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Creative Versioning: It doesn’t have to complicate print buying

Versioning—or customizing a print marketing message for a specific audience—is increasingly important to sales success. Customized messages get the attention of busy consumers, and they boost response rates or sales.

But versioning also makes print buying and print projects much more complex and increases the likelihood of mistakes. There’s a solution designed specifically for print buyers. But first, let’s look more closely at how versioning works.

Creative versioning is the creation of multiple versions of the same marketing package or advertisement that are customized for a particular state/region, a demographic such as age, or behavioral segment like bargain shoppers. Messages may even be customized for individuals.

Versioning is a critical tool as customers become increasingly resistant to marketing and as response rates level off or decline. A personalized marketing piece may succeed where a traditional piece highlighting general product benefits fails.

A majority of direct mail packages (which may include an envelope, letter, card, bill stuffer/color piece, sticker or promo item) incorporate versioning. There may be different versions including or excluding one or more of these components.

Different recipients may get a different envelope designed to grab their attention before they throw it away—for instance, an envelope from an insurance company may promote a price targeted to your age. A letter for Pennsylvania customers may require a different legal disclosure notice than one for Maryland customers.

Besides direct mail, versioning might be used for in-store displays, for different product labels or to test several displays to see which message is most effective. Versions of a product manual for an appliance may be needed in different languages, different sizes, or with different artwork.

Versioning creates complexity

The number of differences between versions can make a print item more complicated to price and produce. Many print buyers manage these projects manually, using spreadsheets to specify differences and costs, and using email and phone calls for communicating instructions to the printer.

But there’s an easier, more accurate way—eLynxx Solutions software, which is designed specifically for managing print projects, ensures that from the beginning, every aspect of a complex project is accounted for and tracked. It’s the only software that does versioning for direct mail packages.

eLynxx software can roll up all of the different parts into one print project. It’s easy to create different versions of the same piece while providing directions to the printer on how the versions need to be assembled. It’s also easy to track and monitor jobs with eLynxx software, as well as to duplicate jobs or make changes in them seasonally. There’s no need for multiple spreadsheets or emails—everything is managed as one project.

Versioning is a critical capability for print buyers and marketers, but it doesn’t need to be a headache to manage. eLynxx Solutions software ensures that the many moving parts are handled smoothly and correctly. For a demonstration or information, contact info@elynxx.com or 717-709-0990.