Personalization is a popular direct marketing tactic to help stand out among the clutter that enters consumers’ mailboxes and inboxes. But in today’s technologically advanced world, simple personalization doesn’t cut it anymore. “We follow the Seth Godin school: You have to be absolutely remarkable to make a difference,” says Jay Regan, vice president of client development at Daytona Beach, Fla.-based cross-media marketing solutions organization DME.
“So good marketing is actually awful; excellent marketing you might get your toes in the water. The name of the game is to be remarkable and get attention,” he expounds.
Here, Regan and Ed Ickowski, director of business development and sales for variable data printing and cross-media marketing software provider DirectSmile, share insights on how to make personalization remarkable.
1. Have a good database. First and foremost, you need to have a good, clean database, says Ickowski, and it’s important to have a strategy behind what you want to do with that database. “”If you’re working on a campaign for a vacation request but don’t have in the database that some people like skiing and some people like the beach, and you only send people a personalized image with their name spelled in snow blocks, well, you’ve alienated the other half of your database,” he illustrates.
2. Personalize it. No, really personalize it. Sometimes, all you know is a person’s name and address, but when you have the data to truly personalize, do it. “For customer retention especially, it is sinful to have something go out that says, ‘Dear Customer,’” says Regan. “You have the tools now that aren’t very expensive to not only call them by name, but to use other bits of the data. You know, ‘Thank you for your patronage for the last 10 years.’ ‘Thank you for being a season ticket holder for the last five years.’ ‘All the other fans in section 232 look forward to seeing you this season.’ Believe in that one-to-one communication."