Categories: Direct Mail ProductionHappy Thanksgiving! We hope you are gathered with loved ones and friends, enjoying all the warmth, happiness and good food associated with this special time. Since beautiful imagery and vibrant color surround this time of year, our thoughts naturally turn to -- what else? -- variable imaging! With variable imaging technology, a person’s name or some other text becomes a convincing part of a photograph or vector illustration. Some examples: writing carved into a pumpkin, letters formed by raindrops, finger-writing through the icing on a cake—anything the creative mind can imagine -- and what a wonderful time of the year to let your imagination run free! For direct marketing managers, the most challenging part of the variable imaging process is to devise a workable concept—in other words, a clearly understood reason why a recipient’s name should appear as part of a particular image. Seeing a familiar name written in the sand, for example, creates the right emotion and makes perfect sense if you’re a prospective cruise ship customer, but it doesn’t mean a thing if you’re in the construction industry. How do you decide if variable-imaging will work? Determine how much you know about your prospects. Clearly, the more you know about the folks on your list (their professions, passions or hobbies), the more effective your variable image will be. A case in point: One teacher-related organization hosts an annual leadership conference for middle- and high-school students. A photo on the group’s self-mailer, designed to encourage teachers to nominate students for the conference, revealed an image of the blackboard displaying each teachers’ name written in chalk. Just one idea that can have a powerful effect. Check out the many options available with variable images on our website.