With Direct Mail, It’s Always Personal

The results are in: people like when businesses get personal. In a recent survey that asked, “Does the customization or personalization of a direct mail piece make you more likely to open/read it?” 29.2% said, “Yes, Much more likely,” and 55% said, “Yes, a little more likely.” Consumers like to not only feel special, but to feel like they’re being spoken to not talked at. Personalization is a strategy that can help your catalogs strike a conversation with your consumers that they’ll want to continue.  

Personalizing your direct mail campaign takes a bit more creativity than simply adding a “Dear [insert first name here]” on the piece. Here are three ways you can personalize your campaign.

Use Data to Know Your Customers

Your customers and prospects are all unique but don’t let that idea overwhelm you. Leverage data from a customer relationship management (CRM) system to collect information on your current subscribers and customers. Information like geographic location, age, gender and even marital status can help define your consumer’s buying journey, narrow in on their stage in your sales funnel, and ultimately increase your target power using segmentation.

Provide a Personalized Experience

Once you’ve collected that data and segmented it, you can apply it in your catalog’s content. Tailor the cover offer or discount you provide to the stage the consumer is at in their buying journey. Visual content sets the mood and tone for the piece, and these can be customized based on the customer’s location, consumer behavior, gender and age. Last, but not least, personalize the copy to the target group. Of course, first names in inkjet messaging can always make a piece feel more personal, but consider how you might be able to go beyond introductions—connect with the customer on cultural and industry interests.

Show Your Business Personality

Personalization can also mean that you show off your business a bit more. Humanize it through your catalog with a unique, captivating brand voice and consistent messaging. Encourage your customers to connect with you on other channels for a truly integrated personal experience of your business. Include your Facebook page URL, Instagram or Twitter handle so customers can continue the conversation you’ve started through other media. In fact, adding a customer’s Twitter handle to an envelope, increased their response rate by 200%.

When used strategically, personalization can yield excellent results for your business and not break the bank. It’s important to focus on building a catalog campaign that is personalized, relevant, and well-executed for your consumer audience.

About the Author: Jim Gibbs

Vice President of Sales & Marketing at The Dingley Press. Jim has been with Dingley since 2002 and lives in Maine near our Lisbon, Maine plant location.