call to action. 

By publishing a PDF online, rather than printing it on paper, you will save on printing and postage costs, replace warehousing, avoid delivery delays, and reduce your carbon footprint. 

Print and Beyond 

A technology once solely used to personalize recipients’ names and postal addresses in print is now an essential tool helping printers futureproof their operations. 

VDP is often the first step in a transformation from managing a straightforward print-as-a-commodity business towards offering higher-value applications that build longer-term and stronger customer relationships, including creative marketing services, digital or omnichannel campaigns, and customer communications management. 

If you’re curious about the potential of VDP for your business, or if the limitations of your current solution are hindering your business growth, kickstart your transformation by trying out XMPie’s unlimited free trial version of its entry-level plugin into Adobe InDesign today.