The reason that personalisation in print will be one of the direct marketing trends 2018, is because of boost it produces in your sales. Direct mail, when combined with digital marketing increases the overall ROI of your campaign, adding a personalised message boosts ROI by an average of 25%.
“Marketing aims to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” Peter Drucker.
What exactly does Direct Marketing Personalisation mean?
If you think that personalisation is simply adding your clients’ first name, you are missing an opportunity. It is more than just your client’s name on a letter. Did you know that you can add the name of your client in a picture? And print every catalogue (or another piece of direct mail) with content to match with your client’s socio-demographic profile. Or print different graphs or content according to their purchase history for example?
Basically, direct marketing personalisation is a tailor-made, targeted printed message aimed at each customer according to their personal qualities, preferences and behaviour. This personalisation can be by text, both in the named addressee or in the body of your content, images or a series of factors according to the segmentation group.
Why is personalisation so important?
“A person’s name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language.”
According to Brain Research magazine, certain parts of our brain light up when we hear our own name. Not when we hear other’s names. Only our own. Recalling and integration your client’s name into a communication is important for a few reasons:
- Names are unique identifiers.Our names prompt specific and unique responses in our minds that are powerful associations for anyone to use. Everyone responds to being known by name.
- Brings you back into the conversation. In a conversation, mentioning the person’s name is the best way to get back into the conversation. It’s the same in printed communication. Because people respond so strongly to seeing and hearing their name, you’ll get your customer’s full attention and they’ll tend to “listen” more closely to your message and proposition.
- People tend to like you more. Reading your name makes your message more personal and is interpreted as being caring and empathic. Naturally, using your customer’s name will build strong bonds that are hard to break.
- Helps to build loyalty. People tend to choose businesses who remember them and their preferences. A remarkable user experience is preferred instead of an impersonal one. Using a person’s name in your printed communication makes them feel important and validated, strong feelings you want your customer to feel during any interaction.
How can you personalise your direct marketing communication?
There is a wide range of tailored printed communications, in the following section, we will introduce the five most common practices that can be easily incorporated into your direct marketing campaign to boost your sales.
- Sociodemographic personalisation
This is probably the most obvious and powerful way to personalise a marketing communication, but all too often it is one of the most ignored in both direct and digital marketing.
If you know the gender of your client, age group or relationship status, amongst others, you can create a campaign that more closely matches with them to improve your conversation. For example, the 2018 colour of the year, is UltraViolet, which is a good option to use with women, because it is one of their three favourites, along with blue and green, but probably not the best option for your male target group, because it is one the colours men hate most. You can, therefore, split your database and change the colours for each target group if you want to have a better impact on them. This is easy to organise using digital print technology.
Moreover, using socio-demographic analysis to find role models that match with their target group, such as an image of young people for millennials or family for those married with children. If you think that doesn’t help send a child hotel friendly offer for a single trip to Ibiza!
- Image Personalisation
There are a few ways to personalise content and one of them is image type.
2.1. Adding personalised images
If you want to promote a product or service that suits a targeted group better, or if you think that your target group matches a series of products, you can vary your picture communication to everyone. For example, if you have members of your gym who attend yoga, or maybe spinning or others who haven’t joined any class in the last six months, probably, most are inactive. If you want to increase the usage of your gym, you can send them a communication which represents their favourite activity or the installations for your non-active group. That will have a better impact than sending them the same picture which probably doesn’t connect with individual’s preferences.
2.2. Personalising an image
You can create a great impact on your communication when you integrate your client’s name into an image. There are several ideas to use, a cushion as Sass & Belle did in their last Christmas 2017 catalogue, or the famous Emma Bridgewater personalised mug (which also increased the campaign ROI by 25% after incorporating this type of personalisation), a book cover, or whatever you would like to add to tailor your message to your client.
The impact is massive! How can you do it? Simply send your data to us and we’ll create the magic!
If your client bought a pair of your brand’s running trainers, why don’t you send a direct mail advertising running accessories? A simple thank you letter that mentions the accessories available online, or a coupon allowing them to earn extra loyalty points (or discount) for the running accessories.
If you are a membership organisation and you know that your member attends certain events, such as children activities, why not send them information about your birthday party/school activities services?
Of course, you need to understand their behaviour to target them. You can use their historic purchase data or use surveys to discover their preferences and other marketing tactics to increase your knowledge.
The V&A museum sends differentiated mail communication according to member status. The piece of mail has tailored texts and images with changes for every member, such as the name and pictures of the art of an exhibition that the member has highlighted as a genre choice on their application.
- Income personalisation
This is a subtle but powerful way to personalise a message to increase your customer’s average spend. If you know your client’s purchasing power, you can personalise their offer. Companies are using this kind of personalisation to increase their revenue to great success.
Predicting their average spend and how likely your customer is to buy a new product from their historic purchase is easy. But, if you have a new lead or new client, who has just made a purchase, or hasn’t bought anything yet, how will you predict their spending? Profiling your database is the answer.
Data management helps you to predict their income based on their postcode alongside other variables. This information provides you with tools to target your communication at those more likely to connect with your message.
Charitable organisations use profiling to best target the amount of donation to ask for. Clever, isn’t it?
- Location personalisation
If you have a local store, a series of branches or you are hosting an event in a specific area, you can tailor your communication to their nearest shop or those most likely to attend your event, based on location. You can offer them a sample of one of your products, add a map with the shortest route, the car parks available and any other local information, which helps them to access your business. Do you have different products or services according to your location? Some gyms, for example, have special schedules or promotions for each branch, and they send differentiated communications for each.
Not sure if personalisation can help you to boost your sales? Give it a go testing it in using a control group, that will receive the personalised message, and compare that to your normal response and see how it compares.
References: KissMetrics, Natural training, Conversionxl, Printbrain.
Written by Nilda Cerna, Marketing Manager at Romax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2C, Direct Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0) 20 8293 8550