Personalized Marketing: It’s Mainstream

From personalized coupons arriving in the mailbox to “just for you” recommendations in the inbox, personalized marketing is everywhere.

In fact, in a study of more than 1,000 enterprises, InfoTrends found that not only is personalization occurring more frequently, but when marketers do send out personalized marketing pieces, those pieces have a higher level of complexity. There are more variable pictures and images. More variable blocks of text. More dynamic compositions of the sections of the marketing pieces.

When asked, “What percentage of your customer communications/marketing campaigns fit into the following categories?” InfoTrends found that 62% of campaigns are either fully personalized or segmented:

Audience-Targeting Approaches

Personalized (one to one) 29%
Segmented (one to few) 33%
Mass marketing (one to many) 38%

Source: Understanding Vertical Markets: Enterprises Communication Requirements (InfoTrends)

Think about that for a moment. Nearly two-thirds of campaigns are targeted, if not fully personalized. What does that mean for you? It means that if you are sending static mail pieces, you’re competing with marketers who are speaking (potentially to the same customers and prospects) on a personalized level.

If your competitors are personalizing and you are not, who do you think is going to get the most mind share? Even if your competitors aren’t personalizing today, they might be tomorrow. You want to get there and establish a relationship with those customers or prospects before they do.

Need help planning your next personalized campaign? Give us a call!

Sunday, October 4th, 2015 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

How Do You Spell Success? C-O-N-V-E-R-S-I-O-N

When you think about evaluating the success of a marketing campaign, what comes to mind? For many marketers, it’s response rates. However, that just because someone “responds” by contacting you doesn’t mean that the campaign was profitable. The true measure of success is whether they actually buy something. That’s why one of your most important measures should be conversion rate.

Let’s say you’re a gourmet store in the heart of a college community. You just launched a line of breakfast items that includes pastries, breads, and gourmet omelets. You develop a campaign of 10,000 direct mailers that invite students to request an email- or text-back coupon for 25% off one of the new items. As an incentive, you offer a chance to win concert tickets to see the band Little Mix, which soon will be performing in the area.

Initially, you’re thrilled by the response rate. A whopping 32% of students requested the coupon. Then the excitement fades. Although more than one-third of students responded, only 3% actually visited the store and redeemed the coupon. When you work out your ROI, you didn’t even break even.

Let’s say you had targeted the local community instead. Let’s say the response rate is lower—8%—but it’s an affluent community with a high percentage of recipients working in and around the university. Of those who do respond, 32% redeem the coupon and try the new breakfast. From this pool, the number of conversions is 150% higher than the college student pool. Your cost to produce the campaign is the same, but your ROI is vastly different.

This simple example illustrates the power of the conversion rate. Initially, who wouldn’t prefer 32% response rate over 8%? But the conversion on the back end ends up being the deciding factor in the profitability of the campaign.

So don’t think response rate — think conversion!


Sunday, September 27th, 2015 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Personalization Is Easier Than You Think

Whether it’s in print, email, or online, customers expect a personalized marketing experience. According to InfoTrends, 60% of Boomers and beyond (ages 55+) want a personalized experience. Among Millennials (ages 13-34) and Gen-Xers (ages 35-54), this rises to 67%.

But while “personalization” can carry the connotation of complex and expensive, it doesn’t have to be. Even with a basic customer list, a few simple steps can help you deliver a more relevant, targeted experience.

  1. Use their name creatively.

Don’t just use the customer’s name in the opening text. Use it creatively in images or sprinkle it in unexpected places throughout the document. Add the couple’s name to the place card on the table. Emblazon it across the mailbox in front of an image of a home for sale. Integrate it into the design in unexpected, eye-catching ways.

  1. Target by a single, simple variable.

Will it help to target the mailing by gender? How about by ZIP code? Would it help to add a map? (This works great for new businesses or new branches or locations.) This is data you already have. Use it!

  1. Append the database.

Still think you don’t have any variables you can use? Do what’s called a database “append” in which you purchase simple variables like home ownership or household income for the names you already have. Appends are not expensive and can boost your marketing effectiveness exponentially.

Talk to us about how you can put your existing data to use to create a more personal relationship with your customers. You probably already have more information than you think!

Thursday, September 17th, 2015 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

More Reasons to Love Color

We all know the value of color images in your marketing mix, but what about the messaging? Study after study shows that when messages are in color, they have a powerful impact on your bottom line. Among the benefits:

Helping readers find information more easily (great for insurance policies, contracts, […] Continue Reading…

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Better Copy Gets Better Results

When writing marketing copy for your direct mail, email, and other marketing communications, do you focus on features and benefits? If so, you might want to think again. Increasingly, marketers are using emotional and psychological triggers instead.

One of the gurus of marketing copywriting is Denny Hatch. In his e-book […] Continue Reading…

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Promote Your Brand by Promoting Your Customers

Everyone wants to be appreciated, especially customers. Why not try using simple print and email techniques to recognize your customers publicly? By doing so, you can reinforce their loyalty, promote your brand, and encourage them spread your message virally.

There are lots of ways to recognize your customers. You can […] Continue Reading…

Monday, August 10th, 2015 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Snatch Customers Before Your Competitors Do!

Investing in direct mail for customer acquisition? Your competitors are! As their efforts become more proactive and strategic, how do you plan to attract those same customers before your competitors do? Here are three proven strategies for grabbing attention in the mailbox.

Use dimensional mail.

In a stack of […] Continue Reading…

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Use Personalization to Save on Postal Costs

As marketers, we live in a world of never-ending postal rate increases. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to offset those costs. To make the value even sweeter, those steps can make your marketing more effective, too.

Let’s look at a few of them.

Clean up your database.

On […] Continue Reading…

Thursday, July 9th, 2015 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Interactivity Gets Results!

There is a reason pet stores put kittens and puppies into open cages in the center of the main aisle. Customers who reach out and pet them are more likely to buy one. The same concept also works in print.

People who interact with a printed piece are more likely […] Continue Reading…

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Got Name and Address? You Can Personalize More Than You Think

Think you can’t personalize your print marketing because you only have a customer’s name and address? Think again. Here are three types of personalization you can deploy with just the name and address of your customer:

Personalized maps: Using just the recipient’s address, you can create personalized maps from their […] Continue Reading…

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments


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