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How to get personal with your direct marketing

How to get personal with your direct marketing

By Andy Powell, Creative Director, mabox.

Looking to improve on the industry average 3 per cent DM response rate? Not happy with click-through rates measuring fractions of a percent? Then it may well be time to put your name to personalised marketing.

Personalising your communication has the power to cut through the clutter of other sell-sell-sell messages in the market. What’s more, it has never been easier to produce stunning variable work on a rigid budget.

But before you launch headlong into the campaign, first interrogate your data. No amount of creativity can make up for a piece of communication with incorrect personal details. Stringent data clean-up will maximise the power, and response rates, of your work.

Secondly, it’s important to empathise with your audience. Just because you have somebody’s details doesn’t mean you should necessarily dive in and use them. How does your brand fit into their lifestyle? Are they already warm to your brand? What do they think of your brand?

It’s important to talk to your audience, not stalk them. Don’t Assume Total Access. One well-crafted piece of communication will have a greater effect than numerous crudely personalised messages.

Often the best personalisation doesn’t even seem personalised. Look at the last travel agent direct mailer you received; it probably only featured the sort of holidays that would interest you. Intelligent use of the available data can seamlessly tailor your product offering to your audience.

If you want to incorporate details such as a person’s name, make sure that it’s used in a positive and relevant way. This may be one striking instance, such as their name spelt out in flowers, or several instances such as their name being woven into a fairy story.

With the advent of variable urls, a personalised campaign can integrate both off and online. Again, it is imperative to ensure that the content is relevant. If you want your audience to forward something on to their friends, it needs to be interesting.

Few people will forward a sales message, but if it’s wrapped into a story, game or video then the viral possibilities are endless.

Ultimately, any personalised campaign can be a success, as long as you understand people. Take off your brand hat for a moment and try it.

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