Find savings where you can
You are an individual with your own unique likes and dislikes, yet most of the marketing that is aimed at you is completely generic. This is partly because many products have a very broad appeal and the messaging around them is as inclusive as it possibly can be. It is also partly because marketing that is personalized is perceived as being significantly more expensive than generic messages.
However, the use of personalized marketing usually results in significantly higher readership rates, which, when placed with a valid and credible offer, raises the response rate of the marketing effort.
The key is personalizing your marketing without blowing the marketing budget
There are several ways to accomplish the goal of enhancing response through personalization.
There are two primary targets of direct marketing: customer acquisition and customer retention.
Add Their Name
Customer retention is the easiest
You already know specifically whom you are trying to reach, either through a direct mail piece, an email, or a phone call. Personalization here should include the most specific messaging that you possibly can achieve through the effective analysis of your database. For example, if you know that Sally Smith last spent $350 on a widget, and you need to sell her the new, improved model, you are going to look at your entire database. How many others are in this category? The messaging that you choose to send to Sally and those like her must be focused on the widget upgrade. You are personalizing the marketing message and the sales offer without specifically recognizing Sally by name. Adding Sally’s name somewhere other than on the address line (of the mail piece or the email) makes the piece much more personal. This can be accomplished in the greeting line of a variable letter or email. In addition, if you are contacting Sally via the mail with a post card type of piece, there are ways to personally address Sally without incurring variable data charges.
Don't Stop There
Your personalized message to your customer, Sally, should include more than just her name
The message should speak to her buying trends or her known product affiliations. If you really want to maximize the message, you can include an additional discount for Sally if she brings in the mail piece. Addressing personalization issues with customer acquisition mail is perhaps more important, since the prospect that you are reaching out to may not be familiar with your business and has no established buying habits to address with an offer or graphic that would be appealing to them specifically. Acquisition techniques usually involve renting a mailing list of people who fall within certain geographic, demographic and psychographic parameters. You can segment the list once it is obtained and focus different messaging to each segment to maximize results. If you are using a letter, you can focus not only the artwork, but also the prospect’s name in the form of personalization. Speak directly to the prospect both by name and by interest, and you will significantly enhance their interest level and thereby the likelihood of them responding to your offer.
Direct marketing efforts require thought and preparation
Remember that a few extra customers coming through the door can make a significant bottom line difference to your business. A professional direct mail expert can show you many ways to enhance response through the proper and cost effective use of personalization for your outbound marketing efforts.