#DMPersonalisation: Using direct mail personalisation to drive sales

When it comes to bulk mail and direct mail, personalisation matters. The common misconception is that personalisation is simply a matter of addressing someone by name, but although this is one layer of personalisation, it’s only the start.

Personalisation can do a whole lot more for your mailing and there are multiple layers of personalisation that can be applied.

Tailored written content

Try tailoring paragraphs to individual customers, based on data that you hold on them. This might include:

  • previous spend
  • location
  • business sector
  • special interests

This kind of personal touch can be done at no extra cost and is a great way to build a relationship with your customer. It’s a fantastic way to engage with their needs and interests while indicating that you understand who they are. More importantly, it demonstrates that you care by showing that you’ve taken the time to do your research and have tailored something unique to them.

Location, location, location

Personalisation isn’t just about creating a better experience for the customer; it can also be a way of gathering information that can help you improve your return on investment in the future. For example, adding a unique telephone number or email address based on the recipient’s location will help you to build a profile of your best customers. More importantly, it will give you information about what they respond to; helping you to build increasingly successful direct mail campaigns over time.

Getting personal about age

While your target market might fall into a number of different age groups, that doesn’t mean that the same message will work equally well with everyone.

For example, if 3% of people aged under 25 respond to a direct mail campaign but 40% of people aged 25- 50 respond, it could mean that you need to tailor your message to have more direct and personal appeal to the under 25 age group. Remember – you can change these messages at no extra cost, so it’s well worth looking at your stats and getting more creative with your messaging.

Altered images

Personalisation isn’t just about words: tailoring images through variable print, to match individual customers, can have enormous impact. For example:

  • Add customer logos.
  • Give a map to the customer’s nearest branch (rather than highlighting how many branches you have nationwide).
  • Use local images.

All of these techniques, and more, give the impression that you care about the individuals that you’re talking to and that you understand them, their business or their needs. It can also work at a psychological level, helping the prospect or customer to feel that they’re already part of what you’re offering. This can put them firmly on the road to taking the action that you’re hoping for, whether that’s making a purchase, giving a donation or something else.

Variable images do require the supply of additional artwork, but can offer fantastic return on investment.

When it comes to direct mailing, personalisation can make a tremendous difference on the returns that you get. Personalisation is all driven by your data, so collecting information about your customers is essential. The more data you have on your customers, the greater scope you have for effective personalisation. Talk to your direct mail company about how best to get the data you need and how to use it to your advantage.