At the beginning of 2014, I put together a campaign for Metropolitan to learn what the goals of our clients were for the year. Out of the responses we received, nearly half of them wanted to creating more personalized and relevant communications for their audience.
Generating a more one-on-one dialogue with your audience isn’t as scary as it might seem. With even the smallest amount of data, here are five ways you can start to personalize your messaging to harvest stronger relationships across all media.
1) Personalized Copy
Go beyond the traditional means of slapping a customer’s name on your communications. Utilize purchasing/donation history, demographics, or program interest to create copy that is meaningful to your recipients. For example, a nonprofit might send an appeal mailing that thanks a donor for the gift they generously gave last year. In addition to personalizing the salutation, the organization could call out the specific amount and put it into terms of what it helped them achieve over the last year. This personalized touch might be the difference needed to receive a donation again this year.
2) Personalized Imagery
Utilize your known customer attributes to really help bring your story to life and warm a recipient’s heart. Boost response rates by creating imagery that is relevant to your recipients. For example, you might have a nationwide reach and already segment your copy to correspond with a recipient’s state of residence. Instead of using generic imagery of flowers for all of your audience, switch up the flower to reflect a species that is common where they live. Evoking an emotional connection with your audience is key to helping maximize your ROI.
3) Targeted Call-to-Actions
Segmentation is nothing new in the marketing world. Many of my clients are already creating separate copy for different segmentation groups, whether they be gender based, state or city based, or even customer loyalty based. Tailoring the call-to-action to reflect this same level of segmentation will help the campaign maximize its effectiveness. For example, men and women respond differently to discount offers. While the $50 off offer could motivate a male to walk into your store and check out your website, the Buy One, Get One incentive might be more effective at getting a female to act. Create small test groups to test what works with your audience, then take your results to implement to a wider audience.
4) Multiple Response Mechanisms
In today’s world, there are so many ways that a consumer can interact with your brand. Don’t guess what a particular recipient prefers, but give them the option to respond how they want to. If you’re sending a direct mail piece, include a response form and envelope, but also give them the option to visit a personalized URL to get you the information requested. Send a follow-up email to those you haven’t heard from after a week to give them another chance to take advantage of your campaign’s offer.
5) Test, Test, Test
You might already have a slew of consumer data that you can integrate into your marketing efforts, but guessing what’s going to work and what’s not can unnerving. Identify the variables you want to test out and use a small sample group to determine their effectiveness. Once you begin to see how your test group is responding to personalization, implement your most successful tactics to a wider audience. Defending your investment into personalization with more data will help you to ensure you are using your marketing dollars wisely and your ROI will benefit even more.