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Relevance: the true meaning of personalization

As marketers, we often promote the features of our product or service, without thinking first about the customer. In all forms of communications, the customer and their preferences must take the driver's seat.

Personalization is more than printing someone's name on the envelope. While people’s names are important to them, they are not enough to make a mail package relevant; you need more.

Real personalization must translate into something that is meaningful to the recipient.

For example, the local SPCA might include a graphic of a cat on the outer envelope and target cat owners for fund raising, while dog lovers would get an envelope graced with images of our canine friends.

Relevance of message, relevance of vehicle, and individualization all take on new meaning as customer relationship management systems offer (and capture) a wealth of information about customers, including demographics, buying patterns, and preferences.

It's important to know something about the recipient to personalize the piece with relevance. The best place to get relevant personalization is customer data or purchased lists. Yet these databases are underutilized because we don't know how to translate this information into a relevant, more successful campaign.

Enter variable data printing. Unlike static, digital production can be precision targeted, highly relevant, and personalized to a smaller, less expensive list. Digital personalization increases response rates and generally performs much better than static marketing. Personalized one-to-one communications show an increase in response rates of 10 to 30 percent.

The one-to-two day turnaround time with digital means a timelier, more relevant message is sent to potential customers, increasing the odds of conversion and boosting ROI.

Digital gives marketers the ability to provide detailed tracking and reporting through codes, phone numbers and offers. It also provides more accurate counts and an affordable way to test various messages, campaigns or offers.

You can make endless changes to each piece without impacting the cost, ultimately leading to better response rates.

Some say variable data printing is truly a revolution.

The marketplace has come to realize that to be effective and relevant, the postcard has been usurped by the ability to digitally produce letter packages, which can yield much higher response rates.

And while online competition is taking the punch out of many traditional marketing vehicles, digital is proving otherwise, breathing new life into direct mail by providing meaningful ways to connect with customers.  

 


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