How Much Personalization Is Too Personal?

When you are personalizing print or email communications, it’s important to remember that there are real people on the end of the line. Good use of data can be very effective, but the poor use of data can make people uncomfortable.

One marketer caused a stir, for example, when it targeted men with a personalized communication that used their names with “Jr.” added to the end to represent the son they might have some day . . . if they aren’t careful. Needless to say, plenty of recipients were uncomfortable with that approach! This is something many industry commentators call “the creepy factor.”

So how can you personalize your content in a positive way without crossing the line? Here are three tips.

  1. Protect private data. There is a difference between selling educational materials and selling refinancing offers. If you’re selling educational books to children, for example, you might want to know that your neighbor down the street bought a set of the same materials. But you probably don’t want a mortgage company outing you as a good candidate for a refinancing offer.
  2. Make sure your data is current. Keep your data clean and current. One company was criticized for marketing to recipients as if they were one step from a retirement home when, in fact, many of them were not even retired. Use surveys to stay in touch with your customers and get to know them. If necessary, use third party data houses to fill in critical details.
  3. Be considerate. Use the data in a way that is respectful and considerate of the person receiving it. You may not want to let recipients know just how much you know about them upfront. Some marketers start with basic targeting and segmentation, then layer that communication with name personalization, rather than using highly personal details overtly.

Remember that data is just data. When it comes to personalization, it’s what you do with that data that matters. Need help making sure that your use of data is a good one? Talk to us—we’re here to help.

 

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Friday, December 2nd, 2016 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Is It Time for a Fresh Look?

Rebranding is a big deal, and it shouldn’t be done lightly. But sometimes, the time is right. When should you consider rebranding your business? Here is some advice from the experts.

  1. When something has significantly changed in your business.

Businesses evolve, and there can come a point at which you are a different business than you were a few years ago. Maybe you’ve expanded into new areas. Maybe you’ve had a growth spurt and your local brand needs to grow with it.

  1. When your customers have changed.

Not only do brands change, but also their customers change. McDonald’s customers have become more health-conscious, for example. Harley Davidson’s customers have gotten younger. With these changes have come significant changes in presentation of the brand. Has your customer base gone through a significant and long-term change? If so, does this need to be reflected in your branding?

  1. Your visual brand looks stale.

Eventually, even the best visual branding begins to look dated. What looked cool in the 1970s isn’t going to play today. Color trends, fonts, logos, and entire brand representations need a makeover every once in awhile. How long has it been since your brand had one?

  1. When customers have lost engagement with your brand.

Customer engagement can often be recaptured with fresh, new ways of marketing, but sometimes, there is something about the branding that no longer connects. If you can’t get sales out of a slump, maybe new branding can help prospects see your products with fresh eyes.

  1. You look like everyone else.

When you opened your business in a hot new market 10 years ago, you were unique. But as new competitors poured into the space, that uniqueness is disappearing. If you are no longer standing out from your competition, fresh branding can help you break through.

Think it might be time to rebrand your business? Give us a call and let our brand experts and graphic designers brainstorm with you.

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Wednesday, November 16th, 2016 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Switching from Static to Personalized Makes Results Soar

With consumers squarely in charge of product research long before they ever contact your company, content marketing is more important than ever. One of the most important forms of content marketing is the customer newsletter—and more and more are moving to personalized editorial.

What happens to results if you switch from a general-education newsletter to a fully personalized one? One community-based healthcare system found out. After sending a traditional newsletter for years, it began matching the content to what it knew of patients’ health conditions. Personalized content ranged from advances in treatments to schedules for clinical trials.

After about a year, the healthcare system conducted a readership survey to find out how the new approach was being received. The results?

  • 93% of respondents felt the articles were relevant and of interest.
  • 73% read the entire newsletter every time it came in the mail.
  • 77% said it was easier and quicker to read.
  • 95% said they became aware of services that were previously unknown.

Not only did the healthcare system solidify its relationship with existing patients, but nearly every one of those patients learned about some of the provider’s services they didn’t know about before. Imagine the impact on revenues!

Not every marketer can track to this level of detail, but there are many simple, cost-effective steps you can use to monitor your marketing effectiveness too. Personalized URLs, barcodes (visible and invisible), discount codes, and multiple landing pages for various iterations of the same campaign are all ways to track and measure results.

Talk to us about converting your content marketing into personalized content marketing!

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Friday, October 28th, 2016 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

3 Reasons to Use Direct Mail That You May Not Know

There are lots of reasons to use direct mail, and you may have heard many of them. So here are three statistics on the value of direct mail marketing that you may not have heard.

Direct mail has higher value in persuasion.

According to a recent study by […] Continue Reading…

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5 Updates to Freshen Up Direct Mail

Are you looking for ways to spice up your direct mail campaigns? Even if your response rates remain high, are you looking to freshen things up? Here are a few ways you can update your direct mailings and give them new appeal.

Update the package.

Are you using […] Continue Reading…

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1:1 Marketing Is Relationship Marketing!

What makes 1:1 printing work? What turns an average marketing campaign into an outstanding success? Is it the graphic design? Is it the mailing list? Is it selecting just the right variables like income, age, or gender? Those things are important, but there is one ingredient that trumps them […] Continue Reading…

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Friday, September 16th, 2016 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Targeting High-Value Millennials

Why target Millennials in your prospecting? Because once their loyalty is secured, they are more likely than non-Millennials to share their love of your brand, product, or service with others. Furthermore, once you gain their loyalty, they will often spread the word for you, especially if you help them […] Continue Reading…

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Friday, August 26th, 2016 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

Maximizing Your Return on Dimensional Mail

If your mailing is fat, over-sized, or three-dimensional, it stands out. People want to pick it up and see what’s inside. Results of dimensional mailings can be spectacular. However, they also cost more to produce, assemble, and mail. Dimensional mailings work, but you want to be smart about using […] Continue Reading…

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Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

What Are CMOs’ Top Marketing Priorities?

Recently, IBM released a study titled “Redefining Markets: Insights from the C-Suite Study,” which surveyed over 700 CMOs from more than 50 countries. CMO’s number one priority, according to the study? Developing better customer experiences. Nearly two-thirds (63%) cited this as their top priority.

When the researchers looked deeper into […] Continue Reading…

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Tuesday, July 26th, 2016 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

How Much Do Bad Addresses Cost You?

You’ve probably heard that bad addresses can kill the ROI on a direct mail campaign. But what are the numbers behind it? Just how costly can bad addresses be?

In a webinar sponsored by Epicomm, the Association for Leaders in Print, Mail, Fulfillment, and Marketing Services, the presenter told us […] Continue Reading…

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Wednesday, July 13th, 2016 Going Postal: News You Need No Comments

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