Variable Data Printing: Highly Targeted Admissions & Advancement Outreach

by | Apr 30, 2019 | Academic, Commercial

You already know that utilizing your prospective student or donor data in your digital and print advertising campaigns is crucial for response rates and positive results, but how can you make that happen?

Let TAG introduce you to your new best friend, Variable Data Printing, also known as, VDP! And, every best friend must have a sidekick, so meet the data experts of TAG who have known VDP for years.

VDP is the marketing technique that enables you to produce large quantities of high-quality marketing pieces, yet still have each piece personalized for every recipient. It’s called 1:1 (one to one) marketing. It’s easy because TAG can handle all your institution’s VDP needs! All TAG needs to create a successful direct mail campaign is data about your target audience and your goals. Whether you want to target new enrollment, win new donors from graduates, or get your current donors to give more, TAG can not only make your goals a reality but also expand upon them.

VDP works by applying data about your target audience to direct mail and using it to create personalized pieces. Some common uses of VDP are direct mail addressing and the personalizing of recruitment communications. Addressing a piece used to require the original printed piece to be put through additional equipment to inkjet an address. With variable data printing, this basic requirement is eliminated. Addresses are the original personalization data and there are huge cost savings in this approach. However, that’s just the beginning, VDP gives direct mail the ability to become personalized in any way you need. For example, if you know Jason just attended a college fair, you can send him targeted direct mail based on that interaction. Or, if you know Sarah recently visited the campus for a tour, then you can mail her content specific to information gathered. Just be smart about the team executing the fair or tour, and your institution can look like a rock-star.

VDP is what allows you to tailor your communications to increase response and conversion rates. Being personal gives them a reason to interact with your institution. It’s no secret that a little personalization goes a long way, so it should be no surprise that personalized ads result in higher response rates than general ads do. A study done in 2016 by InfoTrends which was noted in Target Marketing, found that people who were given a direct mail piece which had some personalization were 29.9% “much more likely” to open it and read it and 55% “more likely”.

When seeking higher response rates, it is important that you reach the right target with the right message. Nobody feels special or motivated to act when they read another generic and vague advertising message. When TAG allows you to call your prospective student or donor by their name (literally) and present them with a message and image highly related to them as an individual, they are much more likely to engage.

If you’re worried you don’t have enough data to create a successful VDP campaign, well, think again! A little data can go a long way. VDP campaigns don’t need overwhelming amounts of data to be successful. TAG can be as creative as you need them to be in order to create a campaign which is tailored for your needs and built within your data frame.

VDP won’t just get you in contact with prospective students and donors, it will create a unique relationship between you both. In a world where recruitment and advancement are becoming more and more competitive, little decisions like choosing to use VDP, are what will set you apart from the crowd and lead to big successes! And, we all know Generation Z is demanding a personal experience and relationship with brands. This audience, in particular, loves the VDP touch.

To learn more, download TAG’s VDP guide and see what VDP can do for you!

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