There is no question that postcards are still a great way to get your message out there. But, a good way to increase their effectiveness is to personalize them for your intended audience. We recently worked with the University of Idaho on this large postcard printing project where we did just that. Each of the more than 28,000 postcards printed for this campaign had customized artwork, individually personalized for the intended recipient.
“I was very impressed with how fast you were able to turn around 28,000 personalized postcards. You had them in the mail within 4 working days after you had received approval to print.”
— Stuart Hierschbiel, University of Idaho
The Postcard Specifications
Size: 6” x 10”
Paper: Tango C2S 14 pt.
Press: Xerox Igen Digital Press
Processes: Variable Data Printing, Variable Imaging, Digital Printing, Mailing Services
The University of Idaho wanted to send out a postcard to their alumni. Each postcard had to be customized in two ways. First, the recipients address needed to be printed on the back. Second, the recipient’s’ last name had to be printed on the front of the postcard.
As you can see from the photos, the front of the card is an image of a football player. The goal was to personalize the nameplate on the back of the jersey with the recipient’s last name.
We were able to accomplish these feats using our advanced variable data and variable imaging printing technologies.
Variable Imaging Process
Over 28,000 unique images needed to be created for this project. Yes, we could go into Photoshop and edit each photo by hand, but that would have taken FOREVER. There is a much smarter way to go about it. It involves using powerful variable imaging software to automate the entire process.
The client supplied us with the editable Photoshop artwork files. Using XMPie (our variable imaging software) and Photoshop we completely automated the image generation process. The basic premise is that the software pulls names from a database and inserts them into the artwork. No human intervention required after the initial setup.
Only a small section (the jersey nameplate) of the image was being customized. We programmed the software to edit only that section, leaving the rest of the image stagnant. This shaved hours off our total processing time. As it was, it took our systems about nine and a half hours to fully process 28,280 customized images.
Variable Data Printing and Mailing
Our variable data printing capabilities allowed us to print unique mailing addresses on the back of each postcard. The name in the address on the back matched up with the name printed on the artwork on the front side.
Since the client is a not-for-profit university, we printed a not-for-profit indicia on the back of each card. Rather than first shipping the postcards to the client (in Idaho), they were bulk mailed out via the Seattle USPS. This was the most cost-effective way to get the postcards delivered.
By all accounts, the University of Idaho athletic postcards mailer was a success. The postcards themselves looked great. They were delivered to everyone on the mailing list in a timely fashion. And most of all, the client could not have been happier with the way things turned out. They mentioned that “people were raving” about their personalized postcards, and some alumni were even posting them to social media.
This postcard project is just one example of what you can do with variable data and variable image printing solutions. Everything from custom calendars, greeting cards, stationery, letterheads, even landing pages for the web are perfect applications for personalized experiences.
To learn more about what variable image printing can do for you and your business, get in touch!