Sometimes, the power of personalization goes beyond the direct sale. A little ingenuity can go a long way. Let’s look at the way one automotive manufacturer combined 1:1 printing with creative marketing to boost its sales significantly.
Buick wanted to boost sales of its vehicles, so it came up with a creative idea. It mailed a series of personalized direct mail pieces that allowed consumers to “design” their own cars. The goal was to get prospective car buyers emotionally invested in the brand and thinking about their ideal vehicle even before they were ready to actually purchase a car.
For the campaign, Buick targeted both current and former Buick owners, as well as owners of competitive makes of vehicles. Over a series of direct mail pieces, Buick asked for feedback on what recipients were looking for. The final brochure incorporated this feedback, including preferred model and features.
While this program started out as “consumer research,” ultimately, Buick sold 20,000 automobiles and acquired $494 million in sales revenue.
The beauty of this campaign is that, long before making any kind of direct sales pitch, Buick used personalized printing to draw consumers in and get them engaged with the brand. They asked questions, valued their feedback, and created a sense of “pre-ownership” during the design process. The sales pitch at the end was made to a well-groomed audience.
This is the value of using personalized printing to engage and speak directly to an audience. You won’t always sell 20,000 automobiles, but done right, you can engage your audience, deepen customer loyalty, and create an atmosphere in which your marketing messages are well received.
Sometimes 1:1 printing isn’t about the direct sale. As Buick found out, sometimes it’s about a long-term courtship, and it can be well worth the wait.
Studies have shown that using color on the outside of your direct mail envelope equals higher open rates. In fact, one study found that 69% of people are more likely to open a mail piece with color text and graphics on the front than they are when the envelope is plain.*
Adding color can make a huge difference in your bottom line. Even if your conversion rate remains the same, by doubling the number of people who open your direct mail letter or package, you double the sales from that campaign.
How can you add color to your envelopes?
- Graphics and images
- Color banners
- Company logos
- Patterned backgrounds
- Brightly colored indicia
- Outlines of the state in which they live
These are simple changes that can yield big results. Why not try color on your next envelope and see what a difference it makes for you?
*Leflein Associates Mail Openability Study
When prospecting, many marketers use some kind of incentive to boost response. But let’s face it. Not all incentives are created equal. To be successful, you need to put as much thought into the incentive as you do into your list, your creative and your message. You also need to match the value of the incentive to how much the response is worth to you.
When one company wanted to add more value-added resellers, for example (something in which even bringing on one more could bring in millions over time), it offered a sweepstakes featuring a trip to the Caribbean. When another wanted to access high-level executives, it offered remote control cars personalized with the recipient’s name.
Just because your incentive has a high dollar value, however, doesn’t mean that it’s the right incentive. For example, you might not want to give away free digital cameras to a camera-savvy audience that most likely already has one — or three. Instead, you might want to offer something more unusual, such as a digital picture frame that attaches to a key ring.
Also keep in mind that an incentive doesn’t need to cost a lot to be highly motivating. One marketer used the “hook” during its Christmastime promotion of allowing respondents to help select the charity to receive its end-of-year donation. Others have given away free saplings to environmentally conscious prospects around Earth Day. The point is to match the incentive to your specific audience. One size doesn’t fit all.
Need some help with incentive ideas? Talk to us about getting the right match for your next campaign.
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