Pitney Bowes.

Brilliant Communications

LOOK HERE! Technology and Personalization for Improving Direct Mail Response Rates

by Christine Alexander | November 20, 2014 | 1 Comment

It's All About YouPersonalization. It’s a buzzword you hear time and time again from marketers and those in the printing industry.

What does that word even mean? Does it mean simply slapping a person’s name on a piece of mail and hoping that it boosts your response rates into the teens? Would that make you any more likely to act on an offer you receive?

Maybe. Then again, maybe not.

Personalization is so much more than just featuring someone’s name in a unique font or as the focal point of the communication they’re receiving from your brand. It’s taking what you know about an individual, such as a consumer’s name, a product space, or a geographical location, and using it within your direct mail piece. With today’s technologies, there’s no shortage of options.

Custom Imagery Creates Relevance

Say you are working to build brand loyalty for a hotel. What better way to make your communications relevant to a recipient than by using imagery that reflects his or her upcoming destination? You wouldn’t see the same flowers in Florida as you would in Hawaii. Play that up!

Or take some inspiration from a campaign created by Lowe Roche for a Porsche dealer in Toronto, Pfaff Auto. They created a direct mail piece that featured a brand new Porsche sitting in the mail recipient’s driveway. The campaign generated a 32% response rate! Learn more about the campaign in this video.

Need Help Getting Data? Let Me Introduce You to Custom URLs

The effectiveness of personalized communications is only as good as the data you use. But what if you don’t have any data, or simply don’t know where to begin with the data you do have?

Custom URLs (also known as personalized URLs, or PURLs) are an excellent way to gather the information you want to know on consumers.

PURLs bridge the gap between your printed piece and the web. They allow you to personalize online images and copy to each mail recipient, and even prepopulate forms with information you already know, such as name and email address. By prepopulating the form, it takes less time for the recipient to respond. Less time to respond = a boost in your response rates. It can also help you cleanse your database.

In addition, you can deploy email communications based on a recipient’s activity or inactivity. Jane Doe hasn’t responded to her direct mail piece? Send her a reminder email that the opportunity is almost over. Give your mail recipients the chance to respond in the medium that is most relevant to them.

All this data would be a lot more helpful if a member of your sales team could access it quickly, wouldn’t it? You can also send all form responses to a prospect’s sales representative (or even a call center rep) to make sure the inquiry is followed up promptly.

Beyond being an excellent engagement tool, PURLs enable you to track your direct mail efforts. In addition to knowing how many people showed interest in your campaign, you know exactly who showed interest in your campaign. Monitored over time, this can reveal new opportunities to expand your relationship with targets.

This is Great, But Why Should I Be Personalizing?

Personalizing makes your message about more than just you. It makes it about the person who matters – the consumer.

A lot of brands are already segmenting. They understand the value behind getting to know what their customers want and catering their communications to a group of like-minded targets.

Personalization is segmentation on steroids. While complex, there are so many tools in place today to make the customization of messaging a smoother process than ever before.

When you take a piece of mail and make it relevant to someone, you’re building an emotional connection with that recipient, and emotional connections evoke response. Personalized campaigns that are done well not only help to harvest these strong connections, but they also help you boost response rates, and ultimately drive your bottom-line.

The real question isn’t why should you be personalizing; it’s why aren’t you personalizing?

Learn how to print targeted and colorful messages on your direct mail piece with the Pitney Bowes Print + Messenger Color Inkjet System.

Please observe our community guidelines when posting comments.

This blog is hosted by Pitney Bowes Inc. By using this blog you agree that you are solely responsible for any comment you post to the Blog and you agree to abide and be bound by the Pitney Bowes TERMS OF USE.

Please stay on topic. We may redirect certain submissions if they are better handled through another channel such as customer service. With regard to the content of any submissions you make through this Blog, you agree to remain solely responsible and agree to not submit materials that are unlawful, defamatory, abusive or obscene. You also agree that you will not submit anything to this Blog that violates any right of a third party, including copyright, trademark, privacy or other personal or proprietary rights.

Pitney Bowes reserves the right to terminate your ability to use and/or submit posts to this Blog. Pitney Bowes may not review all postings and is not responsible for comments posted on this Blog. Pitney Bowes nevertheless retains the right to not post, edit a posting or to remove any postings in its sole and absolute discretion.

  • Jérémy Bates

    This is a great article! Well written with some very useful information!