Applying Variable Data Printing to 7 Real-World Applications


Variable Data Printing (VDP) is a convenient way to print customized materials digitally. Thanks to a host of new technologies, VDP is becoming more and more common, which means print marketing is able to keep pace with the personalized experiences people now have when visiting websites online. With VDP, elements such as text, graphics, and images can be changed from one printed piece to the next.

Often, we think of using VDP to personalize a piece with the recipient’s name or address. There are many other practical applications for VDP, however, that incorporate more than just those variable elements. Here are a few to consider.


When sending a mailer, go a step above personalizing the name and address. Include a map to a store location and include turn-by-turn direction from the recipient’s address to the business.


If you’re in the non-profit business, VDP is a great tool to help boost fundraising efforts. By utilizing key data points, a piece can be personalized with a recipient’s previous donation amounts, end of year tax write offs, recommendations for upcoming donations, or even personal stories that would better connect with the recipient based on their demographics or interests.


Regardless of the industry you’re in, if you send out printed invoices or billing statements, you’re using a form of VDP. If the volume of your monthly or quarterly statements exceeds the resources available to print them in-house, consider how working with a print and mail provider can be a beneficial partnership.


If you’re in the music or sporting industry and have an event coming up, tickets are likely printed with VDP technology. A large quantity of tickets can be produced for several events at a time, to include the date, time, venue, and other important details. Have reserved or assigned seating? Add seat numbers or a sequential count to the tickets for easier tracking.


Run contests for your customers with the help of VDP. Perhaps you want there to be 100 winners out of 10,000 mailers sent. Those 100 winners can have a different look, specific code, scratch off or other means of determining that they are a winner. For a contest like this, winners can be set up entirely randomly and because there are no minimums for VDP, the ratio of winning mailers to total mailers doesn’t pose any additional set up fees.

Membership Cards

Membership cards are often digitally produced in large quantities and then mailed to members. Personalized aspects on a membership card can include name, membership ID, membership level, photo, or expiration data, or any other components deemed necessary by the issuing business.


If you’ve ever received a personal card or invite from a business, it was likely done with VDP. Perhaps it was to wish you happy birthday, offer you a discount or to recognize you for reaching a particular membership level. With access to the right data points, personalized recognition like this can be done for thousands of recipients at a time.

As you can see, Variable Data Printing can go much further than just personalizing a name and address or updating a photo on a mailer. The possibilities for VDP are endless and go well beyond the ideas presented in this article. What have you used VDP for or what questions do you have about its use? Leave us a comment below.

Do any of these ideas sound applicable to your business? Contact the Suttle-Straus team to discuss how our VDP technology can be a valuable asset to your next printed piece.



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Dawn Burke

Dawn Burke

Dawn was the Marketing Manager at Suttle-Straus. In her role, she managed all aspects of marketing and advertising, from website updates and content creation to conferences and events.
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Topics: Direct Mail