What is Personalised Print?
Personalisation is a way to use your customer data (such as profiling or purchase history data) to customise the content of the print you produce. Personalised printing enables you to tailor each printed item to match the likes and tastes of each customer.
For example, you might have information telling you what sort of offers a particular customer tends to buy, so you might want to add similar offers in the next brochure you send them. Or if you have a customer’s address, you might give them details of their local store and highlight specific promotions linked to previous purchases.
Benefits of Personalisation
- Improves product attraction
- Increases usability
- Displays products each customer is most likely to buy
- Increases enquiries, orders and ROI
Personalised Print has two main goals. Firstly, it’s used to attract attention. At whatever point your customer comes into contact with your print, personalisation allows you to put attractive products right at the point they first see it, making the print more relevant to the customer and driving up engagement rates.
Secondly, focusing a customer’s attention on products and services you know they’ll like makes the print easier to use (they can find the stuff they like more easily) and consequently increases response rates, conversions and ROI for the marketer. Win/win.
Using your customer data to personalise your mailings, catalogues and brochures is a great place start if you’ve never tried to use your data in this way.
Here we look at the latest innovative ways you can apply personalisation to your print.
The most basic level of personalised printing is to include elements such as names, addresses and other text taken straight from your database. This information will be included on the carrier sheet (the sheet containing the customer’s address and mailing details) but can also be used to print onto items such as envelopes and the cover page of a catalogue for example. This information is traditionally printed using black inkjet or laser on specific areas left blank after litho printing the main catalogue or brochure.
However, in many cases, we can now print litho and digital inkjet in a single process and even this level of personalisation can be in four colour (speeding up the job and reducing cost!).
You can also add personalised letters or cover introductions (possibly taking it a stage further and including page references for products you think a customer will like) and can also leave blank spaces on covers to add a local store address or contact information. All this increases the value of the product to the customer, making them more likely to read it and convert into buyers.
Graphical & Variable
The next stage on from basic single-colour personalisation is to use your data and the latest four colour (full colour) printing in more creative ways to enhance product relevancy and usefulness even further.
Four colour ink jetting is now commonplace alongside or even inline (working consecutively as part of a single printing process) with litho presses at some of our suppliers which means it’s possible to designate areas of print which will be both full colour and fully personalised within the product.
This means, if you hold profiling data on your customers – such as buying history or product preferences tied to product metadata – it’s possible to print covers, carrier sheets or internal pages which display graphics and text determined by the actions of the customer themselves.
For Example, if your customer has previously bought a lawnmower you might decide to try and cross sell a hedge trimmer or maybe a composter on the cover page. If you also hold data which shows two weeks ago they abandoned a shopping cart on your website containing grass seed and plant food, you might also want to include links to those items on the first pages – or produce a money off voucher on a fold-out flap as part of the cover. If you hold the right data, you can do this with every customer you’re mailing out to.
You could also incorporate a panel showing offers on these items inside the front cover and use a ‘Things you Might Like’ panel pointing them further items within the catalogue your data suggests they might like.
Other Online Data
The next level of personalisation is ‘mashing in’ further content from other data sources. In this case, the world’s your oyster as practically any information available digitally can be used. For example, it’s possible to combine the opening hours of local stores with directions from the customer’s home to the store on a digital map and print this onto the print. The possibilities are only limited by the available data sources and the imagination.
Another example is that variable data can also be taken straight from your inventory or pricing system to display product promotions and special offers in a similar way found on many websites. It also means print runs can be more targeted and more regular, maybe breaking up your traditional twice-a-year brochure mailing into more frequent, focused and up to date mailings.
In recent years, digital inkjet and laser quality has improved greatly, meaning the quality of personalised digital printing is now indistinguishable from litho to all but the most expert eyes. Mixing digital and litho can now work very well, offering seamless quality to your customers so they won’t notice the difference.
Cost is related to how far you want to go with personalising your print and is often dependent on the quality of data you hold on your customers. It’s also about finding the best-fit printer for the level of personalisation you require. Some printers can produce corner-to-corner (i.e. full page) fully-personalised printing while others offer simple black on white personalisation – and there’s a whole range in between. The trick is to find the optimal solution which will fit your requirements, drive up your conversion rates and be delivered within your budget.
Webmart works at the cutting edge of UK print and offers every major personalisation option available in the UK or Europe. We’re expert in helping you find the solution you require and offer an entirely independent print consultancy service focused solely on finding the right solution for your needs.