Friday, October 2, 2015
Are You Missing Out on Personalization's Big ROI?
Personalization via variable data printing is a proven way to increase direct mail response and ROI. Any mailer would want a result like this: Melissa Data has reported it found personalized color direct mail typically generated a 6.5% response rate, three times higher than the average 2% response rate resulting from non-personalized direct mail. Yet some direct mailers hesitate to go beyond a "Dear Jon" first-name greeting. It may be because they lack a robust house database and need a long-term data collection process and profiling. Appending and modeling are options to help jumpstart that process. When it comes to personalized prospecting, there are well-sourced, up-to-date rented mailing lists that offer a wealth of targeting data for personalization. Common response factors for B2C include gender, past purchase or donation history, expiration/renewal dates and geographic location (personalized mapping is a proven retailing tool), for example. A remaining personalization hurdle is data quality--inaccurate data, duplicate data, improperly formatted data, or no data at all in key fields. Bad data makes personalization backfire with the wrong name, the wrong address or the wrong offer. Luckily, given the payoff in terms of response and ROI, the low-cost investment in mailing list data hygiene is a no-brainer. Once data is cleaned up, careful mailing list segmentation by target audience preps for variable data printing (VDP) of personalized versions. While working with VDP, consider adding a Personalized URL that sends each contact to a personally customized landing page; research by the Direct Marketing Association and others shows PURLs can further lift overall response (even double it). By the way, if you are in fundraising or in finance and insurance marketing, and you haven't embraced personalization, you are lagging the pack. See the most recent list of top direct mail categories using personalization, courtesy of Who's Mailing What: http://www.directmarketingiq.com/article/whos-mailing-what-direct-mail-categories-using-personalization/1