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Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Moving Beyond Personalised Marketing

The icing on the cake.

Personalisation increasingly has become a fundamental part of today’s marketing landscape. One of the secrets to 1:1 marketing success, however, is not to rely on personalisation alone to achieve your goal.

What this means is that personalisation gets you in the door. It grabs attention. In the eyes of the recipient, it marks the communication as relevant or interesting. But there are many things that can occur between the time the mailer catches someone’s eye and the time that person responds.

If you look through a series of case studies on 1:1 print marketing, whether using personalised URLs (PURLs) or other forms of personalisation, marketers with the highest response rates tend not to rely on variable fields alone to motivate recipients to action. There is always some other element present that synergies with the variable information to make it happen.

Common Response Boosters
Let’s look at some of the most common, industry-wide techniques that marketers combine with personalisation to maximise response rates.

Targeted audience
High response rates are most often the result of having a highly targeted audience that, by virtue of demographics or psychographics, is more likely than average to respond. A home furnishings company, for example, might target first-time home owners. A lawn care company might send specials on lawn care kits to existing customers who recently purchased a high volume of grass seed.

Use of unusual design elements 
Personalisation can have a powerful impact, but only if people see it. To attract recipients’ attention in the first place, marketers often start with unusual design elements, such as oversized postcards, clear envelopes or lumpy mail.

Utilisation of multiple media
Effective campaigns use multiple media to reinforce the message and remind people to respond. The use of personalized follow-up e-mails is a common technique.

High value incentive
This technique is common in applications using PURL campaigns, especially campaigns for lead generation or information gathering, such as customer feedback or prospect surveys. To motivate recipients to respond, marketers might offer a gift or monetary incentive, such as a restaurant gift card or entry into a sweepstakes.

Pick Your Team
Personalisation is a powerful tool, but it’s not a magic wand. Just as we don’t expect athletes to carry their team to glory all by themselves, you should'n’t expect personalisation to carry the load alone, either. Like all marketing elements, personalisation works best when it is part of a collective effort.

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