Plastic Surgeons Go Digital With Personal Brochures

When a client needed personalized brochures on a highly personal topic — cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery — The Document Centre called on variable data print technology to create mailers based on data provided by consumers to a call center.

The Carol Stream, IL, printer's campaign for the American Society of Plastic Surgery involves the production of brochures custom designed for each consumer who calls the society's call center seeking information on plastic surgery. One page of the brochure includes 78 variable sections that change based on what information the consumer requested.

The society has used the customized brochures for nine months and today mails 3,000 to 4,000 pieces monthly through The Document Centre, which also handles fulfillment on the campaign. The brochures take about a week from the time they are requested to arrive at the consumer's mailbox.

Previously, the society responded to consumer information requests simply by shipping them a list of plastic surgery experts in their area. That was ineffective because it didn't convey a personal message and actually cost more than the current campaign because the old mailers were heavier, said David Rohe, owner and president of The Document Centre.

Each week the society uploads a Microsoft Excel database of consumers who have contacted its call center for information. Each entry contains the consumer's name, address, gender and areas of interest in plastic surgery.

There are four basic brochure templates, a generic one for men interested in cosmetic plastic surgery and three for women in which the images differ based on the subject's age and whether she is interested in cosmetic or reconstructive surgery. Inside, the text contains information on up to three kinds of plastic surgery, and the subject is referred to by name throughout the piece.

“If this person is opening this up, there is some affinity to the graphics. There is an immediate identification,” Rohe said. “The first thing they see on the cover is that it's specific to them.”

The brochures also include contact information for up to six plastic surgeons in the subject's area. The Document Centre sends the brochures to consumers in a plain brown window envelope because of their personal subject matter.

The Document Centre uses a Xerox DocuColor 6060 Digital Color Press driven by a Creo color server to produce the campaign. The Document Centre uses the sheet-fed DocuColor 6060 because of its in-line finishing capabilities — which allow the brochures to be folded in the press — and because it makes it easier to switch between paper stocks, a more difficult task with roll-fed printers, Rohe said.

The American Society of Plastic Surgery campaign requires The Document Centre to print volumes that vary week to week on demand, a requirement that is growing more common in the print industry, Rohe said.

“We don't care if this time they download 300 to us or next week they download 900,” he said.

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