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October 30, 2018

8 Ways Personalization Can Boost Direct Mail Response



When it comes to your marketing, a name could be the difference between mediocre and outstanding results.


After all, familiarity breeds trust—and trust leads to sales.


According to data collected by the USPS, 18.4% of people said they would respond to a direct mail piece from a company they've previously purchased from. That number plummets to just 1.4% for an unknown company.


If simply being familiar to a recipient can have that much impact on response rates, think about how effective a direct mail piece personalized using past customer data–such as purchase history, location, age, or marital status–could be.


That’s the power of personalization: it strengthens the client/customer relationship, improves customer experience and makes customers feel valued. And it’s been used for nearly as long as modern marketing has existed.


A Time-Tested Approach

Using personalization in marketing is nothing new. In his famous book, How to Win Friends & Influence People, Dale Carnegie writes:

“Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important

sound in any language.”

Using a person’s name in conversation can make them feel a stronger sense of liking and willingness to help you. Likewise, using someone’s name in direct mail creates an affinity between you and your customer that increases the likelihood that that person will respond.


Today, personalization goes far beyond using a customer’s first name in the copy. Marketers with good instincts and a robust customer database can personalize everything from the offer to the graphics used in the layout. Here are just a few of our favorites:


1. Offer

Use information about the customer’s past interactions with your company to customize the offer you send them. 


2. Copy

Addressing a customer is a commonplace tactic, but that doesn’t make it any less powerful. If you have their name, use it.


3. Imagery

Swapping out the images you use in the mail piece based on a customer’s location can help the content feel familiar, relevant to their daily life and surroundings.


4. Form

Pre-filling certain fields of a form with customer data like name, address, and phone number can increase response by making it even easier for them to complete it.


5. PURLs

Take the personalization online by directing recipients to a PURL (personalized URL). With PURLs, you can serve personalized content and more effectively track user behavior following a direct mail drop.


6. Gender

Sometimes, men and women view the same product differently. Adjusting content based on gender can portray the offer in a light that’s most appealing to them.


7. Reminder

If your product or service is something that needs to be repurchased or renewed after a certain period of time, create personalized campaigns based on the timing of a customer’s last purchase.

Offering a customized coupon with a quick expiration date can add urgency to the reminder.


8. Industry

Different industries have different reasons for using your products and services. Use variable data printing to make sure you’re speaking their language. 


Personalization is like putting a magnifying glass over your standard audience segmenting. You can zoom in on exactly what will make each recipient tick, enhancing the customer experience by offering messaging that is highly relevant—and easy to act upon.


In short, delivering a direct mail piece that speaks to an individual's specific needs or desires will increase response rates. And isn’t that the true name of the game?


Looking for inventive ways to personalize your next direct mail campaign?

Visit our Launch Room for some ready-to-go formats designed to deliver results without breaking your budget.


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