Five Ways to Incorporate Personalization Into Your Direct Mail
By Debora Haskel
To be successful, a direct mail package must grab your customer's attention, build a desire for your product or service, and create a call to action. Today's personalization technology makes it possible to do that, but efficient and effective use of personalization requires a strategy, a budget and an understanding of what your print vendor can do.
Here are five ways you can incorporate personalization into your next direct mail promotion:
1. It's probably a given that a name and address will appear on your letter, especially when your letter is the address vehicle for your package. Additionally, inserting the name in the body of the letter can be effective, as long as it's not overdone.
Think about formality when using a name in the body of the letter. Should the salutation say, "Dear Mr. Jones," or "Dear George"? If using a list that does not have first and last names in separate cells, it's probably better to say, "Dear Friend" or "Dear Member," than "Dear George Jones."
2. Personalizing your response device makes it easier for the recipient to respond. Leave space for corrections and provide clear instructions for making changes. This is a great opportunity to get missing information such as a phone number or e-mail address. Insert a message alongside a blank field that draws attention to the field or offers a special incentive for providing the information. For example: "Give us your e-mail address and we'll send you a coupon for $5 off your next online order."
3. Talk to your vendor about formats that allow you to personalize other inserts in the same production pass. For example, using an 81⁄2˝ x 14˝ form instead of an 81⁄2˝ x 11˝ form allows you to create a personalized buckslip that can be trimmed to nest in your letter as if it were a separate insert. You pay for laser personalization by the inches that must travel through the equipment—full variable copy on an 81⁄2˝ x 11˝ form is the same personalization cost as just name and address.