The upcoming installation of our new Océ continuous digital press has everyone at IWCO Direct excited about the benefits our customers will experience from its enhanced personalization capabilities. Because personalization has been a major topic in the direct mail industry over the past few years, and since nearly all of our customers have personalized components to their campaigns, it’s tempting to say the days of “spray and pray” direct marketing are coming to a close. However, that isn’t necessarily the case for the industry as a whole.
I was interested to read this summary of a recent survey by Chief Marketer of 675 marketing professionals that shows while nearly everyone agrees one-to-one marketing is most effective, not everyone is practicing it. Direct mail came in second to email as the most likely channel to be personalized, yet only 58% of respondents claimed to be customizing their message. And 16% said they were not doing anything to personalize their messaging to prospects and customers. Why? A lack of in-house expertise and lack of funds were the reasons most cited.
If the thought of creating personalized direct marketing campaigns ties your stomach in knots, you should know it’s not as complicated as it seems, and your production partners can help. Here are factors you may not have considered:
Data is becoming much more sophisticated. List brokers now have much more information about your target audience than ever before, and it’s constantly getting better. Also, technology is allowing customers to dictate what personal information they make available (and hence the offers they want to receive).
Personalization technology has improved. There are a wide variety of capabilities to meet the equally wide variety of personalization needs. No matter how simple or complex, IWCO Direct has the tools to meet your personalization needs efficiently and effectively. For example, our new Océ ColorStream® 3500 high-volume digital press can output more than 1,000 full-color, letter-size impressions per minute.
Ink is mixing with pixels. Seventy-eight percent of consumers are using two or more channels to browse, research and purchase products. Thankfully, newer technologies such as PURLs and QR codes are fairly easy and cost-effective ways to create deeper customer engagement and allow your printed message to flow seamlessly to online destinations, which are often customized to the recipient’s interests. Don’t allow your audience to disengage early by not providing an easy way to access online information.
You have greater control of mail delivery. Personalization isn’t always about the message, it can also be about location and timing. For example, a retail outlet hosting a grand opening event for a new store can use trigger mail programs to target residents only within a certain radius of the store’s location. If your production partner has a sophisticated postal strategy, you can time your in-home dates closely to the event or as a lead-in to your other marketing efforts.
These are just a few ways it is getting easier to create personalized direct mail offers. If you would like to discuss these ideas in greater detail, please email me.
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