Variable Data Printing
Variable data printing, or VDP is a type of printing in which documents are created from a combination of variable text and images that are taken from records in a database. In its most simple form, we can print and simultaneously address a postcard. As you increase the level of variability, we can begin to change text and images so that each piece printed is unique. The following will help you understand the levels of personalization that are currently used.

The Levels of Personalization
From the
least relevant way to communicate with a customer through the most relevant here are the different levels of how content can be customized within a document:

This is a
one size fits all marketing message. Your marketing message is "mass-produced" using conventional offset printing and every customer will receive the same message, regardless of their relationship or profitability to your company.

Each customer's name and address will appear on each document to attract attention but the marketing message is static and exactly the same for each and every customer, regardless of their relationship or profitability to your company.

Segmented versions of a document are created to meet the needs of different groups. Your customer base is segmented according to demographic or other attributes, perhaps by a previously expressed interest. For example, investors could be segmented by age or long-term goals, or car owners segmented by the model they own, or geography could determine the version. Customized content is then delivered that best addresses the needs of each particular segment.

Fully Customized
The ultimate application of direct marketing, each document's content is fully customized to be highly relevant and custom-tailored to a specific individual. A full color document is dynamically composed and everything in the document can be varied. The layout, text and images can all be swapped depending on the customer.