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Jun 04 2013

How Can Variable Data Printing Improve Your Next Direct Mail Campaign?

variable data printingHave you ever received a piece of mail that is the same as your neighbors, except yours has a different textual message? Or have you ever wondered how stores put unique names and addresses on every single mailing piece? The answer is variable data printing. Variable data printing allows for the customization of mass mailing pieces without slowing down the printing process. It can be as simple as putting different addresses on each piece, or as complicated as creating pieces with different graphics, colors and text. It is an incredibly powerful tool for direct mail marketers.

Why should I use variable data printing?

Depending on your target audience and your message, variable data options can provide a unique opportunity to speak directly to potential clients with interest and enthusiasm. It allows you to create a mass mailing, but tweak it so that each piece speaks specifically to the recipient. Consequently, your mail is more likely to be looked at, your calls to action more likely to be acted upon and your business more likely to grow. Businesses often see a higher return on investment when they use variable data in their direct mail marketing campaigns.

How can I use variable data printing?

The possibilities for variable data printing are endless, but let’s look at one specific scenario. Imagine you manage a clothing retail store and you are able to keep track of customers’ purchases through their use of a rewards card. As the summer approaches, you want to send out a mailing piece featuring specific clothing items and offering coupons. You could send out one mailer where all the pieces feature the same clothes and same coupons. Or you could use variable data to create unique pieces tailored to the buying history of specific customers. In the end, you would end up with hundreds, or maybe thousands, of pieces that generally look the same, but feature different types of clothing and have different coupons to match buyers’ needs.

How can I get my pieces printed with variable data?

By using One Step Services! We work directly with printers that have the ability to print thousands of postcards with different text and/or graphics. Our graphic designers coordinate with printers so you won’t have to worry about it. Just tell us the data you want varied and we’ll take care of the rest.

Is variable data printing more expensive than regular printing?

Not necessarily. In some cases, it can be cheaper. For example, if you wanted 1,000 postcards printed, and you wanted 500 with one graphic and 500 with another, it would be cheaper to use variable data printing rather than running two separate orders of 500 each. If you run into a scenario where variable printing is more expensive than regular printing, remember that the return on investment is likely to be higher, therefore costing you less money in the grand scheme of things.

Ready to get started with variable data printing? Give us a call at 949-587-5301 or email If you have specific ideas for variable data we’ll put those into practice and if you need ideas, we can help you brainstorm.

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Oct 04 2012

Don’t Let A Bad Photo Ruin Your Marketing Message

One popular marketing strategy in real estate marketing is use of the agent photo. Agents put their photos on business cards, post cards, door hangers and signs. This builds familiarity amongst the residents they market to. It also brings a very personal touch to the marketing pieces. It sends the message “Hi! My name is Bob. I’m friendly, honest and excited to help you buy or sell a home.” The wrong picture, however, can send the wrong message. An unprofessional picture sends this message “What up? I’m Bob. I just rolled out of bed and will probably be late to our first meeting.”

Don’t invest a bunch of money on a beautifully designed printed piece and then ruin the message with a bad agent photo. Here are four tips for choosing a fantastic head shot:

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This is a great headshot. The agent is dressed professionally, has an open honest smile and she is placed in front of a warm neutral background.

Keep It Professional– Look at the background of your picture. Does it show you at a party with a bar and your drunken uncle in the background? What about your attire? Are you sporting a button up shirt or a skimpy tank top? Everything in your picture needs to give an air of professionalism. Keep your backgrounds simple and neutral. Locations make great photo settings, as do studio backdrops or lightly colored walls.  As for attire, make sure it’s modest and professional.

Keep it About You– Don’t include friends, family or pets in your photo. The whole point of an agent photo is for people to become familiar with your face, not someone else’s. (There may be some exceptions to this. For example, if you want to send a family photo Christmas card or your pet is a significant part of your business and brand.) Also, don’t try to crop people out of your photo, especially if they are touching you in anyway. People can always tell when another person has been cropped out, so it’s best to get a photo taken with just you in it.

Keep it Current– The whole point of a photo is to get people familiar with your face so they will recognize you. If you’re using a photo from 20 years ago, chances are that when people see you in person, they aren’t going to realize it’s the “you” from the photo! Update your picture every other year or so to keep it current.

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Professional doesn’t have to be boring. This location headshot stands out as being unique and interesting

Keep it Touched Up– We suggest having a professional take your photos for you.  One reason for this is that a photographer can touch up your photos by reducing red eye, adjusting shadows and correcting blemishes. A good photographer will make touch ups that make the photo look more professional but don’t drastically change your natural look.

Do you know of any good head shot photographers? How about some great places to take pictures?  Share your tips in the comments below

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