Jet Letter News November 2010
Dear Herb,

Good News!  Our new Drag & Drop PSL PRO has passed its first set of Beta tests and is ready for more aggressive testers.

Learn about this opportunity and all the other exciting news at Jet Letter below.
New at Jet Letter
PSL PRO is here! 

PSL PRO - Take It for a Test Ride

We recently announced the initial beta release of PSL PRO. Our quite limited set of first round beta testers have provided us with some great feedback. We're now in the process of making some changes and additions based on what we've heard from users of competitive products who run into walls with their present VDP software.
We're now in our second round of beta testing. We expect the release of an even more powerful Variable Data Printing application in the very near future.

We've still in need of beta testers. If you have interest in being on the leading edge of VDP technology contact Tom Crooks today.

Automate your design process with PSL PRO 
  • Substantially reduce the time, effort and skill sets needed to create compelling personalized Variable Data Mailings
  • Built on the underlying core technology of PSL, PSL PRO adds Drag & Drop capability and leverages the power of PSL 
  • Affordable, Powerful, Versatile and now seamlessly scalable
Note that PSL PRO used to be called PSL Wizard. We have a pool at JetLetter that says Tom will change the name at least three more times! (LOL) 
Return on Investment (ROI) Driving Adoption of Variable Data Printing
 Personalization in catalog marketing is growing. Multichannel Marketing magazine recently released the results of their marketing surveys including responses from catalogers. Not only are these marketers sticking with print they are expanding into new formats of direct mail media such as postcards, but their use of Variable Data Printing to personalize their offerings is growing rapidly.

35% of catalogers say Variable Data Printing is expected to be used to produce catalogs for specific market segments. 63% say VDP is in their plans for the coming year.

Marketers have been slow to adopt VDP but with experts such as PODi (Print On Demand initiative) are saying that the returns are much greater with VDP over static printed mailers and the more a mailer is personalized the greater the return.

The figures below reflect PODi's recent analysis of their case study results on Variable Data Printing compared to the Direct Marketing Association's (DMA) static response rates.
Average Response Rate by Application
Personalized Response Rate Static Response Rate
Lead Generation 8.2% 3.4%
Direct Order 9.8% 2.3%
Traffic Generation 18.5% 2.6%
Average Response Rate by Vertical
Education 13.1% 2.2%
Financial Services 10.8% 2.0%
Manufacturing 10.6% 6.3%
Non-Profit 5.9% 3.7%
Printing Publishing 15.5% 2.9%
Retail 19.9% 1.9%
Personalized Rate = results of PODi case studies
Static Rate = DMA data 
ROI is becoming the driving force in the personalization of all printed marketing materials. The adoption of Variable Data Printing can only be expected to expand and grow to include a wider range of informational materials. Product brochures, newsletters, educational materials, and conference agendas are just a few examples that come to mind.

Of course, in order to incorporate personalization in these complex multi-page documents you need the proper tools. Jet Letter PSL gives you a powerful set of formatting tools that allow you to create and print highly personalized products. One examples of these tools includes,

Automated page layout. This tool provides the ability to format varying amounts of text and images to produce personalized multi page  documents.
VDP Automatically Adjusts Page Layout
VDP Automatically Adjusts Page Layout
A Note from Tom

Back when I first got into the software business, programming abacuses, we wrote a system for auto dealers that included accounting for the work of the mechanics.   I learned from those mechanics a few things about software and perhaps, business in general.

As you might expect this lesson has to do with tools. 

Car dealers charge their customers (sometimes) based on a  "flat rate."   The flat rates come from, of all things, the flat rate book.  At least back then, somebody published a book of how much time it took to perform almost all sorts of jobs done by mechanics on cars.  Dealers had hourly rates posted and the job was billed, using our software, based on the more fortunate mechanics were paid in the same manner.

The flat rates were based on some (most likely bureaucratic) study allegedly based on the average mechanic doing the job with the tools normally at hand.

So - what's the point?  Smart mechanics beat the system!!  They made tools specifically designed for certain jobs.  Consequently the tedious task of, for example, of removing a bolt when there is very little room for rotating the wrench, was made quick and easy by welding up some sort of "extender/rotator."   Consequently the task shown in the flat rate book at two hours got done in twenty minutes!!  The mechanic got paid for two hours; the dealer got paid for two hours, the customer felt okay about it because "the book" said so.  Both the dealer and the mechanic made money hand over fist.

Professional software developers typically do the same sort of thing.  They take it to extremes - they have tools to make tools to make tools etc. etc.

So what does all this have to do with the direct mail business and/or PSL?  The answer is; "A whole lot!" 

There are (at least) two ways of looking at software tools used in the day to day operation of your business.

First:  I spend quite a few hours every day asking people how they do what they do.  Obviously, I'm looking of holes, for ways I might be able to suggest a better way.  I am, of course trying to find reasons they should buy PSL.

I must admit I sometimes find it difficult not to utter some deprecating terms like; "Why on earth would you do that?"  And the answer invariably is; "It works."  If we had a flat rate book for this business how much time would be allowed for the process in question?  Now there is an interesting question.  The other one is; "How quickly could I do it?"

Merge speed comes to mind immediately - why wait hours when the same job can be merged in minutes?  Does time not relate to money; to customer satisfaction; to stress??

But there are a host of less obvious "flat rate" issues.  Consider for example mixing and matching jobs in one run - production efficiency and perhaps postal savings.  We could go on.

However there is a second and perhaps much more important factor to consider "flat rates."  Let's suppose that there was a flat rate book for the direct mail business.  Let's suppose that everybody used this book to bid jobs and bill their customers.  If you could find a special "extender/rotator" tool then you would have the choice of winning more business by bidding lower, or pocketing more money by saving costs.

NOW, if you happened to have read the last issue of this series - we suggested that when you have questions about how to set up a job in PSL, you call us.  In this issue we will say that when you think there just might be a way to beat the flat rate book - call us.  Perhaps we can together find one.

Tom Crook's official title at Jet Letter is President but he also functions as PSL's Evangelist and lead VDP Guru.  
Thanks again for your interest in PSL and the exciting new products that are arriving soon.
Tom Crooks
(949) 721-8786
Featured Article
OMG- I should purchased PSL.
OMG - I should have purchased PSL.
Click on the image above to get this month's humorous animation of PSL's usage.
Note: Tom wanted everyone to know that we don't pay the actors or video voice over professionals very much! 
Featured Article
Jet Letter PSL is excited to announce that Douglas Forero has joined our team. Douglas will augment  the already laudable PSL support team and assist in pre-sales support and training as well.

The one time US postal carrier brings years of experience with Variable Data Printing software and digital printing workflows.  He will provide customer training and technical support as well as assisting customers with the development and implementation of custom applications. ... more
Doug Forero
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