Marketing personalization is one of the most effective methods for attracting and maintaining loyal customers. When you take the time to personalize marketing, showing consumers that you understand them and want to solve their problems, you’re well on your way to a successful business relationship. You’re not just giving your customers what they like, you’re giving them what they want—and expect. In return, you’ll gain their trust and boost your sales. Let’s see how you can use personal marketing for your direct mail campaigns.


Statistics Show the Value of Personal Marketing


The more you know about your customers, the better you can serve their needs. You’ll know where they’re located, their demographics, and why they want to buy your products and services. With this valuable data, you can personalize marketing to answer their questions and solve their problems. But in case your brand is still on the fence with personalization (which is likely why you’re reading this article), there are plenty of statistics to support its value. Let’s look at a few:


  • More than 90% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that provide relevant recommendations.
  • Over 70% of consumers will only reply to marketing messages that cater to their interests.
  • About 40% of consumers want more personalization in the marketing messages they receive.
  • Approximately 90% of consumers don’t mind sharing their behavioral data as long as they receive better prices and/or an easier shopping experience.
  • Over 90% of marketers say they personalize marketing, but only 55% feel like they have the proper data to make it happen successfully.


With this much proof that personalization works, it’s no wonder marketers are trying to find out as much as they can about their patrons. It allows you to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time. That’s a recipe for personal marketing success.


Use Variable Data Printing to Personalize Marketing


personal marketingOftentimes, there are many obstacles to creating a successful direct mail campaign. There are graphic design and copywriting duties to assign, a complex list of postal regulations to adhere to, and mailing lists to clean up and select target audiences from. That’s where variable data printing, or VDP, comes into play. When your goal is to appeal to each customer individually, it helps to change the text, graphics, or images from one printed piece to the next. But you don’t want to slow down the printing process in doing so. After all, you’ve got deadlines to meet. That’s where VDP comes in.


Name Names with Personal Marketing


People like to see their names in print. Research shows that adding a person’s name in a direct mail piece can increase the response rate by as much as 135%. Here’s an example. Let’s say you have a hospitality business, like a hotel, and you’re working on a new direct mail campaign for “shoulder season” deals, which is typically January or February, after the busy holiday season. Personal marketing best practices tell you that you should use your customer’s name in the mailpiece, so you place it in the headline and the body of the direct mail letter. By using their name, you’re personalizing direct mail and providing some assurance that they’re not receiving another piece of “junk mail.”


Use Prior Interactions to Personalize Marketing


But you could also get much more creative. Take those customers who have stayed at your hotel before. You could offer them an incentive as a frequent visitor, from the type of room they usually book to the activities they’re involved in when they stay at your property. For any data you have on your customers, VDP allows you to personalize marketing to them.


Personalize the Outside of Your Mail Piece


Of course, personalized marketing isn’t limited to the inside of your direct mail campaign. You can use the space on the outside of an envelope or self-mailer to speak to each customer as well. For example, if you use a handwritten font or typestyle, you’re 300% more likely to have the recipient open it. Why? It resembles a letter from a friend. Handwriting, even the “fake” variety, works like that. It’s not trickery. At the very least, it increases intrigue, which gets your mail piece opened.


Personalize Marketing with Relevant Images


Images are as easy to personalize as text, and sometimes they pack more of a punch. Even if you don’t have a specific image to use for each customer, you can substitute one that comes close. For example, if you have a veterinary brand, you can appeal to your clients based on the type of animal they have. Thus, if you send out appointment reminders, it would make sense to have an image of a dog on the mailpiece for dog owners, and a cat for cat owners, etc.


Personalize Marketing Using the Psychology of Color


Color is also a variable you can change from one printed piece to the next. Try customizing colors that allow you to best speak to each customer. For example, the psychology of colors in marketing has an effect on consumers. If you have a restaurant business, consider using red. It encourages consumers’ appetites. If you have a financial services business, try green. Yes, it’s the color of money, but it’s also typically associated with growth, health, and peace.


VDP comes into play when you A/B test these different colors to see which ones and what placements work best for your business. Try different schemes to see which one produces the best results. Your findings will allow you to improve your campaigns in the future. You can A/B test any variable element, but marketing science tells us to only do one at a time to ensure the most accurate data.


Personalize Marketing with QR Codes and PURLs


Yet another way to use VDP to personalize marketing for your next direct mail campaign is to feature QR codes and PURLs that speak to each recipient individually. In the U.S., over 11 million households scanned a QR code in 2020. As smartphone usage continues to rise (and it will), so too will the numbers for these codes. After all, each recipient can have their own QR code that directs them to a unique website or landing page with a simple smartphone scan. You can accomplish the same with a PURL. In fact, the best advice is to combine the two. The QR code is merely a PURL disguised as an image—albeit a squiggly one.


Deliver the Right Message at the Right Time with Geotargeting


personal marketingSpeaking of smartphones, there are already about 6.3-billion users in the world. That means 80% of all people have smartphones, and that number is steadily rising. So it only makes sense to market to them via their electronic devices. Location-based marketing, aka geotargeting or geofencing, allows you to send different content to consumers based on their location. For example, you can push specific content to consumers based on where they live in the world.


When someone physically enters a certain “region,” you can use their precise location (like their country, state, zip code, or any other positional data) to deliver a marketing message that might interest them. In this scenario, your brand is delivering the right message at the right time. That’s geotargeting. Geofencing is similar but it uses a mobile device’s GPS data to target marketing messages to users that are in a particular area.


Both geotargeting and geofencing are statistically proven strategies. In fact, Google studies revealed that more than 60% of smartphone users prefer brands that use location-based marketing techniques. So consider this strategy when you personalize marketing for your brand.


Always Consider the Customer Experience


How you connect with your customers is crucial to the customer experience (CX). When you treat them like a cherished friend or family member, you’ll personalize marketing to meet their needs. Consumers have evolved to expect more from their brand interactions, so here are some of the ways you can personalize CX.


How to Personalize the Customer Experience


Here are some of the ways to make a personal connection with consumers. If you observe their behavior, you’ll have enough data to customize their experience, turning them from shoppers to customers to promoters.


  • Artificial Intelligence. When you have data that helps you understand what your customers need, and you respond to them in a timely manner, you can customize your products/services based on that information. Retail giant Macy’s uses AI to provide real-time responses, recommendations, and offers for their ultimate CX.
  • Loyalty rewards. Rewards and loyalty programs are great. They help to retain close to 40% of current customers. But your brand can do better if you personalize marketing to more aggressively meet their needs. Rather than simply offering rebates and discounts, think about relevance and exclusivity. A clothing brand could look at its customer’s behaviors and target them with discounts on related items to encourage them to shop in a different department.
  • Be dynamic. As long as you’re going to personalize marketing, do it right. When your brand recognizes and remembers customers—and you provide relevant offers to them based on that data (as we just mentioned)—they’re over 90% more likely to buy from you.
  • Automated email series. When you personalize marketing in your email campaigns, you’re setting up your brand for 6x higher sales.
  • CX as a way of doing business. Some brands decided to personalize marketing around their entire business. Take online personal styling service Stitch Fix as an example. They offer recommendations for each customer based on an individual’s size, preferences, and feedback.


Note: Develop a customer relationship from the beginning that’s based on trust. Pay attention to your customer’s habits, but don’t overdo it. There’s a fine line between personal marketing and stalking. Most consumers are already concerned with privacy issues. Don’t make them feel like you’re taking advantage of their allowances.


MSP Helps Your Brand Personalize Marketing


Approximately 75% of marketers feel that personalization will improve their marketing efforts. Yet many of them consider personal marketing to be a huge challenge when it comes to their print marketing strategy. That’s why it helps to enlist the services of an experienced direct mail provider. MSP will help you personalize marketing with direct mail campaigns that boost sales. Contact an MSP representative to create a marketing plan that will work for your brand.

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