What is Variable Data Printing (VDP)?
Variable Data Printing is the heart of what is commonly called 1-to-1 direct marketing because it allows you to tailor your message or “talk” directly to the recipient.
Traditional lithographic or offset printing produces the same “static” text and graphics on each piece of paper, no matter how many are printed. this type of printing is done on an offset press, which requires printing plates, ink, etc. Variable Data Printing is done on a high quality, digital press, much like a color laser printer, only much faster and much smarter.
Digital presses use special 4-color process toner and do not use printing plates or inks. The digital press’ on-board computer accesses a number of databases containing all of the text and graphics that are printed on each postcard as it passes through the press. One of those databases is your mailing list. As each postcard is printed, the onboard computer inserts the individual recipient’s name from your list and your agency’s name into the appropriate sections of the postcard’s marketing message, using the same typeface and ink color. This personalization creates a postcard that will attract and hold the recipient’s attention so that your postcard is read, and ultimately gives your marketing message more impact and retention. In fact, it is estimated that postcards and other direct mail pieces achieve a 20% - 30% higher response rate when compared to the same piece printed with “static” text.
Finally, when the finished postcard comes off the press, it is completely printed, personalized, addressed, presorted, and ready for mailing.
If I provide a mailing list, what mailing list formats can I use?
The proper formatting of your mailing list is critical to the printing and deliverability of your postcards. Mailing lists that are improperly formatted can cause printing problems and can also cause delays in having them delivered by the Post Office. Typically, mailing lists are provide as a spreadsheet created in Microsoft Excel or other database program or as comma delimited or tab delimited text files. While we can use lists in any of these formats, we prefer lists that are provided in Excel spreadsheet format.
Formatting your list as an Excel spreadsheet:
When formatting your list in an Excel spreadsheet, keep each recipient’s address information in rows and label the columns of your spreadsheet as follows:
Name1 = The recipient’s first name.
Name2 = The recipient’s last name.
Address1 = The recipient’s street address, rural route number or post office box number.
Address2 = The recipient’s post office box number (if you also have a street address for them), apartment number, suite number or other delivery information.
City = The recipient’s city
State = The recipient’s 2-character state abbreviation
ZipCode = The recipient’s 5-digit zip code or 9-digit Zip+4 zip code
Your spreadsheet may already include other columns of information such as a phone number, fax number, email address, etc. You can keep this information in the spreadsheet when you send it to us but we will not use this information when processing your order.
DO NOT use initials for the recipient’s first name (i.e. A. J.)
DO NOT combine spouse’s first names (i.e. John and Pam)
DO NOT use all capital letters except for the 2-character state abbreviation (i.e. JOHN DOE)
DO NOT combine the recipient’s street address and PO Box in the same column
Here is an example of a properly formatted Excel spreadsheet:
|Peter||Smith||107 Main Street||Paramus||NJ||07652|
|Mary||Jones||23 Howard Ave||Apt. 2B||Fair Lawn||NJ||07410|
|Robert||Atkins||413 Hamilton Road||Suite 301||Glen Rock||NJ||07452|
|Jane||Perkins||5 Arlington Pl||PO Box 28||Ridgewood||NJ||07450|
|Victoria||Williams||PO Box 438||Wyckoff||NJ||07481|
|P.||Smith||107 Main Street||Paramus||NJ||07652|
|Jim and Mary||Jones||23 Howard||Ave||Apt. 2B||Fair|
|ROBERT||ATKINS||413 HAMILTON ROAD||SUITE 301||GLEN ROCK||NJ||07452|
|Jane||Perkins||5 Arlington Pl PO Box 28||Ridgewood||NJ||07450|
If I order a mailing list from The Mines Press, how many names are available?
We have partnered with the nation’s leading provider of business and consumer information, database marketing and data processing services to give you access to their consumer database. It currently consists of approximately 210 million consumer names and addresses.
The number of names that are available for the list that you order depends upon the “selects” that you specify when you give us your list requirements. Generally, the more “selects” that you give us, the fewer the number of names that will be on your list.
How are the names in a mailing list from The Mines Press obtained?
Our list partner employs over 600 data specialists dedicated to researching, adding, verifying and updating the data that they provide. Records from new information sources are updated monthly. In addition, they split apart and catalog over 4,300 telephone directories, examine each listing and enhance them with buying habit and lifestyle information from real estate transactions, product registrations, subscriptions and survey responses.
How accurate is the information in The Mines Press mailing list database?
Since over 20% of all consumers move in a year, our data provider adds and verifies over 300,000 new movers every week. In addition, all of the address data in the database is cleaned and matched against the US Postal Service National Change of Address (NCOA) and Delivery Sequence File to standardize and keep the addresses accurate. The data is also carrier route and ZIP + 4 coded using the USPS certified Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) for the highest deliverability rate in the industry.
How much is postage?
All postcards are mailed as presorted Standard Mail to insure that you receive the best postal rates. The actual postage cost for your postcard mailing depends upon the makeup of your mailing list and how well it can be sorted according to US Postal requirements. The mailing list that you provide or purchase from us will be processed through our postal software to achieve the maximum postage savings.
Postage for postcards mailed by presorted Standard Mail will cost from 25.7¢ to 22.5¢ each.
We will contact you with the actual postage costs for your postcard mailing before your postcards are mailed.
What is your production time?
Production time is approximately 2 weeks from the time that we receive your imprint information and mailing list. That includes preparing your postcard for production, processing your mailing list, printing and addressing and delivering your postcard to the post office.
What kind of paper do you use for the postcards?
All of our postcards are printed on top-quality Cougar Opaque Digital, a sturdy 100# paper stock that has been specifically designed for printing on digital presses.
Can I customize the copy on my postcards?
You may modify the text in any of our postcard designs at no additional charge.
Can I use my own custom photos on my postcards?
If you wish, you can use your own photos on your postcards for a set-up charge of $75.00. All photos must be high-quality original photographs or supplied as high-resolution (300 dpi or higher) electronic art. We cannot use printed materials such as brochures, etc., photocopies or images from a website as these will not reproduce well enough for your postcard.
Electronic artwork may be sent on CD or emailed to us at email@example.com. We prefer artwork prepared using Photoshop or as .eps files or print-optimized PDF files. Artwork files being sent by email should first be compressed to ensure their integrity. PC files should be compressed using WinZip; Macintosh files should be compressed using Smith Micro’s Stuff it.
Can I get postcards without variable data printing?
Postcards can be ordered without Variable Data Printing upon request, but they will be much less effective than postcards printed using VDP.
According to the Direct Marketing Association, 69% of direct mail recipients prefer personalized (VDP) direct mail. Furthermore, direct mail prepared using Variable Data Printing yields response rates that are 20% - 30% higher than “static” printed direct mail.
If I order postcards for multiple agency locations, can I get total quantity pricing?
You may order postcards for multiple locations all at once and receive the price for the total quantity that you order for an additional set-up charge of $15.00 per location. All postcards ordered must be the same size to qualify for the total quantity price.
If I order more than 1 postcard design at a time, can I get total quantity pricing?
If you plan a true postcard campaign using multiple postcard designs, you will receive the price for the total quantity of postcards ordered at the same time for and additional set-up charge of $15.00 per postcard design. All postcards ordered must be the same size to qualify for the total quantity price.