6 Types of Variable Data Printing & The Benefits of Each

A line of printers works to output variable data prints as workers watch on.

Variable data printing allows businesses to provide personalized communication to target audiences. This approach which swaps out key segments of a template file, is very effective at improving read rates, and ultimately outreach. Before we look at all the ways to use variable data printing, let’s look at what it is and the benefits of choosing this process.

What is Variable Data Printing?

Variable printing, sometimes called variable data printing (VDP), is a form of digital printing that permits text, graphics, and images to be changed from one printed piece to the next without pausing the printing process. Variable print coordinates with an external data file to generate customized individual pieces within one single print job.

What are the Benefits of Using Variable Data Printing?

In today’s environment and the fast pace of our lives, marketing pieces delivered by mail may go unnoticed unless they are targeted, recognizable, and relevant. The benefits of using variable data printing can be as simple as the customer recognizing their name, an image of their house, or the last item they purchased at a local store.


VDP successfully utilizes high levels of personalization, which are used in direct marketing, billing, and other applications where specific information, like a recipient’s name or address, varies for each item. VDP can personalize the image and the call to action. The personalization develops the relationship between the buyer and the company.

Delivers Increased Response Rates

In turn, personalization can impact response rates by catching the reader’s attention, thereby having a significant impact and effect, much like a call to action would be on a webpage.


Common uses include personalized letters with graphics or images, references to previous purchases, highlighting similar products, and customized promotional materials.


VDP works with digital printers that can rapidly process changing data, making it distinct from traditional printing, which uses static plates that cannot be altered once set.


Since the print data can change with each piece, variable printing is highly efficient for creating tailored communications in large volumes.

Data-Driven Marketing

Marketing teams can build and tailor communication materials to the target audience’s preferences, behaviors, and needs. By successfully using data to create targeted marketing, businesses can enhance the impact of their marketing efforts and enjoy improved engagement and conversion rates.

What Are the Variable Data Fields?

The possibilities for creating variable data printed materials are endless. VDP software is available to customize your projects. The most common VDP fields are:


Variable data can be used for names, addresses, products purchased, and customized text thanking your customers for shopping at a specific location by zip code. Don’t forget URLs; perhaps send the user to a targeted landing page.


Customized QR codes, charts and graphs.


Serial numbers, Vehicle Identification Numbers, account numbers, house numbers, and warranty information.


Display items previously purchased, aerial views of neighborhoods, or other visual personalization.


This is where it gets fun! CMYK scale creates vibrant marketing pieces that beautifully display full-color logos and fonts.

Special Promotions

These can be integrated into the mailing to highlight the recipient’s purchasing habits.

Examples of variable data printing

Variable data print can be used to create targeted marketing pieces; the possibilities are endless. Here are a few.

  • Higher education, colleges, and universities target high school students in response to applications or inquiries. The pieces may include the student’s name, the school logo, an image from the sport they are committing to, or a picture of their dorm. Alumni outreach for alumni events, specific campaigns, and annual funds.
  • Real estate agents focus on homeowners in a specific neighborhood or region after successfully selling homes there. “To the current resident” is not nearly as effective as “Ms. Jones, are you looking to sell your home?” and shows a picture of her home and recent sales in the area.
  • Car dealers personalize mailings to address the vehicle owner, their make and model, and perhaps an offer on the loan or lease balance. Getting a mailing addressed to the owner by name and with some offers and images of comparable vehicles to upgrade can be very effective.
  • Nonprofit organizations can tailor fundraising efforts to donors and specify previous donations, personalizing the message for maximum effectiveness. VDP supports recruitment efforts for volunteers and community members.
  • Financial institutions and credit unions can leverage variable data printing (VDP) to tailor financial product offerings to individuals and organizations based on their existing accounts and services.

Variable Data Printing at Velocity is Efficient, Streamlined, and Cost-Effective

Please do not be overwhelmed by variable data printing—we are here to help you and your marketing efforts be successful. Our customer service team will review your project, deliverables, time requirements, and what it will take to complete it.

Velocity is a northeast-based corporate print solution and direct mail service company with representatives in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Florida. Our commitment to acquiring the best-in-class digital print equipment and technology makes variable print data projects efficient and delivered within budget. Contact us to speak with a team member and discover the benefits of variable print data.

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