Samco Printers


Variable Data Printing Service/ Personalized Marketing

Variable Data Printing, also known as Variable Information Printing, Personalized Marketing, One-to-One Marketing or Database Publishing, allows you to address your audience as individuals, customizing each printed piece with unique information pertinent to the recipient. This is done by merging variable text and images from database records with a static document design.

benefits of variable data printing

Variable data printing is a great tool for conducting personalized, highly relevant, targeted marketing campaigns and tailoring your marketing essentials to appeal directly to individuals and their unique traits.

Studies by PODi have shown that one-to-one marketing generates a 270% Return On Investment compared to traditional mass-produced pieces in response time, overall revenue/profit, repetitive orders/retention, average order size/value of order and response rates. In fact, an Adobe/Pantone case study found that using VDP increased sales by 81%. According to Personalized & Database Printing: The Complete Guide by David Broudy and Frank Romano, users of VDP experience order sizes increase by 25% and repeat orders increase by 50%.

A typical direct mail that is not personalized gets about a 2% response rate. Response rates for variable printing jobs vary from double the normal response for basic customization to as much as 15 times the response for fully customized jobs.

Canada Post research shows that direct mail and personalized marketing works:
• 97% of Canadians will open mail if they asked for it
• 95% will open direct mail if it is from a company they know or if it looks important
• 84% of consumers will open a letter if their name is on the envelope

levels of personalization

Here are different ways where content can be customized within a document:

Static/No Personalization

This is the traditional “one size fits all” marketing message probably produced on an offset press. Every customer will receive the same message, regardless of their relationship or profitability to your company.


Each customer’s name and address appears on the document to attract attention but the message is static and exactly the same for each and every customer.


Segmented versions of a document are created to meet the needs of different groups. Your customer base could be segmented according to age, gender, income or other attributes. Customized content is then generated to best address the needs of each particular segment.

Fully Customized

Each document’s content is fully customized to be highly relevant and custom-tailored to a specific individual. Everything in the document can be varied and the layout, text and images can all be swapped depending on the customer. Logic or business rules can even be applied. For example, change the colour schemes to appeal to a different locale, change type styles per age group, show a picture of a specific product model the customer purchased or display special offers only to credit card holders. The possibilities are unlimited.

preparing your VDP job

Design/Page layout + Graphics + Database = Variable Data Printing
A variable data print job is designed just like other print projects by using a standard graphics layout software like Adobe InDesign or Quark Xpress. Wherever a variable element is needed, simply place one example of the possible text or graphic in the spot. All variable elements (text or links to a graphic file) are placed within a database or spreadsheet. Each column represents a different variable field in the document. The first row should be used to title the columns. Each row after the title row represents a unique finished document. The layout file, database, images and fonts are then sent to us where our prepress professionals will assemble your files and create print-ready files.

Talk to us first if you need help or have more questions about our VDP printing service. We can also help you to create the layout and graphics if you wish.

lettershopping and mailing

After we print your variable data job, we can mail your items as well, making sure you get the best mailing rates possible.

Want to learn more? Talk to a Samco Expert at 604.683.6991 for a free consultation on our products and services before you start on your next project.